National Pension Schemes will be linked to Aadhar, says Jairam
The Rural Development Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh today said that National Social Assisstance Programme, NSAP will be completely restructured and all payments under the scheme will be done through Aadhar-based payment system. Talking to a select group of media persons here, he said, the restructured system will be in place by 10th of March this year and it will ensure that each beneficiary under old age, disabilities and widow pension schemes will get one’s entitlement every month and there will be no delay in payments. He said, the Central government spends nearly 8,000 crore rupees under the NSAP scheme, but the devolvement of funds is being done in a complicated process in a layered manner, which he said will be rectified and only one State Agency will be identified for receipt of funds for final disbursement to pass book holders through Aadhar-based system. The Minister informed that he had already written to the Finance Ministry for relaxation of certain norms like reducing the criteria for disability to 40% from the existing 80%, which leads to exclusion of a very large number of disabled persons in rural areas. Moreover, they also face problem in getting a medical certificate verifying 80% criteria. Shri Ramesh said, presently the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme gives assistance of Rs-200 per month to BPL widows over the age of 40, which can be modified to cover widows over the age of 18. There is also a demand to enhance the amount under National Family Benefit Scheme from Rs-10,000 to Rs-20,000, which is paid to a BPL family whose main bread-winner dies, besides inclusion of children/youth in the 5 to 20 age group to get the disability pension benefit, which is now restricted to those over the age of 20.