Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, 4 November
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal said, ‘Our government has freed people from offices, applications and documents and has ensured that they get the benefits of the schemes sitting at home. In this direction, Family Identity Card has emerged as the most important document. In May 2022, the government linked the old age respect allowance with the family identity card and since then, the allowance of about 1 lakh 40 thousand old people has been started automatically.
At present, an amount of approximately Rs 506 crore 50 lakh is being provided every month to 18 lakh 52 thousand 85 elderly people in the state. The Chief Minister was directly communicating with the beneficiaries automatically receiving Old Age Samman Allowance through audio conferencing under the CM’s special discussion program here on Saturday. CM said that in order to provide the benefit of Old Age Samman Allowance to maximum number of elderly people, the state government has increased the income limit for it from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh annually.
In future too, if a person completes 60 years of age and the income of his/her spouse is up to Rs 3 lakh per annum, his/her old age honor allowance will start automatically. For this, only the consent of the eligible person will be taken. He said that in the year 2014, the beneficiaries used to get a monthly pension of Rs 1000. Our government has increased the amount of this honor allowance every year to Rs 2,750 per month and now from January 1, 2024, this amount has been increased to Rs 3,000.
He said that apart from old age pension, the government also provides pension benefits to widowed women, persons suffering from serious illness and disabled persons. Apart from these, now the government has also started giving monthly pension to widowers after 40 years of age and to unmarried men between 45 years to 60 years of age. Thus, a total of 30 lakh people in the state are being given the benefit of monthly pension. Thus, from January 2024, a large portion will be spent for pension facilities.
The process of honor allowance became easier
The Chief Minister said, when we formed the government in 2014, it was painful to see the scene where one had to visit offices to get old age honor allowance. Had to get it written from the Sarpanch, had to request the Patwari, Tehsildar or Social Welfare Department officials. Due to excessive human interference, this system was also biased and people who were ineligible for Old Age Respect Allowance were also successful in getting Old Age Respect Allowance and the eligible ones were deprived. We have understood the plight of the elderly and have ended the discriminatory system by using technology.
39 lakh BPL families in the state
CM said that earlier surveys were conducted to make BPL cards. Once the survey was conducted, there was no second survey for a long time and poor people kept waiting for the next survey to get their BPL card made. Now we have made dynamic income system. If the income of a family decreases then its BPL card will be created automatically. The work of making BPL ration cards was started on auto mode from December 25, 2022. Earlier those families were included in BPL, whose annual income was less than Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand. Income limit increased to Rs 1 lakh 80 thousand annually. Due to this, so far 20 lakh new families have come into BPL. CM said, apart from these 20 lakh families, we have automatically provided BPL cards to the earlier 19 lakh families i.e. a total of 39 lakh families sitting at home.
Prahari scheme started for lonely elderly people
CM said that a new scheme has been made for the elderly. In the budget of the financial year, it was announced to start the Sentinel Scheme for the elderly above 80 years of age. According to the data of Family Identity Card, there are 3 lakh 30 thousand elderly people above 80 years of age in the state. Of these, there are 3600 elderly people who are living alone. Under the Prahari scheme, government employees personally visit these elderly people once in two months to inquire about their well-being. If any elderly person needs medical help, protection of property or any other help, then they will be helped through the concerned government department.