AT LEAST 50 lakh people in Andhra Pradesh received their pensions at their homes on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Andhra Pradesh government’s initiative to deliver the money to beneficiaries at their doorstep.
Earlier, pensioners had to go to the village panchayat or nearest distribution centre and wait in queues to collect pension.
Under the new initiative, ‘Intivadhakey Pension’, village volunteers, armed with mobile phones connected to bio-metric devices and beneficiary data to verify fingerprints, deliver the cash at the house of each beneficiary. “The old, sick and physically challenged are saved from the ordeal of going to the pension disbursement offices every month. The village volunteers appointed by the government will visit each beneficiary’s house from now on the 1st of every month and hand over the pension after bio-metric verification,’’ said Panchayati Raj Minister Peddireddi Ramchandra Reddy.
After assuming power, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had increased old pension to Rs 2,250 from Rs 1,000. The state government has allocated Rs 15,675.20 crore for this year towards the pension programme.
Gopala Krishna Dwivedi, Principal Secretary of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, who went along with village volunteers to disburse pensions in Jupudi village in Krishna district, said, “Almost four lakh volunteers were on this initiative today and as many as 54.6 lakh beneficiaries get get their pensions. This is the first time that any state in the country has taken up such initiative.”
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