THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move that would benefit an estimated 17.5 lakh families, the Left Democratic Front government has decided to pay in advance all welfare pensions due up to September.
Of the 17.5 lakh beneficiaries, an estimated 3.3 lakh are persons who receive unemployment allowance. A large number of beneficiaries would get pension for up to six months at one go. The LDF government had enhanced all welfare pensions to Rs.300 and, therefore, the total outgo on account of the decision is expected to be Rs.400 crore, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac told a news conference here on Monday.
Dr. Isaac said the biggest beneficiaries of the decision would be indigent agricultural workers numbering around 5 lakh, who would together get around Rs.92 crore.
Around 4.5 lakh widows and indigent persons under various categories would get Rs.81 crore and 2 lakh physically handicapped persons Rs.36 crore, taking the total outgo from the government coffers alone to Rs.243 crore. The remaining part would be borne by various welfare pension funds.