Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Panel flags Centre’s meagre pensions:
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development submitted its report to the Lok Sabha recently.
Highlights of the report:
- The report suggests the Centre to increase the “meagre” pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people.
- Assistance under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) has been very low ranging from ₹200 to ₹500 per month under the different components of this Scheme.
- It also highlighted disparities in the payment of wages and unemployment allowances under the flagship MGNREGA scheme.
About National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):
The NSAP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. It came into effect from 15th August,1995.
It represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the DPSP in Article 41 of the Constitution (It directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development).
It aims to provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
Coverage: It currently covers more than three crore people who are below the poverty line (BPL), including about 80 lakh widows, 10 lakh disabled and 2.2 crore elderly.
Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, namely:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS).
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS).
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS).
- National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS).
- About Annapurna Scheme.
- About NSAP.
- NSAP- eligibility.
- Articles 41 and 42 of the Constitution.
Write a note on NSAP.
Sources: the Hindu.