Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa on Thursday said that the state government was committed for the welfare of old and needy persons. To that effect, several welfare schemes have been initiated by the government.
At a district-level function organised at Guru Nanak Bhawan, Dhindsa distributed the increased old age pension.
While addressing the gathering, Dhindsa said, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government had doubled the pension amount for old age persons from January onwards. Now onwards, they would get `500 per month. Earlier it was Rs 250 per month.
With this enhancement, more than 11.56 lakh people will be benefitted in the state. The main aim of this pension is providing social security to such persons, added Dhindsa.
The minister further said it was the duty of the Punjab government to give pension to needy persons and that was why several welfare schemes have been launched in the state. He said that not only the pension amount has been doubled, but now the village panchayat’s have been authorised to distribute this pension, which would benefit the beneficiaries to a large extent.
Now the application for seeking pension has been brought under the Right to Service Act so that the entire process is completed within the stipulated timeframe. He informed the gathering that since the year 2007, funds amounting to Rs 4,676 crore have been distributed amongst 17.29 lakh beneficiaries under various welfare schemes.
From 2012 to December 2015, funds amounting to Rs 156.32 crore have been distributed among lakhs of beneficiaries in the state. The pension amount till December 2015 has already been deposited in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries and the pension amount of January 2016 will be distributed to the beneficiaries by sarpanches.
The function was also addressed by MLAs Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Darshan Singh Shivalik. Former minister and district planning board chairman Hira Singh Gabria, Punjab planning board vice-chairman, Rajinder Bhandari, mayor, Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and BJP district president Parveen Bansal were also present.