The central government is considering hiking the monthly pensions of the elderly poor, disabled and widows be increased from the current ₹200 to ₹800, The Hindu reported.
According to the proposal by the Rural Development Ministry to the finance ministry, the hike for those who are aged 80 will be from ₹500 to ₹1,200 a month.
The report said that the plan is likely to be part of the interim budget, to be announced before the 2019 elections, as a way of appeasing the rural population.
The government, separately, has launched a study to consider doubling the number of people covered by the National Social Assistance Programme. Plans to merge Central and State pension schemes are also being considered.
More than three crore people who are below the poverty line (BPL)– 80 lakh widows, 10 lakh disabled and 2.2 crores elderly– are now covered under the NSAP, for which the current allocation is ₹9975 crore.