NEW DELHI: The Centre will give three months' pension in advance to nearly three-crore widows, senior citizens and differently-abled in the first week of April amid the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Friday.
Under the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), a monthly pension is being given to the poor senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities. The program comes under the purview of the the Union Rural Development Ministry.
Officials said that there are 2.98-crore beneficiaries under this programme and the pensions are transferred directly to their bank accounts. The Centre has decided to give three months pension in advance to all the 2.98-crore beneficiaries by the first week of April, according to the officials.
As per the NSAP, Rs 200 per month is given to senior citizens from 60-79 years of age and Rs 500 per month to 80 years and above. An amount of Rs 300 per month is given to the widows in the age group of 40-79 years and Rs 500 to 80 years and above.
For the differently-abled, the pension is fixed at Rs 300 per month up to 79 years of age and Rs 500 for 80 years and above. Besides this pension, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Thursday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 1,000 over the next three months and it will be given in two instalments.
This is over and above the pension that has been given on a monthly basis.