Thiruvananthapuram: The state financial department has instructed the panchayat director and urban affairs director to strictly exclude those with an annual family income of more than Rs 1 lakh from the social security pension scheme.
As per reports, the local bodies have been collecting income certificate of the recipients of the social security pension since last September. The certificates must be submitted before February 28, 2023.
Following this, those beneficiaries, who exceed the income limit, shall be excluded from the scheme. Apparently, the finance department is expecting exclusion of at least 5 lakh people.
As of now, a total of 50.5 lakh people receive Rs 1600 as monthly pension. Moreover, about 7 lakh people are members of welfare fund boards and receive welfare pension. Every month, around Rs 800 crore is required to grant these pension.
The rule that the annual family income should not exceed Rs 1 lakh has been in effect since 2010. In 2014, the then Oommen Chandy government had raised the income limit to Rs 3 lakh, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
After 10 months, the very same government withdrew the order and the income limit was lowered to Rs 1 lakh again. Reportedly, around 9 lakh people had become eligible for the pension when the limit was Rs 3 lakh per annum.
However, with the new directive, a majority of them is likely to get excluded from the list of beneficiaries.
How is family income calculated?
The annual income of all the family members of the pension beneficiary shall be considered for calculating the annual family income. Of this, the income of married children shall be excluded and only the rest is calculated.
Welfare pension delayed
The social security pension and the welfare pension, via welfare boards, have been delayed for the past two months. No decision has yet been made to distribute the pension for December and January.
According to sources close to the financial department, a decision regarding the same will be taken this week. Reportedly, a total of Rs 1600 crore is required for granting the pension.