When the State government takes up the launch of 10 lakh social security pensions to coincide with Independence Day on Monday, it is possible that all of them might not be distributed in one go. For, the survey of new applicants as per revised minimum age from 65 to 57 years had not been completed.
About 7.98 lakh people in the age group of 57 to 65 years had applied for pensions in the three-month window provided for applications last year. But, the survey to identify the eligible among them was not taken up.
There were about 10.90 lakh applications pending prior to 2018 when the TRS government announced the reduction in age from 65 to 57 years as its election promise. Of them, about 2.92 lakh people were found to be eligible for sanction of pensions after a survey.
The implementation of reduction in age took a formal shape at the Cabinet meeting last week though the applications were received last year. Initially, the distribution of new pensions will be limited to 2.92 lakh beneficiaries found eligible. The district and mandal-level officials were said to have been asked orally to complete the process for this category of people from August 15. No written instructions were issued to them.
It was also not clear whether all the 2.92 lakh people will be issued pensions at the same time or in tranches. This was because all the 10.90 lakh applications were not received in one tranche before 2018.
Going by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s assurance that the government will release 10 lakh pensions on August 15, even the 7.98 lakh applications for new pensions should be conceded. However, this was not possible immediately as the survey was not completed, sources said. They added that the delay in sanction of pensions to new applicants might not be much because the government was firm that money was deposited in the bank accounts of all the 10 lakh pensioners in August itself.