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Eye on elections, Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu doubles pension for 54 lakh people

Indian Express 2019-01-11 21:22:11
Naidu made the announcement while participating in a programme at Bogolu in Nellore District today.

Declaring a bonanza for pensioners in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the Telugu festival of Sankaranti which starts from Saturday, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday doubled the amount for pensioners in the state from Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 2,000. More than 54 lakh people will receive the bonanza from next month. Naidu made the announcement while participating in a programme at Bogolu in Nellore District today.

With an eye on the state assembly elections just three months away, coinciding with the general elections, Naidu doubled the monthly pension of old age people, widows and others from the existing Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. He said the new pension will come into effect from January 1. The increased Rs 1,000 (in January) plus February month’s Rs 2000 — a total amount of Rs 3000 — would be paid in February and Rs 2000 from March onwards.

With this, Sankranti festival gift, 24,22,444 old age, 20,13,808 widow, 6,41,820 handicapped, 1,07,992 weavers, 28,011 toddy tappers, 32,979 HIV patients, 1,665 transgenders, 45,358 fishermen, 1,12,471 single women, 8,044 dialysis patients, totalling 54,14,592 people will get benefit.

“In spite of facing a financial crisis due to state bifurcation in 2014 and non-cooperation from central government, the state government is committed to the welfare of poor and has decided to increase the pensions. As the CM of the state, I am the first son of every family in AP and I want to see a smile on the faces of all the deserving pensioners,’’ Naidu said.

In addition, the Chief Minister announced distribution of land pattas (official document of ownership of land) to 60,596 women to an extent of 66,276.79 acres costing Rs 8,000 cr benefiting 29,966 SC women, 8,341 ST, 18,244 BC women and 4,024 OC in all the ten constituencies of Nellore district in the name of “Pasupu Kumkuma” scheme. Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held in Andhra Pradesh in April-May this year. In 2014, elections were held on May 7 and TDP won.

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To promote health and hygiene, and instil confidence among adolescent girls, the Chief Minister also announced the distribution of sanitary napkins to 6 lakh girls studying in class 8, 9 and 10 at a cost of Rs 120 crore. The hygiene kits would be distributed through the education department and NGOs working in women and child welfare sectors.