The Akhilesh Yadav government will soon announce a monthly pension for nearly 7 lakh farmers with marginal land holdings and above 65 years of age. The scheme will be different from the existing old-age pension scheme and is expected to cost nearly Rs 250 crore.
In its election manifesto,the Samajwadi Party had promised to provide pension to farmers with marginal land holdings and above 65 years of age. A proposal will be soon be sent to the cabinet for approval,it was learnt.
The Social Welfare Department has been entrusted with the task of implementing the scheme. Farmers with land holding less than 3.5 acres will be eligible for pension of Rs 300 a month. Initial estimates put the number of beneficiaries at around 7 lakh.
A survey to draw up the list of beneficiaries in every district will be done by the Revenue Department, an official said. Local revenue employees in every district will help the farmers to open bank accounts. The scheme will be exclusively for farmers who have agricultural land in their names.
This pension scheme will be different from the existing centrally-sponsored Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme. In the existing scheme,there is a condition that the beneficiarys name should be in the BPL list prepared in 2002. No such condition will be applicable in the state governments scheme.
In the existing pension scheme,there are two categories - persons between 60-79 years of age are given Rs 300 a month which includes the Centres share of Rs 200 and states share of Rs 100. Last year 37 lakh people were provided pension in this category.
For persons aged 80 years and above,the pension amount is Rs 500,which is totally provided by the central government. Last year 1.42 lakh people were provided pension in this category.
In the states scheme,there will be only one category of 65 years and above. However,it will be ensured that the beneficiary is given pension from only one scheme.