Delhi Govt.’s decisions to bolster public transport, pensions and incentivize good samaritans!

New Delhi: 06/01/2017

 

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting on Friday chaired by the Chief Minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal took the following decisions :

 

1)    Phase IV of Metro Construction cleared by at a cost Rs 50,000 crore over next six years

  • Six metro routes to connect outer Delhi and also Aerocity

 

 

The Cabinet has cleared the fourth phase of the Delhi Metro, which on completion will increase the daily ridership by 8.5 lakh commuters, providing them better connectivity with outer parts of the city and also to the Delhi Airport.

To be built at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore the 113-km network is expected to be completed within six years.

The Phase-IV route will also comprise a 68 km elevated road and is focused on areas where traffic volume is expected to go up in the future Once the construction begins following approval by the union government, the DMRC will submit a monthly progress report to the Delhi Cabinet.

The Metro phase IV will cover six crucial routes. These are Rithala, Bawana Narela, Janakpuri West to RK Ashram, Mukundpur to Maujpur, Inderlok to Indraprastha, Aerocity to Tughlakabad, Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block.

 

2)    Enhancement of Rs. 1,000/- per month to all beneficiaries under Old Age Pension and Disability Pension Scheme & Enhancement of family income limit to Rs. 1.00 lakh per annum from Rs. 60,000/- under Old Age Pension Scheme and Rs. 75,000/- per annum under Disability Pension Scheme.:

 

The Cabinet approved the increase in old age pension, disability and widow pension by Rs 1,000 each.

For old age pension, those between the age group of 60-69 years will get Rs 2,000 as pension now.

Senior citizens above 70 years will now get Rs 2,500 as pension compared to Rs 1,500 earlier.

Disability pension has been raised from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 while pension for widows and destitute women has been raised from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500.

 

DETAILS ARE AS FOLLOWS :

 

Old Age Assistance Scheme (Old Age Pension)

  OAP Disability Pension
Age criteria 60-79  years 70 years & above   0-59 years
No. of beneficiaries (as on Nov 30, 2016) 1,78,318 2,04,347 69,403
Quantum Rs. 1000/- p.m. &

Rs. 1500/- p.m.  (for SC/ST/ Minorities)

Rs. 1500/- p.m. Rs.1500/- p.m.
Last revision in quantum of assistance April 2008 October 2011 April 2012
Income criteria Rs. 60,000/- p.a. (family) Rs. 75,000/- p.a. (family)
Residence criteria Min 5 years Min 5 years

 

 

As can be seen from the table above, the last enhancement  in quantum of assistance were done many years ago, whereas the cost of living has increased substantially in the intervening period. Increasing food prices, difficult to access medical care in government hospitals and prohibitively expensive private medical care and other items of personal needs necessary for the care of senior citizens and disabled persons are a severe drain on the family resources.

Regarding enhancement of income limit to Rs. 1.00 lakh per annum, at present, the family income limit for availing the pension is set at Rs. 60,000/- and Rs. 75,000/- per annum for old age pension and disability pension respectively. This was last revised in 2008 for old age pension, whereas the incomes and the cost of living index have been significantly risen since then. This leads to many needy people being left out of availing the scheme on one hand and dealing with rising prices on the other.

It is expected that approximately one lakh new applications will be received under Old Age Pension Scheme within ONE month, ie. January 2017, for whom pension will become due from February 2017. Accordingly, an additional expenditure of Rs 154 crore is expected to be incurred on five lakh OAP beneficaries @ Rs. 2,000/- to 60-69 yrs and Rs. 2,500/- to 70 yrs & above for the remaining four months of 2016-17.

Hence, the revised budget estimate under Old Age Pension would be Rs. 765 crore. For the same rate of assistance, budget requirement for 2017-18 will be Rs. 1,431 crore For 5.30 lakh beneficiaries, which is the upper limit in no. of beneficiaries allowed in the scheme.

Similarly, in Disability Pension Scheme, in accordance to the present rate of new applications received in the Department, it is expected that about 1,000 applications per month will be received in the next 4 months. Accordingly, an additional expenditure of Rs. 48 cr. will be incurred in 2016-17. Hence, the revised budget estimate under Disability Pension would be Rs. 153 cr. Against the present allocation of Rs. 105 cr. In 2017-18, for an estimated 85,000 beneficiaries (at an increase of 1,000 beneficiaries per month) the total budget requirement would be Rs. 228 cr.

 

3)    Transportation Award and appreciation certificates for good samaritans :

 

The Cabinet approved an incentive of Rs 2,000 and an appreciation for anyone who takes a road accident victim to a hospital. Currently it has been seen that people hesitate in helping road accident victims for the fear of being drawn into the situation. This will bring down social apathy.

In 2015, a total of 8085 accidents took place on Delhi roads and currently there are no provisions in law which encourage people to take injured to hospitals for treatment.

Therefore, to motivate good samaritans the Cabinet approved a cash incentive and an appreciation certificate.

 

4)    The Delhi Cabinet has also bypassed a rule of DTC and cleared an out-of-turn promotion to Olympic Champion Sakshi Malik’s father. There was a minor discrepancy in the ACR of Sakshi Malik’s father, which was coming in the way of his promotion and the cabinet decided to bypass it considering the family condition and sacrifices done by him. The decision has been taken to encourage the people of the country to motivate their children to excel in sports.

5)    The Delhi Cabinet also approved holding of the Winter Session of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha on January 17 and 18.

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