VIJAYAWADA: As a Sankranti gift to people, the State government has doubled the pension amount under the NTR Bharosa Scheme. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who increased the pension amount to Rs 1,000 from Rs 200 in 2014, on Friday announced that the enhanced pensions would be paid to beneficiaries of the NTR Bharosa Scheme from January itself. As many as 54.14 lakh people in the State will get benefited from the decision.
Ahead of elections, the Chief Minister instead of promising to double the social security benefit decided to implement it with effect from January under the NTR Bharosa Scheme despite the financial crunch. In fact, YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy promised to increase the old-age pension to Rs 2,000 if his party was voted to power.
The Chief Minister announced the enhancement of pension amount at the Janmabhoomi Maa Vooru programme at Bogole in Nellore district. The hiked pension arrears of Rs 1,000 in January, will be paid to the beneficiaries along with February pension of Rs 2,000.
“When my party came to power in June 2014, I increased pensions for the aged, widows and others from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 per month. Today, I am doubling the pension amount for the welfare of people,” the TDP chief said.
“I am doing all these for your welfare. I do not want to see the tears of agony in your eyes anymore. I will strive more to create additional wealth for you and your well-being,” he said. As many as 54 lakh people have been benefiting from the NTR Bharosa Scheme since October 2014. Of the total, 22,80,457 are new beneficiaries. The government spent Rs 24,618.39 crore on the implementation of the social security scheme in the last four years.
It also ensured prompt payment of pension to the beneficiaries and a biometric system is being used to avoid any irregularities in implementation of the scheme. During the current phase of the Janmabhoomi programme, the pension is being sanctioned for 3.5 lakh new beneficiaries. The pension for the differently-abled with 80 per cent disability/transgenders was also doubled from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per month.
The further hike in pension will put Andhra Pradesh on top in the country in the implementation of the social security scheme as it is spending a whopping Rs 14,000 crore for its implementation per annum. The Chief Minister also launched the Raksha scheme to provide sanitary napkins to girl students studying in classes 8, 9 and 10. Sanitary napkins will be provided to women at subsidised prices through fair price shops, he said. Naidu inaugurated a high-level bridge on Chippaleru canal, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 25 crore. He also laid the foundation stone for Nellore International Airport at Dagadarthi.