Odisha Plans Pension Hike: State Government Initiates Increase to ₹3,000 for Beneficiaries

In a significant move, the newly elected BJP government in Odisha is making strides toward increasing pensions for various beneficiary groups in the state. Nityananda Gond, the Minister of Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, announced that efforts are underway to hike the pensions for old age, widow, and disability beneficiaries to ₹3,000 per month.

Initiatives and Financial Preparations

The Minister disclosed that the process for the pension increase has already commenced. “Preparations are underway, and we are currently discussing with the finance department to secure the necessary budget clearances,” Gond stated. The increased pension amount is anticipated to take effect following a comprehensive consultation with the finance department, ensuring that the hike is both feasible and sustainable within the state’s financial framework.

Focus on Beneficiary Welfare

The current pension amount, under the Madhubabu Pension Scheme, stands at ₹1,000 following an increment of ₹500 in February by the previous administration. The proposed increase to ₹3,000 aims to provide significant relief and support to eligible beneficiaries who have been deprived of adequate national social security benefits. This initiative underscores the state government’s commitment to enhancing the welfare of its vulnerable populations.

Addressing Scholarship Concerns

In addition to the pension hike, the Minister addressed concerns regarding the lack of increases in scholarships for students. He assured that the state government is reviewing the matter and will make suitable decisions to enhance scholarship benefits. This consideration is part of the broader objective to support and empower marginalized and deserving sections of society through increased financial assistance and educational support.

Reopening Closed Schools

Apart from the pension hike, Gond, who also oversees the School and Mass Education department, announced plans to reopen schools that were closed during the previous BJD regime. He noted that several schools were shut down based on inaccurate reports, which ignored the needs of local communities, forcing students to travel long distances to attend school. The Department Secretary has been tasked with preparing a report to identify the affected areas and facilitate the reopening of schools, ensuring access to education for all children in the state.

Commitment to Social Security and Education

The Odisha government’s ongoing efforts to enhance pensions and reconsider the closure of schools highlight a commitment to improving social security and education in the state. By addressing these critical issues, the government aims to provide better support and opportunities for its citizens, particularly those in need.

Moving Forward with Reforms

As discussions with the finance department progress, the state government is poised to implement the pension increases and take further steps to support the education sector. The proposed changes reflect a broader commitment to fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for Odisha’s residents, ensuring that both social security and educational opportunities are accessible to all.

In conclusion, the Odisha government’s plans to hike pensions and reopen schools represent a significant effort to improve the lives of its citizens. By addressing these vital areas, the state is taking proactive steps towards a more equitable and prosperous future for all its people.

(With inputs from agencies)

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