About 50,000 new beneficiaries are likely to be added to the Delhi government’s pension schemes for senior citizens by the end of September, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Thursday.
The Social Welfare Department is in the process of adding new beneficiaries to its scheme, which has about four lakh beneficiaries currently. Applications received through the offices of MPs, MLAs and councillors, as well as direct applications to the department are being processed, said Mr. Gautam.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had earlier this year hiked the monthly pensions by Rs. 1,000 and also begun taking one lakh new applications. So far, Mr. Gautam said about 86,000 applications were received. However, a large number of these applications were incomplete, with the department still awaiting documents, he said. Of the 70 Assembly constituencies in Delhi, applications from 41 have been received. Mr. Gautam said that once the applications were completed, the department would start disbursing pensions, which are Rs. 2,000 per month for those 60 to 69 years old and Rs. 2,500 for those above 70 years.
“We have already completed the verification process for about 50,000 new beneficiaries, who will be added to the scheme by September 30. For the remaining applications, as soon as they complete their paperwork, they will be added,” he said, adding that the beneficiaries would get arrears from the time they first submitted their application forms.
In order to complete their applications, beneficiaries would have to upload or submit undertakings certifying their economic status and go through a verification process.
For 2017-2018, the Delhi government had proposed Rs. 1,595 crore for its social welfare pension schemes, including the one for senior citizens and the differently-abled.