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The number of beneficiaries under the Aasara pension scheme covering various sections of society in Telangana State would touch a record 40 lakh, the highest in the country with over three lakh single women and 80,000 beedi workers brought under the scheme from April and May respectively.

Announcing this to mediapersons here on Tuesday, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Miinister Jupally Krishna Rao said single women and beedi workers can enroll their names to get financial assistance of Rs 1,000 per month under the Aasara Pension Scheme. The Minister also announced the guidelines to select the beneficiaries from across the State.

Stating that no State in the country was providing such huge pensions to various categories with a budget outlay of Rs 5,000 crore, he said the single women pension for April and May and the May pension for beedi workers would be distributed on June 2 coinciding with the State Formation Day. “An additional Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for single women and beedi workers pensions,” he said, adding that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was committed to fulfill all his promises to the vulnerable section with whatever budgetary allocation was required.

The Aasara Pension Scheme now accounts for over 10 per cent of the State’s population of about 3.51 crore.The Minister asked all eligible candidates to enroll their names with the village and mandal officers starting from May 8 and directed the department officials to complete the process by May 25 to facilitate distribution of pension on June 2. As per preliminary survey and identification of beneficiaries, there were about three lakh single women and 80,000 beedi workers in the State.

The PR department has also eased the norms for enrolment of single women under the pension scheme. “No date of birth certificate is needed. If they provide Aadhar or voter ID card along with bank details, that would be enough to enroll their names for the pension,” the Minister explained. The guidelines say that women who are 18 years of and have been separated from their husbands or whose husband had deserted them for over a year are eligible for pension. Besides, unmarried women who are above 30 years in rural areas and 35 years in urban areas are also eligible for the single women pension.


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