New Delhi: Old age pension holders are likely to get double bonanza in New Year as the government is mulling to increase the amount of pension money which will be transferred to their accounts through Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme. The plan is afoot to increase the pension amount at par with the average annual inflation rate.

According to the sources, the Committee on Planning Commission formed to review different pension schemes has almost completed its report. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram will make an announcement in the coming Budget session regarding the hike in pension money based on the recommendations made by the committee.

At present, there are two pension plans in the name of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The plan, which came into effect in 2007, has provision for Rs 300 per month for senior citizens under Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.

The then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had launched the scheme of providing Rs 200 to the widows of age group 40-64 years in the interim budget 2009-10. Mukherjee had also launched a pension scheme for differently abled people.

Recently, the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has termed the old age pension plan as a joke which forced Planning Commission to form a committee to review the amount of pension money. The biggest hurdle of these schemes is the distribution of money. Many people complain of not getting the money on time.

It is being considered that after the launch of DBT, the money will reach to the beneficiaries on time.

Jaiprakash Ranjan/JPN

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