New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) The Cabinet today removed the destitute criterion for being eligible to old age pension for 65 years' old and above and decided to launch the social welfare scheme on November 19, the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The destitute criterion has been substituted with those belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) families, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters.
The funds for the scheme, involving payment of Rs 400 each a month as pension, would be contributed by the Centre and the states in equal ratios (50:50).
An estimated 15.719 million people are entitled to the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) as part of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced the criteria change in his Independence Day address to the nation. ''We will provide an old age pension to all citizens above the age of 65 years and living below the poverty line''.
The Centre has made a provision of Rs 4,300 crore for the scheme for the current fiscal.