“The government will spend Rs 3,350 crore every year on payment of pensions under the new scheme. This is 380 per cent increase over the previous years. In the past Rs 881.23 crore a year was spent by the erstwhile government”, the Chief Minister said.
In a statement in the Assembly, Chief Minister said in all the 10 districts, nearly 39,63,000 applications have been received for sanction of pensions and government officials have taken up verification of eligible persons for sanction of Aasara pensions.
The process of verification and sanction of fresh pensions is still in progress. So far 24,21,000 eligible beneficiaries have been identified for granting Aasara pensions. Rao asserted that his government’s aim was to extend this benefit to all the eligible people.
In view of increasing prices and cost of living, APS was conceived to provide security and help the aged and poor, he stated.
The government has also enhanced monthly pensions from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 for old persons, widows, weavers, toddy tappers and AIDS patients while for physically challenged persons it has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 a month.
Pension amounts given to different categories of beneficiaries would be the highest in Telangana when compared to other States. When the opposition parties demanded a detailed discussion on the pensions issue, Speaker S Madhusudan Chary said the issue would be taken up on Thursday.