Chief Minister reviews implementation of social security schemes in JK

Mehbooba Mufti reviewed the implementation of Social Security Schemes

Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today reviewed the implementation of various Social Security Schemes including Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Aasra, Laadli Beti and widow/old age pension scheme in the State, in a meeting she chaired here.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Law & Justice, Mr Abdul Haq Khan, Minister for Social Welfare, ARI & Trainings and Science & Technology, Mr Sajad Gani Lone and Minister for Finance, Culture and Labour & Employment, Dr Haseeb A Drabu. Chief Secretary, Mr B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development, Mr B B Vyas and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr Navin K Choudhary were also present at the meeting.

It was informed that the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was launched by the Prime Minister in May 2015. The APY focuses on all citizens in the unorganized sector, like construction workers, MGNREGA laborers, farmers, agriculture and horticulture laborers, shop workers, Anganwari workers etc. A subscriber can join through a Post Office or a Bank branch.

It was further informed that, under the APY, the subscribers shall receive a fixed pension of Rs 1000 per month, Rs 2000 per month, Rs 3000 per month, Rs 4000 per month, Rs 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.

In case, the subscriber dies, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as that of the subscriber until the death of the spouse. After the death of both the subscriber and the spouse, the nominee of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the pension wealth, as accumulated till age of 60 years of the subscriber. In case of premature death of a subscriber, the spouse can continue subscription for the balance period, before 60 years.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that it is important to ensure a sense of economic security in the lower and under privileged strata of society, and APY is one such initiative taken by the Union Government. She said through such pension schemes, we also want to have a system which could help people to create a source for them to be financially independent when their old age challenges them and dilutes their earning capabilities.

The Chief Minister said through various such social security schemes, the government wants to create a social security network for the underprivileged and the weaker sections of the society in the State and called for generating greater awareness among the masses about the scheme and facilitating them to join the scheme, so that the benefits reach the intended sections of the society.

While reviewing the State social sector schemes viz Laadli Beti and Aasra, the Chief Minister asked the Social Welfare Department which is the Nodal Department for identifying the beneficiaries under the schemes, to proactively ensure adequate penetration so that positive disposition about the girl child is created across the State especially in the districts with low sex ratio and all low income families, widows and destitute are insured in the event of death or disability of the bread winner.

With regard to pension to widows, old age persons and the destitute, the Chief Minister asked the Social Welfare Department to work out the modalities for enhancement of monthly pension to these deserving beneficiaries from the present amount to Rs 1000 per month.