Chennai, Nov 19 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today urged the Centre to hike its contribution to the old age pension scheme from the present Rs 200 to Rs 400.
Launching the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) here, he said aged people in the State were being paid a monthly pension of Rs 400, including the state's share of Rs 200.
If the Centre came forward to pay the full amount of Rs 400, it would ease the state's economy and the government could utilise its share of Rs 200 for other welfare measures, he said.
''I make this appeal to the Centre on this day, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and I want the Centre to concede the demand,'' Mr Karunanidhi said.
Expressing his gratitude towards the Centre for supporting many of the State government's welfare schemes, Mr Karunanidhi said thanks to the support extended by the Centre that the monthly pension for the aged people has been raised to Rs 400.
The government launched the scheme with a monthly pension of Rs 20 in 1962 and when the DMK came to power for the fifth time last year, it was raised to Rs 200 per month. With Centre's contribution, the aged people were now being paid Rs 400 per month.
Though, the pension was Rs 20 in 1962, it was considered a big amount those days, when the state's annual budget was to the tune of about Rs 100 crore. Now the budget is prepared with an allocation of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 crore, he added.