wider coverage of social pensions in India

The government of India is moving toward universal age pensions, by extending coverage of social pensions to all who are not specifically excluded through pre-determined criteria, but much remains to be done. And the pension is tiny, even by the standards of India.

The Government is all set to take its first step towards universalisation of pension for aged, widows and disabled as it would remove the distinction of BPL [below poverty line] and APL [above poverty line] for selection of beneficiaries in the 12th Five Year Plan.

The proposal which has huge financial implications has been pushed by activists Aruna Roy and Baba Adhav alongwith many grassroot organisations.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today said that pensions would now be given on the basis of some exclusion critieria in the Socio Economic Census that is going on. ….

It may include now people who may be having single storeyed concrete houses, or a vehicle and so on. The schemes under the Rural Development Ministry now provide a pension of just Rs 200 [US$3.63] a month while the states complement this with more funds.

Sreelatha Menon, “Govt takes first step to universal pension“, Business Standard, 18 October 2012.

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