After nearly four years of wait, new beneficiaries of old-age pension scheme who have became eligible following the State government reducing the minimum age limit to 57 years from 65 years are set to get the social security pension of ₹2,016 per month with the launch scheduled on August 15, the 75 th anniversary of country’s Independence.
The social security pension under Aasara scheme is also being extended to dialysis patients, who number between 10,000 and 12,000 in the State. They were already provided free bus travel facility (pass) for undergoing periodical dialysis.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced the launch of disbursement of the old-age pension to the new beneficiaries, about 10 lakh of them, during a press conference held here on Saturday. He admitted that there was delay in extending the social security pension to the newly eligible persons first due to the COVID-19 impact on the State’s revenue and later due to the Centre’s animosity towards Telangana by holding back tax devolution dues and creating other hurdles in the State’s progress.
“As on date, the Centre owes tax devolution dues of ₹3,200 crore to the State,” the Chief Minister claimed and said the MLAs concerned would disburse the pension to the newly eligible beneficiaries for over two weeks from August 15. He stated that there were about 36 lakh social security pension beneficiaries in Telangana.
Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao said Telangana was the only State in the country to give pension to beedi workers (rollers), elephant foot patients and single women. A scheme providing life insurance cover to weavers was also being launched in the State, he announced. All the social security pension beneficiaries would also be issued new pension cards now.
It was on October 16 in 2018, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao made to promise to extend old-age pension to all those who completed 57 years of age as part of Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS) manifesto for the 2018 Assembly elections, seeking the mandate for the second time. A GO was issued on August 13 last year relaxing the minimum age limit for the old age pension and asked all those eligible to enrol their names in ‘mee seva’ centres.
The State government planned to roll out (extend) the scheme to newly eligible beneficiaries several times but it has materialised only now.
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