New Delhi: An additional 72.32 lakh
persons in the age group of 60-64 years and living below the poverty line will get pension benefits with the Government today lowering the age limit to 60.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh also decided to increase the rate of pension to persons
of 80 years and above from Rs 200 to Rs 500.
The revised norms would be applicable with effect from
April 1 this year and total additional requirement will be
Rs 2,770 crore for implementing the Indira Gandhi National Old
Age Pension Scheme-- part of the National Social Assistance
Programme of the Central government.
"It is estimated that lowering of the age limit would
benefit about an additional 72.32 lakh persons in the age
group of 60-64 years and living below the poverty line. It is
estimated that 26.49 lakh persons above the age of 80 years
and living below the poverty line, would become eligible to
receive enhanced Central assistance at Rs. 500 per month," the
Government said in a statement.
At present 169 lakh persons above the age of 65 years
and living below poverty line are receiving Central assistance
under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.
"The additional funds required will be Rs 1,736 crore
for providing old age pension at Rs 200 per month per
beneficiary in the age group of 60-64 years and Rs 953 crore
for providing enhanced pension at Rs 500 per month per
beneficiary of age 80 years and above," the Government said.
"Thus the total additional requirement will be Rs
2,770 crore including 3 per cent administrative expenses," it
As a result of change in the eligibility criteria for
receiving old age pension, eligibility criteria for widow
pension under IGNWPS and disability pension under IGNDPS will
get revised from 40-64 years to 40-59 years and from 18-64
years to 18-59 years respectively, the statement said.
It has been a long-pending demand to lower the age of
old age pension beneficiaries to 60.