The Government has accepted the recommendations of a ‘Task Force’, which favoured hiking the pension for ‘Persons with Disabilities’.
The ‘Task Force’, constituted under the Chairmanship of Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission, had recommended for revising the pension for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) with certain modifications.
Under the recommendations, for those falling within the bracket of 40-70 per cent of disability under the age group of 79 years, the task force has recommended to increase the pension to Rs 500 and for differently-abled people above 80 years of age, it has fixed Rs 1,000 as pension.
It had also recommended to double the pension for those suffering from disability over 80 per cent.
The Government stated this in its reply to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, whose report in this connection was tabled in Parliament on Friday.
It said that the recommendations of the ‘Task Force’ were examined in detail by the Ministry of Rural Development and "accepted with certain modifications".
Further action has been initiated to take the approval of the competent authority through the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), it added.
Currently, differently-abled persons with severe or multiple disabilities, who hail from below poverty line and fall within the age group of 18 and 79 years are provided monthly pension of Rs 300. Their pension is increased to Rs 500 after attaining 80 years of age.
On the other hand, advocating strongly for doing away with the age criteria, the Standing Committee, in its report, has recommended for fixing a minimum pension of Rs 1,500 for all PwDs, while observing that the existing pension was "too meagre" to give any worthwhile support to differently-abled people.
The committee also suggested enactment of a law for the welfare of people over the age of 80 years, recognising their general disability.