Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday announced a hike of Rs 200 per month in all social security pensions, including old-age samman allowance, widow pension, pension for persons with disabilities and dwarfs pension, with effect from January 1, 2015.
A sum of `200 would be hiked every year over the next five years. Thus, the total hike after five years would be Rs 1,000. The state government would have to annually bear a financial burden to the tune of `520 crore annually on account of the Rs 200 hike.
The previous Congress regime had increased amount of the social security pension to Rs 1,000, promising to increase it to `1,500 from November 1, 2014.
The BJP, in its election manifesto, had promised increasing the pensions to Rs 2,000 per month. A lot of discussion took place on Tuesday in the assembly on the issue with Congress MLAs pressing for implementation of the promised hike. However, keeping in mind the frail state of finances, the chief minister remained non-committal saying the BJP never set a deadline for the hike. However, he later assured the House that a decision on the hike would be taken after the new government presents white paper on the financial situation in the state.
The chief minister who was addressing a press conference after presiding over a cabinet meeting said all beneficiaries would get pension through bank accounts from February 2015. He said every household has a bank account as per central government policy and Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana. Distribution of pensions through bank accounts will eliminate irregularities, he said.
The CM said all departments have been directed to review the decisions taken by previous government after May 16, 2014, and submit a report on the same within 15 days so that further action could be taken on such decisions. There were 115 such decisions of 23 departments. He said some decisions were taken by departments itself on which ministers concerned would take further action after a proper review.
On a question as to what action would be taken on complaints on the Vadra-DLF land deal, he said all the questionable land deals would be examined and action would be taken according to law. “Action would soon be taken on such complaints after adopting a prescribed procedure,” he said.
When asked to comment on the Punjab and Haryana high court’s non-bailable warrants against Rampal of Satlok Ashram, Rohtak, Khattar said his government would act in accordance with the law.