Welfare pension arrears of 62 lakh beneficiaries will be cleared soon, promises CM

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday announced that the welfare pension arrears of 62 lakh beneficiaries in the state will be distributed in a time-bound manner. He also said that the government has plans to increase pensions further.

Despite the financial challenges faced by the state due to the policies and approach of the Centre, the state government remains committed to its development programmes and welfare schemes, the CM stated.

Addressing the state Assembly, Vijayan said that each beneficiary currently receives Rs 1,600 per month as a social welfare pension, with five instalments currently pending. He specified that two instalments will be distributed in the 2024-25 financial year and the remaining three in 2025-26. The Chief Minister made this statement in the Assembly under Rule 300.

Claiming that the arrears were not caused by the policies of the Left government, he said they have been distributing payments without fail since March this year. “The state government is committed to completely distribute the arrears of the social welfare pensions. At present, the overall arrears amount is Rs 4,250 crore. Of this, Rs 1,700 crore will be disbursed in the present financial year,” Vijayan said.

He said his government has an obligation to ensure that welfare benefits are properly distributed among deserved people and so they would implement the arrears disbursal as a time-bound initiative. During the UDF government’s tenure, the total number of beneficiaries of social security pension stood at 34,43,414 and they were given a monthly amount of Rs 600, he said.

“Currently, 62 lakh people are being given social security pension in the state. The pension amount has been raised up to Rs 1,600 in a phased manner. The government aims to increase it further,” the CM said. The special statement also had sharp criticism of the Union government and its financial policies and approach towards the state.

After the present government came to power in 2021, the state has experienced an acute financial crunch due to discriminatory policies of the Centre and that is still going on, he alleged. He also listed out various issues ranging from the slashing of the state’s borrowing limit to the reduction of tax allocations as proof for the Centre’s discriminatory attitude towards Kerala.
(With PTI Inputs)

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