In an apparent move to impress the elderly voters, the State Government on Saturday hiked the monthly financial assistance to them under the Madhubabu Pension scheme.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the increase by Rs 500.
With this, a beneficiary will now receive a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000. The beneficiaries will get the revised pension amounts from the current month. The pension will be paid to the beneficiaries between February 20 and 25.
The scheme has three slabs of Rs 500, Rs 700 and Rs 900. After the hike, beneficiaries in the lowest slab of Rs 500 will receive Rs 1,000; and similarly, the other slabs will also see a revision by the same amount.
With this hike, the government has to bear an additional expenditure of Rs 3,683 crore per annum.
As per sources, the number of beneficiaries under the scheme went up by 4.13 lakh last year. A total of 36.75 lakh people, mainly senior citizens, widows, physically-challenged persons, unmarried women, cured leprosy patients, AIDS victims, transgenders and children orphaned by Covid-19, are receiving pension benefits.