Saturday, 23 March 2013

At Rs.10,359 crore, aam aadmi gets the lion’s share

Delhi’s Aam Aadmi is the centre of the budget proposals of chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who is seeking to win a landmark fourth consecutive term in the assembly elections scheduled for later this year.

A series of sops were announced for widows, persons with disabilities, transgenders and labourers in the unorganised sector. The social sector got the lion’s share of the budget.

Of the total plan outlay of Rs.16,000, a whopping Rs.10,359 has been earmarked for the social sector, making up for the 65% of the plan outlay.

Dikshit announced the extension of the deadline to enrol for the Annashree Yojana till July 31, noting that a number of eligible people had been left out.

The Delhi government had announced the cash-for-food programme last year under which Rs.600 is transferred directly to the bank account of the seniormost female member.

Only 31,617 beneficiaries have been covered till mid-March while the government was hoping to add at least 80,000.

Those who enrol now will start getting the benefit from April. The government has decided to include widows in the eligibility list of ‘Annashree’, who are not covered by government’s baseline survey so far.

“They will also get benefits from April itself, and this money would be in addition to the pension that they are otherwise drawing from the government. They would be eligible for enroling at any time,” said Dikshit.

In its bid to appease the informal and the unorganised sector workers — which constitutes a huge vote-bank — a new pension scheme is being launched for them by the Delhi government.

To be named Dilli Swavalamban Yojana (DSY), this will be a co-contributory pension scheme, in collaboration with the ‘Swavalamban’ scheme of the Union government.

“My government will make a contribution of Rs.1,000 per annum along with an equal sum by the Centre and a contribution not exceeding Rs.12,000 from the subscriber,” said Dikshit.

The labour department has been asked to finalise the scheme which will be linked with Aadhaar. Dikshit announced a monthly pension of Rs.1,500 per month to persons with disabilities and women in distress once they attain the age of 60 years, as against the earlier Rs.1,000.

A residential school for the SC/ST/OBC and students belonging to the minorities will also be constructed.


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