Daily Current Affairs Schemes- Policies- Initiatives

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) 

Context: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development slams government for not raising pension amounts of National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).

  • The Centre must increase the “meagre” pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people, said the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its report submitted to the Lok Sabha.

Analysis

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)

  • The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) came into effect from 15th August,1995. 
  • It is a welfare programme being administered by the Ministry of Rural Development and is being implemented in both rural areas as well as urban areas.
  • The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 and 42 of the Constitution recognizing the concurrent responsibility of the Central and the State Governments in the matter. 
  • In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development. 
  • Article 42: The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
  • The NSAP Schemes are mainly implemented by the Social Welfare Departments in the States. 
  • In February 2009, two new Schemes known as Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) and Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS) were introduced.
  • Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, namely –
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS),
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS),
  • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS),
  • National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS) and
  • Annapurna.

Eligibility and scale of assistance

  • For getting benefits under NSAP the applicant must belong to a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family according to the criteria prescribed by the Govt. of India. 
  • Besides the central assistance, states/UT contribute an equal amount as their share.
  • The other eligibility criteria and the scale of central assistance under the sub – schemes of NSAP are as follows:
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
  • The eligible age for IGNOAPS is 60 years. 
  • The pension is Rs.200 p.m. for persons between 60 years and 79 years. 
  • For persons who are 80 years and above the pension is Rs.500/ – per month.
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)
  • The eligible age is 40 years and the pension is Rs.300 per month. 
  • After attaining the age of 80 years, the beneficiary will get Rs.500/ – per month.
  • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
  • The eligible age for the pension is 18 years and above and the disability level has to be 80%. 
  • The amount is Rs.300 per month and after attaining the age of 80 years, the beneficiary will get Rs 500/ – per month. 
  • Dwarfs will also be an eligible category for this pension.
  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): 
  • Rs. 20000/- will be given as a lumpsum assistance to the bereaved household in the event of death of the bread – winner. 
  • It is clarified that any event of death (natural or otherwise) would make the family eligible for assistance. 
  • A woman in the family, who is a home maker, is also considered as a ‘bread – winner’ for this purpose. 
  • The family benefit will be paid to such surviving member of the household of the deceased poor, who after local inquiry, is found to be the head of the household. 
  • The death of such a bread – winner should have occurred whilst he/ she is more than 18 years of age and less than 60 years of age. 
  • The assistance would be given to every case of death of breadwinner in a family.
  • Annapurna Scheme
  • 10 kgs of food grains (wheat or rice) is given per month per beneficiary. 
  • The scheme aims at providing food security to meet the requirements of those eligible old aged persons who have remained uncovered under the IGNOAPS.

 

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