UP govt rejects reports of launching pension scheme for seers; announces Rs 100 hike in pension to all destitute

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The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a monthly hike of Rs 100 in pension to all destitute persons even as it rejected reports of launching a special pension scheme for seers. At present, all old age, widow and disabled destitute persons get a monthly pension of Rs 400. The state government has issued directives to authorities concerned to organise camps all over the state till January 30 to enrol all those eligible for the assistance, a government spokesperson said. Minister for Social Welfare Ramapati Ram Shastri said the aim is to cover all destitute under the pension scheme. The minister said that a section of the media is saying that a scheme is being brought specially for saints and seers which is not true. Whoever is eligible and fulfils requisite norms will be brought under the scheme, Shastri pointed out. With this, nine lakh new beneficiaries are likely to be included under the pension scheme taking the total number of those benefitting from it to more than 70 lakh, the spokesman said, adding that this will result in an additional burden of Rs 600 crores on the state exchequer. Also read: Taking a jibe at the state government, Yadav said the seers should get at least Rs 20,000 per month as pension. Those reciting Ramayana and other such persons should be given at least Rs 20,000 monthly pension. Those playing roles of Ram, Lakshman and Sita should also be given pension, he said.

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