What is the News?
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development has submitted its report to the Lok Sabha.
What did the Parliamentary Panel say in its report?
Parliamentary report On Pensions to Senior Citizens, Widows and Disabled:
- Increase in Pension Amount: The Central Government must increase the small amount of pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people under the National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP).
About National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP):
- Nodal Ministry: It was launched in 1995. It is a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development. The programme is being implemented in rural areas as well as urban areas.
- Aim: To provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions.
- Current Schemes under NSAP: There are five different schemes being implemented as part of NSAP:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme(IGNOAPS): Under this, senior citizens of the Below Poverty Line(BPL) households will get Rs 200 to Rs 500 a month.
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): Under this, widows aged over 40 years in BPL households will get Rs 300 to Rs 500 a month.
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme(IGNDPS): Under this, Rs 300 a month will be provided for persons aged 18-79 years with severe or multiple disabilities in BPL households.
- National Family Benefit Scheme(NFBS): Under this, Rs 20,000 are provided upon the death of a breadwinner aged 18-59 in BPL households.
- Annapurna Scheme: Under the scheme, senior citizens not receiving any pension benefit will get 10 kg of food grains (wheat or rice) per month at free of cost.
- Significance: The programme represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of Article 41 of DPSP. Article 41 directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of old age, unemployment, sickness and disablement etc.
Parliamentary report on MGNREGA:
- Delay in Payment of MNREGA Wages: The panel has pointed out the Department of Rural Development(DoRD) for delays and disparities in the MGNREGA wages and unemployment allowances.
- Example: During COVID-19, there was an increase in the demand for work under MGNREGA. However, there was an excessive delay in the release of 40% of the funds.
- Weak Implementation by States: The panel has asked State Governments to ensure proper implementation of the unemployment allowance of MGNREGA. As it has found that unemployment allowance under MGNREGA the provision is not implemented in letter and spirit at the grass-root level
- The disparity in MGNREGA Wages between States: Despite the Constitution provides for equal pay for equal work, there is a wide disparity in MGNREGA wages in different states
Source: The Hindu