Telangana

Govt. actively working on reducing age limit for old age pensions: Errabelli

An estimated 6.6 lakh people are expected to benefit from the decision once it is implemented and officials concerned are actively working out the financial impact of the decision on the State ex-chequer.   | Photo Credit: Singam Venkataramana

The State Government is actively working on reducing the age limit for availing of old age pensions from 65 to 57.

Survey has been ordered for ascertaining the number of new beneficiaries in this regard. While reports from major part of the State have already been obtained and the government is waiting for information pertaining to certain municipal corporations and municipalities, Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao told the Legislative Assembly.

Replying to queries during the Question Hour on Thursday, he said the survey work for ascertaining the number of beneficiaries had been hampered because of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. The process was expected to be completed once the intensity of the virus came down.

The decision to reduce the age limit for old age pension follows an assurance given by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao ahead of the previous assembly elections. An estimated 6.6 lakh people are expected to benefit from the decision once it is implemented and officials concerned are actively working out the financial impact of the decision on the State ex-chequer.

As of now, 38.32 lakh beneficiaries were availing of the social security pensions under the Aasara scheme and the government had spent ₹31,902.91 crore on the scheme since its launch in the financial year 2014-15. The Government had made budgetary allocation of ₹11,725 crore for the Aasara social security pensions during the current year, amounting to an expenditure of around ₹977 crore a month and so far, ₹3,952 crore had been released for the scheme.

The magnitude of the scheme taken up by the government after formation of Telangana could be seen from the fact that allocation for social security pensions in Telangana region in the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh was to the tune of ₹800 crore while the same had been enhanced to ₹11,725 crore at present.

Asked about the claims of the BJP leaders that the Central Government was bearing major chunk of the expenditure, the Minister said the Centre’s contribution for the scheme was a meagre ₹210 crore, just 1.8% of the total expenditure incurred by the State Government. To another query, he said Telangana was the only State releasing funds to local bodies on par with the grants announced by the XV Finance Commission.

While the Finance Panel announced release of ₹154 crore a month, the State was contributing an equal amount as its share, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 2:26:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/govt-actively-working-on-reducing-age-limit-for-old-age-pensions-errabelli/article32571264.ece

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