The monthly cash relief being given under the social security schemes brought about a sense of dignity for the beneficiaries and officials should sanction the relief to more number of eligible persons, said P. Chidambaram Union Minister of Home.
Speaking after distributing orders sanctioning old age pension, marriage assistance, pension for widows and persons with disability at a function held in Tirumayam near here on Saturday, Mr. Chidambaram said the monthly pension of Rs.500 was a meagre sum. But, the disbursement of the sum to the targeted masses indicated the government's concern for them and it would bring a ray of confidence and hope to the beneficiaries. The monthly assistance given for widows would enhance their dignity to a great extent.
He said government officials should desist from imposing unnecessary norms while sanctioning the old age pension. For instance, all eligible elderly persons in a family were eligible for the OAP. But, a few officials restricted the benefit to one member of a family.
He said it was the Congress-led Government at the Centre attached priority for the pension and assistance under the social security schemes. “Prior to 2004, the rulers did not understand the importance of the social security for the needy,” he said.
Mr. Chidambaram, who is also the chairman of the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, said a total of 1,656 beneficiaries got assistance worth Rs.1.07 crore on the occasion.
He advised officials not to be complacent as a lot more persons were awaiting social security.
A. Suganthi, Collector, said 54 women got Rs.2.70 lakh while 49 men got Rs.1.47 lakh under the marriage assistance scheme for the agricultural labourers' social security scheme today.
Periyannan Arasu, member of the Non-Conventional Energy Advisory Committee, Rama Subburam and Sundaram, both Congress MLAs; V. Pushparaj, District Congress Committee president were among those who were present.