Old Age Pension Scheme is Good, but Implementation System Required to Fill Gaps: SC

Team SoOLEGAL 10 Oct 2018 1:30pm

Old Age Pension Scheme is Good, but Implementation System Required to Fill Gaps: SC

A two-judge SC bench on Tuesday said that the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), which deals with pensions for elderly and other issues, was a good scheme but there were huge gaps in its implementation which needs to be filled.

The SC bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, said that the Central Government should have a system to implement the scheme, to ascertain which officer is doing his work properly.

The bench also directed the Centre to file an affidavit within three weeks indicating actual constitution of bodies mentioned in NSAP which deals with monitoring and evaluation of the schemes.

The court’s observation came while hearing a PIL by former union minister and senior advocate Ashwani Kumar.

In his petition, Kumar had submitted that the Centre has said it was paying Rs 200 per month to the elderly as pension which was “not sufficient” as inflation was rising.

The petitioner has also demanded that adequate number of old age homes should be established in the country and direction be given to the Centre and state governments to maintain and operate such homes to enable the elderly live their life with dignity.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand representing the Centre told the court that NSAP comprises of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme and Annapurna scheme.

She further said that a budget of Rs 9975 crores has been allocated for NSAP in 2018-19, giving pension to three crore elderly persons registered under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.

At this point, Kumar said only seven states and Union territories were giving about Rs 2000 monthly pension to elderly persons, whose population is expected to increase by over 300 percent by 2050.

The amount of pension (paid to old age persons) should be at least Rs. 3,000 per month,” Kumar said. 

Tagged: Old Age Pension Scheme   National Social Assistance Programme   NSAP   PIL   Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar   Centre   Pensions for Elderly   Justice Madan B Lokur   Justice Deepak Gupta   Supreme Court  
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