Congress promises to double pension amount

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has announced that if voted to power in next elections, the Congress Government would double the Social Security Pensions amount for all categories of beneficiaries.

Addressing a press conference, along with other senior leaders, at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the next Congress Government would increase the monthly Aasra pension amount for all categories of beneficiaries like Old Ages persons, widows, weavers, and others from present Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000. He said the pension amount for Differently Abled persons would also be doubled from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3,000 per month. Further, he said the eligibility age for Old Age pensions will also be reduced from present 65 to 58 years.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said a 42-member committee, headed by senior MLA T. Jeevan Reddy, was constituted in March this year to study the pension schemes being implemented in Telangana and also other States. The committee has submitted its report and a decision has been taken to include its recommendation to double the pension amount in the party manifesto. Therefore, he said this major announcement has been made on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day and this would be treated as one of the Flagship Scheme.

The TPCC Chief also announced that the Congress Government would also give unemployment allowance of Rs. 3,000 per month for at least 10 lakh youth across the State. Reacting to the criticism made by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on the proposal, he said more than 18 lakh eligible qualified youth have already registered themselves with the Telangana State Public Services Commission (TSPSC) alone. Therefore, he said a criterion would be set to give pension to at least 10 lakh unemployed youth. He said this would cost a financial burden of Rs. 300 Crore per month on the State’s Exchequer which was quite manageable. He said that the Congress has a comprehensive plan on deal with the issue of unemployment.

Stating that there clear indications of early Assembly polls, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party was fully ready to face them. He said AICC President Rahul Gandhi has been informed about the Chief Minister’s announcement that he would declare TRS candidates in September. In response he said, Rahul Gandhi has asked him and AICC Telangana Incharge to constitute a committee to shortlist the aspirants so that the list of candidates could be released next month. He said that the Congress was ready for elections, whenever they are held.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the two-day tour of Rahul Gandhi was highly successful and there has been a tremendous public response to his visit. Rahul Gandhi, in his speeches in various meetings, addressed the concerns of women Self Help Groups, exposed the corruption of Modi and KCR Governments in the name of re-designing and gave assurance to students and unemployed youth that their problems would be resolved once Congress party comes to power. He said within 24 hours after Rahul Gandhi’s arrival in Hyderabad, the State Government has cleared Rs. 970 crore out of Rs. 3,000 crore dues for women SHGs. This was only due to the impact of Rahul Gandhi’s visit.

The TPCC Chief said that Rahul Gandhi highly appreciated the use of technology by the Telangana Congress in organization building. After interacting with the presidents of 31,656 booth presidents through a teleconference, he suggested that a similar teleconference be organized in Delhi.

Reacting to the criticism by TRS leaders including Minister K. Tarakarama Rao, Uttam Kumar Reddy described their comments as ‘immature, silly and cheap’.

Meanwhile, R.C. Khuntia has strongly condemned KCR for his comments on Rahul Gandhi. He said when Rahul Gandhi could openly fight with Prime Minister Narender Modi, who claims that he has 56-inch chest, KCR was nothing before him.

Earlier, addressing the Independence Day celebrations after hoisting the national flag at Gandhi Bhavan, Uttam Kumar Reddy expressed concern over the way PM Modi and CM KCR were trying to neutralize democratic institutions in the country and in Telangana State. He said the recent incident is of serving of contempt notice to Assembly Speaker Madhusudan Chary by the High Court. He said despite High Court orders, TRS Government was not restoring the membership of two Congress MLAs who were expelled unconstitutionally.

Uttam Kumar Reddy enthralled the people to fight against the TRS Government which does not respect the Constitution.

Recalling the role played by Congress party in the freedom movement, he said that it was the Congress which brought independence for the country and the same party created Telangana State. He expressed confidence that the next Independence Day would be celebrated under Congress Government.

Senior leaders including R.C. Khuntia, K. Jana Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Saleem Ahmed, Sravan Dasoju, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Madhu Yaskhi Goud and Dr.Mallu Ravi were also present (NSS)