New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) In a measure likely to bring some financial relief to the elderly, specially those from Below Poverty Line families, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today announced that from November 19 a monthly amount of Rs 400 would be given as social security to all elderly above the age of 60 belonging to BPL families.
Addressing a function organised in the Capital by the Helpage India on the occasion of the UN International Day of Older persons, Mr Chidambaram said out of the amount of Rs 400, Rs 200 would be contributed by the Centre while the other Rs 200 would be contributed by the respective state governments.
Mr Chidambaram said under the scheme, which would benefit about 50 million elderly people in the country, the social security amount would be made available to the beneficiaries through their post office accounts by the first day of every month.
It would be ensured that the amount reaches the elderly Below Poverty Line on the first day of every month through their post office account, the Finance Minister said.
Stressing on the need for policies for the elderly, Mr Chidambaram said with the rise in the age expectancy from 60 to 78, the number of the elderly persons was witnessing an increase.
''At the current rate, the population of the elderly is likely to increase from 81 million at present to 140 million by the year 2030,'' he said.
Earlier, the Helpage India submitted a petition to the Finance Minister calling for extension of social pension to all needy and older persons above the age of 60 as currently only four per cent of the elderly population of the country were benefitting from the social pension.
The petition was signed by thousands of elderly persons in over 20 cities and towns nationwide.
Emphasising on the need for giving attention to the needs of the elderly, Mr Chidambaram said the youth in the country should take care of the elederly.