Chandigarh: The Punjab Social Security Fund of Rs 2000 crore, to be set up under the proposed new Social Security legislation, would provide for pensions to 17.35 lakh persons, health insurance for 45 lakh families and scholarships for 3 lakh students, besides marriage grants under the Ashirward Scheme for 2 lakh girls.
This was announced in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, pointing out that it was always the Congress government that increased the pension for old-aged, widows and physically challenged persons. Pointing to the increase in pension from Rs 500 to Rs 750 per month, being directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, the Chief Minister informed the House that monthly pension amount of Rs.128 crore had been released to 17.35 lakh beneficiaries for December 2017, January and February 2018, and the pensions would hereafter be released on a regular, monthly basis.
The Chief Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to the welfare of Scheduled Castes, OBCs and Minorities, citing reservations already announced for SCs in contractual and outsourced jobs, in all posts of Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen, Members/ Directors of Boards and Corporations, and in allotment of houses and residential plots by PUDA.
Further, he said, the government had enhanced the OBCs reservation in all educational institutions from 5 to 10 per cent while enhancement in reservation for this category in government jobs from 12 to 15 per cent would be notified shortly.
Under the debt waiver scheme for SCs and BCs, 15890 beneficiaries had been given a debt relief of Rs 52 crore, said the Chief Minister.
Under the Ashirwad Scheme, the amount of Shagun had been increased from Rs.15,000 to Rs.21,000 and he was happy to inform the House that all liabilities till December 2017 stood cleared, the Chief Minister said, adding that allowance of Rs 8000 per month had also been started for female acid attack victims.
Another Rs.115.73 crore had been clear against arrears of Post-Matric Scholarships for 2131 institutions, said the Chief Minister, adding that action would be taken against the institutions found guilty in the audit conducted last year into the distribution of these scholarships.
The Chief Minister, while underlining his government’s focus on women empowerment, disclosed that after reserving 50% for women in PRIs and ULBs, it had now decided to install CCTV cameras in the three major cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana to ensure the safety and security of women. It had also been decided to provide a facility of Hostels and living accommodation on rental basis for women, he added.