Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday hiked the social security allowance under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY). Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made the announcement during a programme organised under the 'Ama Gaon Ama Bikash' campaign at the State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar today.

As per the announcement which will come into effect from February 15, the old-age pension for senior citizens has been revised to Rs 500 from Rs 300. Similarly, for people who are 70 years old and above, the allowance has been increased to Rs 700 from Rs 500.

Besides, the government also announced a hike of Rs 200 for the beneficiaries receiving differently-abled and widow allowances. As many as 48 lakh people will be benefited by the hike in the allowances distributed under the state-sponsored social security scheme.

In his reaction, Congress leader Srikant Jena said, “For the past 19 years, the State government has not done anything. Now this announcement of the State government is an effort to attract people towards it. As the government has become bankrupt, all these scheme will discontinue once the poll gets over.”

BJP State chief Basant Panda said, “The move cannot be called as a public service as the decision is motivated by political mileage. It is another way to exploit people. The State government is only shedding crocodile tears.”

Meanwhile, BJD general secretary Sanjay Das Burma said, “The decision will strengthen social security in the State and 48 lakh people will be benefitted with this.”

Earlier in December 2018, the State Government had included an additional five lakh beneficiaries in MBPY.