The Telangana government has so far identified 24.21 lakh eligible persons for grant of social security pension under the newly-launched Aasara Pension Scheme on which a sum of Rs 3,350 crore will be spent every year, according to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly on the scheme, the Chief Minister said the government, as part of its welfare measures and social safety net strategy, introduced Aasara (meaning support) to ensure a secure life with dignity for all the poor.
Aasara is meant to protect the most vulnerable sections of society, in particular the old and infirm, people with HIV-AIDS, widows, incapacitated weavers and toddy tappers, in order to support their day-to-day minimum needs to lead a life of dignity and social security, the Chief Minister said.
With a view to combat the ever-increasing cost of living and inflation, the government has enhanced the monthly pension from Rs 200 to Rs 1000 for old-age persons, widows, weavers, toddy tappers and HIV-AIDS patients.
It is increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1500 for disabled persons, Chandrasekhar Rao added.
The pension amount being given to different categories of pensioners was the highest in Telangana state as compared to other states in the country, he pointed out.
The state government would spend Rs 3,350 crore per year for payment of pensions under the Aasara scheme whereas the previous government spent only Rs 881.23 crore.
This is 380 per cent increase over the past, he added.
The Chief Minister said 39.63 lakh applications were received for sanction of pensions in all the 10 districts of the state.
Government officers have taken up thorough verification of eligible persons for sanction of Aasara pensions under different categories. The process of verification and sanction of fresh pensions is still in progress, KCR said.
The Chief Minister also announced that a detailed discussion on the subject would be taken up in the Assembly tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, the House was adjourned for 10 minutes after Congress legislators came into the Well, demanding a discussion on the distribution of pensions through an adjournment motion.
The Chief Minister made the statement after the House re-assembled.