The proposed expansion of old age pension scheme to more people was supported by President of India, Pratibha Patil. The President has asked the concerned minister to write to Prime Minister to restructure the old age pension scheme in order to benefit more people. On the other hand, the Pension Parishad is demanding abolition of BPL and APL distinction and asking for inclusion of all elderly persons within the purview of old age pension scheme. The Pension Parishad is demanding the Government to increase pension to Rs. 2000.
At present about two crore people are receiving a monthly pension of Rs. 200 as old age pension. But the estimated number of eligible persons for the benefit would be around 10 crore people. The proposed hike and new guidelines in the pension scheme will benefit old age people and cover more beneficiaries.
The Government is likely to agree upon the removal of BPL and APL criteria while selecting the people to be eligible for the scheme. But it may not accept to increase the pension to the extent of Rs. 2000 per month. In the budget proposal for 2012-13, the Central government has raised the pension to widows and disabled persons from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300.