CUTTACK : The Orissa High Court has directed the state government to consider the issue of enhancement of the monthly pension for persons with disabilities in Odisha.
While disposing of a PIL, the division bench of Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman observed that considering the present price index, the disability pension which is now being provided to them is very paltry and it is very difficult on their part to manage themselves with the said amount.
“Thereby, this court observes that the state government should reconsider the said issue and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law within a period of three months from the date of communication of this order,” the bench directed on January 30.
The PIL filed by Orissa Association for the Blind through advocate Mrinalini Padhi sought enhancement in the monthly disability pension.
The court issued the direction taking on record the counter affidavit in which the state government stated that 5,02,516 eligible persons with disabilities are covered under various social security pension schemes in Odisha.
The disability pension ranges between Rs 500 and Rs 900 per month under state-sponsored scheme Madhu Babu Pension Yojna (MBPY) as per their eligibility. Apart from that, top up on the amount of pension sanctioned under Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDP) by government of India in respect of 90,283 beneficiaries are paid by the atate Government at Rs 400 per beneficiary.
The issue of enhancement of disability pension amount was referred to Finance department, but it regretted to give concurrence as it would result in huge financial burden on state exchequer, the government further stated in the affidavit.
Under MBPY, the current rate of pension is Rs 500 per month per beneficiary up to the age of 79 years and Rs 700 per month for 80 years and above and Rs 900 for beneficiaries who are 80 years and have 60 per cent and above disability.