Over 29,800 more beneficiaries under new pension scheme

Special Correspondent

Higher Education Minister K.Ponmudi launches the scheme at Villupuram

CUDDALORE: To commemorate the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme was launched in Cuddalore district on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo said the existing national old age pension scheme had now been renamed. Under the new scheme, the eligibility criteria had been relaxed and hence, 29,806 more beneficiaries would be brought under its purview.

There were already 13,683 beneficiaries in the district and with the introduction of the new scheme their numbers would rose to 43,489. The new scheme stipulates that those who have completed 65 years and domiciled in villages and living below the poverty line (BPL) would be eligible to get pension.

In the earlier scheme even poor people were not eligible to get pension if they had male children above 18 years, regardless of whether the latter supported them or not. However, in the revised scheme all those categorised under the BPL were entitled to get the benefit, irrespective of the status of their children, the Collector said.

The additional beneficiaries under the new scheme are as follows (with the number of existing beneficiaries within parenthesis): Cuddalore – 6,707 (3,450), Panruti – 8,117 (1,749), Chidambaram – 3,011 (2,781), Kattumannarkoil – 3,451 (2,547), Vriddhachalam – 6,603 (1,798) and Thittakudi – 1,917 (1,358).

4 kg of rice a month

Higher Education Minister K.Ponmudi launched the new pension scheme at Villupuram. He said 21,042 persons had already benefited by the old scheme, and under the new scheme 26,269 more persons had been included.

To start with the benefit was extended to 369 elderly persons on Monday. Besides monetary assistance of Rs 400 a month, they would also be supplied four kg of rice a month, he said. District Collector, Brajendra Navnit, also spoke.

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