HYDERABAD: Setting the record straight against the brouhaha created by BJP leaders over central assistance to the welfare schemes in Telangana, the state government on Monday informed the assembly that only Rs 210 crore was being extended by the Centre for Aasara pensions.
“The state government is spending Rs 11,724 crore on Aasara pensions of which Rs 210 crore is central government’s share. Also, this Rs 210 crore assistance covers only 6 lakh beneficiaries whereas the Telangana government is spending over Rs 11,500 crore to give pensions to over 33 lakh more beneficiaries including the aged, widows, single women, HIV patients, specially challenged, beedi and handloom workers. In all, 39.36 lakh beneficiaries are getting Aasara pensions,” said panchayat raj minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao.
Replying to questions from TRS members Padma Devender Reddy, A Ramesh and B Mallaiah Yadav during the question hour, the minister said the central assistance comes with riders that only Rs 200 should be given to those aged between 60 and 79 years, Rs 500 for those above 80 years and Rs 300 for widows and specially challenged.
“But the Telangana government is extending Rs 2,016 and Rs 3,016 per month to numerous categories of beneficiaries depending upon their eligibility,” Rao said.
The minister went on to say none of the BJP and Congress-ruled states are giving so much pensions to so many beneficiaries.
“The social security pension in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat is Rs 750, in Karnataka, it is Rs 600, in Uttar Pradesh Rs 500, in Bihar Rs 400, in Madhya Pradesh Rs 600, in Rajasthan Rs 750 and in Punjab Rs 750. Those criticizing the TRS government should realise that aged parents are getting respect from daughters-in-law after chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao increased the pension amount,” the minister said.