The Committee on Estimates headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi also spoke of "deploring lack of initiative" by the Ministry to take up an issue with the Ministry of Social Justice and Environment so that dwarfs can be provided pension under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme(IGNDPS).
    
The panel expressed "deep concern" that despite its earlier recommendation to implement expeditiously the report of task force headed by Mihir Shah that went into shortcomings of National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), it is still under examination.
    
"The Committee are dismayed to note the cavalier manner in which the serious problems of the very old, the differently-abled and the widows are pending for consideration and decision for so long," the panel said pointing out that this is happening even as the Committee headed by Shah submitted its report in March 2013 itself.
    
The Estimates Committee had earlier observed that the NSAP suffers from a number of shortcomings in relation to eligibility criteria, identification of beneficiaries, quantum of assistance, grievance redressal and others.
    
It had also said that since the task force appointed by the ministry had already submitted its report in March 2013, recommendations made by it should be implemented expeditiously.
    
In their Action Taken Report, the government replied that the task force examined the issues and submitted its report recommending the scope and coverage  of the quantum of pension and indexing the rate of pension to inflation using criteria adopted for Dearness Allowances of central government employees.
    
It recommended that the quantum of pension to the widows under Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) be enhanced.
    
The Estimates Committee had also desired enlarging the scope of IGNWPS and including categories lie single, abandoned and divorcee women. This was also examined by the task force.
     
Government said that the recommendations of the Task Force were examined in detail by Ministry of Rural Development. It added that further action has been initiated to take the approval of the competent authority through the mechanism of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) headed by Secretary.

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