Amaravati, Feb 1 (IANS) Creating a record of sorts, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday distributed social security pension to over 54 lakh beneficiaries at their doorstep.
Village and ward volunteers fanned out across the state distributing Rs 1,320.14 crore among about 54.64 lakh beneficiaries under various categories in a single day under YSR Pension Kanuka programme.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government termed this as dawn of a golden era. The initiative was launched as part of decentralisation of administration.
This marked implementation of another scheme under ‘Navaratnalu’ promised in the party’s election manifesto.
Officials claimed that Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to take up such an initiative.
While the government has earmarked Rs 15,675.20 crore for the current year towards the programme, Rs 1,320.14 crore for the month of February was paid on Saturday.
“Instead of the beneficiaries going to the pension disbursement offices, the volunteers visited the beneficiaries at their doorstep and completed the formalities,” Gopala Krishna Dwivedi, Principal Secretary, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, said.
This saved old, sick and disabled beneficiaries from the trouble of visiting pension disbursement offices.
The volunteers working for ward and village secretariats were equipped with smart phones with biometric information of the beneficiaries to deliver the pension at their doorsteps without any hassle. The amount was transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
After coming to power in May last year, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had increased the pension amount for various categories of beneficiaries and it also set up ward and village secretariats to ensure that the benefits of various government reach the beneficiaries at their doorsteps in urban and rural areas.
The government is now paying a monthly pension of Rs 2,250 to the elderly, widows, weavers, toddy tappers, fishermen, single women and traditional cobblers and others, Rs 3,000 for disabled and Rs 5,000 to Rs.10,000 for CKDU/Dialysis patients.
Senior officials also took part the initiative. Krishna District Collector M. Imtiaz visited a house of mentally challenged girl and gave the pension to her.
Dwivedi, who himself participated in the pension disbursement in Jupudi village in Krishna district, said that almost 4 lakh volunteers participated in the programme and within 5-6 hours, as many as 54.64 lakh beneficiaries received the pension amount.