BANGALORE: Bowing to pressure from the BJP legislators and social groups, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has decided to remove the ceiling on accepting fresh applications for various categories under Social Security Pensions (SSP), including Old-age and Sandhya Suraksha Pension Schemes.
According to official sources, the CM after a meeting with high-level officials of Revenue and Social Welfare Departments took the decision. Speaking to Express, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Ashok Kumar C Manoli confirmed the government’s decision to remove the cap.
Earlier, the government had fixed the ceiling on disbursement to SSP schemes based on population to avoid inflation and burden on state exchequer. Earlier the number of fresh applications to be received from the 30 districts covering the four SSP categories was restricted to 1.01 lakh. The state has spent over Rs 2,302 crore during 2011-12 on SSP for over 41 lakh beneficiaries.
Revenue Department officials said 10 lakh ineligible and bogus beneficiaries under old-age, destitute women, Sandhya Suraksha and specially-abled people categories were deleted since February 2011.“An average of `175 crore is being spent by the government every month towards the disbursal of the SSP,” sources said.
The sources informed the number of ineligible and bogus names were removed from the SSP lists included 1.23 lakh (OAP), 1.91 lakh (SSP), 1.15 lakh (DWP) and 8,5000 from the list of the specially-abled beneficiaries. In April, 6.89 lakh beneficiaries remained as old-age pensioners, 12.22 lakh as Sandhya Suraksha pensioners, 10.53 lakh destitute women pensioners and 6.05 lakh specially-abled pensioners. The Sandhya Suraksha Scheme was launched to support people in the age group of 60-80 years. The ones deserted by their wards will be totally taken care by the government. These beneficiaries will get Rs 500 every month.
The government disbursed about Rs 760 crore during 2011-12 for the SSP, which is totally a state scheme, the sources said.