Bihar first state to launch universal old-age pension scheme -Madan Kumar
-The Times of India
PATNA: Bihar on Friday became the first state to launch a universal old-age pension scheme in which each person at the age of 60 years and above, irrespective of their financial, family or caste status, will get a sum of Rs 400 per month directly in his/her bank account.
In other states, old-age pensions are provided only to the members of either BPL family or SC/ST or widows or disabled persons. But in Bihar, each male and female above 60 years, if they are not getting any other pension either from the state or the central government, will be entitled to get old-age pension under the new scheme christened as “Mukhyamantri Vridhjan Pension Yojna.”
Each male and female at the age of 80 years and above will get pension of Rs 500 per month directly in his/her bank account under Bihar government’s new scheme.
“No other state in the country has such ‘unique scheme’ where all old-age people, irrespective of their financial, social and caste status, can get pension. This unique scheme has been launched only in Bihar,” state’s chief secretary Deepak Kumar said.
Launching the unique old-age pension scheme at a social welfare department’s event here, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said it would cover around 35 to 36 lakh persons of 60 years and above who were still not covered under any other pension schemes of the state and central governments in Bihar.
“Around 63 lakh people in Bihar, mainly hailing from the BPL families, widows and differently-abled persons, are already getting old-age pension under different schemes of the state and central government,” KK Sinha, an official of social welfare department told TOI.
Addressing the launch event, Nitish said the state government would make an additional expenditure of Rs 1,800 crore per annum on this scheme. He said the new scheme has been made effective from April 1 this year.
“So far, around 2 lakh applications were received for seeking pension under the new scheme. After verification, a total of 1,35,928 applicants were found eligible. Pension amount of two months (April and May, 2019) were sent in the bank accounts of all 1,35,928 beneficiaries today,” Nitish said.
CM said the idea of this unique scheme came from the demands of villagers. “When I used to visit villages, several old people used to come and say he or she was not getting old-age pension because his/her name was not in the list of BPL families. But by their appearance, those people seem to be really needy for old-age pension,” Nitish said.
Chief secretary said, as per the CM’s instruction, the new scheme was earlier planned to be launched in August. “But, we made hectic preparations and launched it today, two months prior to the original schedule,” he said, adding application under the new scheme was being received online only.
Nitish thanked the officials for getting the scheme ready two months before its scheduled launching. State’s social welfare minister Ram Sewak Singh and development commissioner Subhash Sharma were also present on the occasion.
The Times of India, 14 June, 2019, please click here to access
The Times of India, 14 June, 2019, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/bihar-first-state-to-launch-universal-old-age-pension-scheme/articleshow/69791720.cms?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_