Hyderabad: Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao on Thursday rubbished the claims of the BJP leaders that the Aasara pensions in the State were being funded by the Centre. He clarified that the Centre’s share was only 1.8 per cent of the total expenditure, while the remaining 98.2 per cent amounting to Rs 11,725 crore were allocated by the State for 2020-21.
“While the State government is spending Rs 977 crore per month towards Aasara pensions, the Centre’s contribution is only Rs 210 crore for the entire financial year,” he said. He pointed out that of Aasara pension amount of Rs 2,016 being provided to senior citizens, the Centre’s contribution was only Rs 200 upto 79 years and Rs 800 for those aged 80 years and above.
Explaining about the implementation of Aasara social security pensions in the State during the Question Hour in the Assembly, the Minister said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had allocated huge funds to ensure that senior citizens and other beneficiaries of Aasara pensions lead a dignified life in the society. He said about 38.32 lakh persons were benefiting from the scheme by the end of August this year. The Centre was contributing to the pensions of only 6.66 lakh eligible beneficiaries.
Dayakar Rao said the scheme was applicable to only the senior citizens, widowed women and differently abled persons in the past. But the Telangana government had extended the scheme to weavers, toddy tappers and beedi workers apart from single women, HIV and Malayria patients. He stated that extending the scheme to dwarf persons was also under consideration. He also clarified that Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao will shortly take a decision on the proposal to reduce the age limit for senior citizens pension from 65 to 57 years.
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