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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM (IST)

1.5 lakh to be added under pension scheme

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20

The Punjab Government is set to widen the scope of social security pension scheme by increasing the income limit criterion for different categories. With this, about 1.5 lakh beneficiaries will be added to the existing 19 lakh beneficiaries.

The Department of Social Security has forwarded a case to the Chief Minister’s Office in this connection.

“The government is pressed to clear the dues of more than two-thirds of the old-age pension beneficiaries pending since the Assembly elections. The move to include more beneficiaries will put an additional burden on the state exchequer,” a senior government functionary said.

As present, the monthly income criterion for the old-age pension is Rs 2,000. The proposal is to increase the limit to Rs 5,000. As for pension to widows or destitute women, the income criterion is less than Rs 1,000 per month.

The SAD-BJP government had last year increased the pension for the elderly, widows, destitute women, handicapped and dependent children from Rs 250 to Rs 500.

“The Congress had promised to increase the pension to Rs 1,000 per month in the first phase and disability pension to Rs 2,500. But the fiscal situation of the state does not allow the government to bear the extra financial burden,” an official said.

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