Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:28





The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) was launched as a Centrally sponsored scheme (CSS) in 1995, with the aim of providing social assistance benefit to poor households in the case of old age, death of primary breadwinner and maternity. The programme supplements the efforts of the state governments with the objective of ensuring minimum national levels of well-being and the Central assistance is an addition to the benefit that the states are already providing on social protection schemes. NSAP has the following components:

Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme’ (IGNAPS): A pension of Rs. 300 per month to be granted to widows aged 40–59 living below poverty-line conditions. Pradhan of Gram panchayat shall review the list of widows and report in case of any re-marriage

Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): A pension of Rs. 300 per month to be granted to physically/mentally handicapped individuals aged 18–59, living below poverty-line conditions. The central government has planned to increase the amount from Rs.300 to Rs.1000 and reduced the disability percentage from 80% to 40%.

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): It provides for old age pension of Rs. 200/- per month to persons above the age of 60 years and for the persons above the age of 80 years the amount of pension has been raised to Rs. 500/- per month.

National Family Benefit Scheme: In case of the death of the "primary breadwinner" of a household living below poverty line conditions, a lump sum grant of Rs. 20,000 is provided to the household. The primary breadwinner as specified in the scheme, whether male or female, had to be a member of the household whose earning contributed substantially to the total household income. The death of such a primary breadwinner occurring whilst he or she is in the age group of 18 to 64 years i.e., more than 18 years of age and less than 65 years of age, makes the family eligible to receive grants under the scheme.

Annapurna Scheme: The scheme provides food security in the form of 10 kg of foodgrains per month free of cost to destitute senior citizens with little or no regular means of subsistence from his/ her own source of income or through financial support from family members or other sources.

Some of the important features of the schemes are as follows:

(a) Selection:

The Gram Panchayat/Municipalities are expected to play an active role in the identification of the beneficiaries under the three schemes.

(b) Disbursement:

Apart from the disbursal of benefits through the accounts of the beneficiaries in Banks or in Post Office Savings Banks or through Postal Money Order the assistance under the Old Age Pension Scheme, may also be disbursed in public meetings such as Gram Sabha meetings in rural areas and by neighbourhood/ mohalla committees in urban areas. Recently it has been decided by the Govt. of India to credit pension where feasible, into a post office or public sector bank account of the beneficiary.

(c) Monitoring:

The States/UTs have the flexibility to implement the schemes through any State Govt. Department. They have to however, designate a Nodal Secretary at the State level to report the progress of implementation by coordinating with different departments concerned with the implementation of the schemes. The progress of implementation of the schemes is to be reported through quarterly reports in a given monitoring format by the 15th of month of the following quarter. Non reporting of the physical and financial progress reports is construed as lack of progress and therefore, may result in the non-release of additional central assistance for the last quarter of the financial year. Since the ACA allocations for the schemes lapse at the end of the financial year, the installments cannot be released during the next financial year, even if a State Govt. reports progress subsequent to the cut-off dates fixed as above.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:52