The government has increased social security allowance of the senior citizens. Presenting the budget of the fiscal year 2019/20 at the joint session of the Federal Parliament, Minister for Finance, Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, announced that the social security allowance of the senior citizens was increased by Rs 1,000. With this, the social security allowance of the senior citizen of above 70 years has reached Rs 3,000 per month. Earlier, the social security allowance was Rs 2,000.
Similarly, Dalits, senior citizens of Karnali state, people fully disabled and partly disabled of above 60 years have been incorporated in this programme.
It has been expected that around 1.3 million senior citizens would be directly benefit from this. Similarly, the social security allowance being provided to terminally handicapped, disabled, single women and people from indigenous communities on the verge of disappearance has also been increased by Rs 1,000.
This social security allowance has been increased in line with the commitment made by the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) before the people in course of the election to the House of Representatives. Likewise, the budget has adopted the policy of bringing within the parameters of the social security the families of the martyrs and enforced disappeared persons as well as the disabled combatants.
The call for increasing the social security allowances had been there since long. The then Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari had initiated the old age allowance from Rs 100 and the general public have taken it as the gift from the communist government.
NCP had announced in course of the election campaigning to increase the social security allowance to Rs 5,000 per month within a period of five years. Senior Citizen Service and Friendship Centre would be operated at every local level through collaboration among the federal, provincial and local levels and private sector so as to facilitate the handover of the knowledge and skills that the senior citizens have to the next generation.
Then Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai increased the social security allowance from Rs 175 to Rs 500. Then Finance Minister had increased the amount to Rs 2,000 per month after that.