Amid rising prices of commodities, members of the Odisha Assembly, cutting across party lines, on Friday urged the state government to enhance the pensions being given to elderly persons, widows, and persons with disabilities.

During the Question Hour, members from both the opposition and treasury benches have demanded to increase the pension to at least Rs 1,000 per month.

"A Rs 2.30 lakh crore annual budget for 2023-24 has been presented. If we will not be able to hike the old age and widow pension from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month, what is the meaning of presenting such a big budget?" asked Congress legislator Santosh Singh Saluja.

He also urged the government to take steps to provide the pension to very old and disabled pension holders at their doorstep.

Meanwhile, Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati and BJP member Mukesh Mahaling demanded the government to increase the old age pension to Rs 2,000. They also urged the government to include eligible persons waiting for the pension for a long period.

Ruling BJD members Prafulla Samal and Amar Prasad Satpathy also supported the demand for a hike in the pensions.

In his reply, Minister for Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ashok Panda said considering the financial status, the state government will take suitable steps in this regard.