Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chandigarh Poll promises - brighter future for old people?

Chandigarah 21st Jan Indian Express

Health insurance of upto Rs 2 lakh for the poor people, including
those with blue and yellow cards, old age pension for all above-65
years of age and subsidized atta-dal to poor families are some of the
promises, which the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal is likely to have in
its manifesto expected to be released on Sunday.

Sources said that the manifesto would promise removing the income
criteria for giving old age pension. Now any male above 65 years of
age and female above 60 years would be given Rs 600 per month as old
age pension.

Also, apart from the free health insurance, the other likely point in
the manifesto is that the amount given to the girls who get married
under the Shagun Scheme would be increased to Rs 31,000 from the
present Rs 15,000.

"The manifesto will also focus on social schemes like subsidized
atta-dal to poor families, free power to farmers, and highlight the
development projects initiated by the ruling alliance," said Sukhdev
Singh Dhindsa, the chairman of party's manifesto committee. He
admitted that some of these schemes were there in the party's
manifesto for 2007 elections.

The Atta-dal scheme, under which nearly 8.2 lakh families get wheat
flour and pulses at subsidised rates, helped the party gain a few
seats in the elections elections. The party is hoping that the scheme
may get them additional seats this time too.

Recently, the state government had expanded the scope of certain
social schemes by extending their reach to all the economically weaker
sections. This, the party insiders claim, has increased the political
base of the ruling combine.

Sources said that the party is also likely to push for agriculture,
trade and industry, self-sufficiency in power sector. The manifesto
would also promise free cycles to girls studying in Class IX and X
under the Mai Bhago Scheme.

Tags: poor families, Shiromani Akali Dal, Shagun Scheme

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
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