THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance minister Thomas Isaac, during his budget presentation, announced that all welfare pensions have been enhanced to Rs 1,600.

Isaac said that 5.5 crore food kits were distributed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Government has decided to continue with the distribution of food kits against the backdrop of rise in Covid cases. “It has been decided to provide additional rice of 10 kg at Rs 15 to 50 lakh families having blue and white ration cards,” he said.

The state is providing help for in-patient treatment up to an amount of Rs 5 Lakh through Karunya health security scheme to 41.5 lakh families. Karunya Benevolent Fund will continue. A project for ensuring free treatment in the first 48 hours for those injured in road accidents will be implemented under this scheme, he said.

Through Life Mission 40,000 houses will be given to SC families and 12,000 houses to ST families. In addition to this, under Life Mission, 1.5 lakh more houses will be constructed.

As many as 7,500 houses will be constructed expending Rs 300 crore in coastal areas under Life Mission in 2021-22. A total of 2,500 fishermen will be rehabilitated under Punargeham Scheme, expending Rs 250 crore.

Meanwhile, the total outlay for National Employment Guarantee Scheme during 2021-22 is Rs 4,057 crore.

During 2021-22 labour budgets will be arranged with a view to provide work for at least an average of 75 days.

Welfare fund will be created for workers under the National Employment Guarantee Scheme in February, 2021. Draft rules have already been prepared.

Those who work at least 20 days in a year can be enrolled in the welfare fund. Matching contribution of the employee contribution will be provided by the government. When the employee leaves the scheme, the entire amount will be given. Pension will be given to all the members on completion of 60 years of age, on condition of availing no other pension. Henceforth, festival allowance will also be provided through welfare fund.

For eradication of absolute poverty the first thing to be done is to precisely identify four to five lakh absolutely poor families and to enlist them, said the minister. A priority list will be prepared by conducting a state level survey. Also, Rs.40 crore has been allocated as state plan provision for Ashraya scheme.



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