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Pensioners In Andhra Pradesh And West Bengal Have Something To Celebrate In New Year, Guess Why?

State governments rain goodies on senior citizens ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year.

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Outlook Money
December 21, 2023
enhanced pensions

enhanced pensions

For senior citizens in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, New Year gifts came in the form of enhanced pension and an opportunity to be part of the government’s pension umbrella. Nothing could have been more befitting than seeing the wheel of fortune turn in their favor.

As inflation continues to bite a large section of the population, especially senior citizens, leaving them uncertain of their financial future, the latest announcements have come as a relief.

The Andhra Pradesh government has hiked the monthly pensions from Rs.2,750 to Rs. 3,000 following cabinet approval of the proposal last Friday.

Besides the enhanced pension, it has also announced to provide financial assistance to women aged between 45 and 60 and tap drinking water connection to each household.

The decisions also include a higher free treatment limit under the Arogyasri scheme to Rs. 25 lahks, covering 90 percent of the families, and issuing new Arogyasri cards. People undergoing treatment through the Arogyasri scheme will also get Rs. 300 towards transportation charges.

In West Bengal, Trinamul Congress (TMC) national general secretary and Diamond Harbour Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee last week announced that around 70,000 people under his constituency will receive old-age pensions from the state government. Following the announcement, more eligible people have registered for the government social security benefits.

The state government has set up 203 camps for the registration. Given the huge positive response from the public, the number of beneficiaries is expected to increase from the initial estimates. The camps or the kiosks were instructed to ensure more people were enrolled in the old-age pension scheme. The beneficiaries are expected to receive pensions from 1 January 2024, in phases.

Also Read: What Are The Different Types Of Pension Plans Available In India?

Welfare Politics

The announcements come as the country gears up for next year’s Lok Sabha elections. Political parties from across the spectrum often announce welfare schemes and “freebies” during election time to lure voters. In the recent polls in Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, BJP, Congress, and regional satraps have pitted their flagship programs against each other to appeal to voters to vote for them.

Social schemes, like the old-age pension or the Arogyasri scheme, are critical for political parties as these policies can make or break their fortunes in an election.

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