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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar launches universal old age pension scheme for 36 lakh beneficiaries

Initiating direct benefit transfer (DBT) for a respective monthly entitlement of Rs 400 for people in the age group of 60-79 years and Rs 500 for those 80 years and above, chief minister said that the idea was to bring all elderly under a social security plan.

patna Updated: Jun 15, 2019 09:04 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
universal old age pension scheme,—Mukhyamantri Vridhajan Pension Yojna
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launching 'Mukhya mantri Vridha Pension Yojna" in Patna Bihar India on Friday (HT)

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday kicked off a universal old age pension scheme—Mukhyamantri Vridhajan Pension Yojna (MVPY)—that aims to cover an estimated 36 lakh senior citizens who were still not privy to any salary, pension or family pension.

Initiating direct benefit transfer (DBT) for a respective monthly entitlement of Rs 400 for people in the age group of 60-79 years and Rs 500 for those 80 years and above, chief minister said that the idea was to bring all elderly under a social security plan that would help in refurbishing the honour and dignity of aged people in their families and also assist them in meeting some of their personal requirement.

The government had announced the scheme in February in state assemblyand later the state cabinet had sanctioned a sum of Rs 384 crore from Bihar Contingency Fund for the payment of the universal old age pension scheme for financial year 2019-20.

He said that since the announcement of the scheme, the government had received2 lakh applications out of which 1,35,928 were found to be fit following verification by concerned authorities and the benefit was being transferredinto their bank accounts.

The state government is likely to incur an additional annual revenue expenditure of Rs 1,800 crore.

Directing social welfare department officials to ensure extensive propagation of the scheme, he said “we want to reach and cover all eligible persons. For this to happen, maximum number of people must be encouragedto file applications. From now on, online applications will also be accepted.”

Till now, only BPL persons above 60 years were covered under the prevalent old age pension scheme.

Kumar said that the state had formulated a legislation in 2007 for ensuring that senior citizens and parents were treated with honourand respect. “It was felt that some people suffered with the mentality of neglecting their parents and elderly. This cannot be condoned and, hence, the state formulated a law that ensured legal redressin such cases.”

Any aggrievedelderly person can approach the sub divisional magistrate, who will take a call after hearing both parties and his decision will be binding. But in event of continued neglect, parents can file an appeal with the district magistrate who is duty bound to dispose the matter in 30 days. Failure to comply will lead to punishment. “Our legislation, in this regard, is being appreciated by other states, which are seeking details from us,” he said.

First Published: Jun 15, 2019 09:04 IST