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Old age pension for all above 60 yrs; Rs 100 cr for 'Maa' kitchens

Old age pension for all above 60 yrs; Rs 100 cr for Maa kitchens
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Kolkata: Extending support to people of all ages and from all walks of life with a humane approach, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday proposed to provide old age pension to every person above 60 years of age and widows above 18 years of age in the state, besides proposing a new scheme called "Maa" to open common kitchens to serve cooked food at nominal price.

"I propose that all old people (above 60 years) and widows (above 18 years) in the state will be brought under pension scheme. I propose to allocate Rs 1,000 crore for the next financial year. Now, it is provided to aged persons from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities under "Jai Johar" and "Tapsili Bandhu" schemes. Around 60 lakh old, widows and differently-abled people get pension at present," she said.

She further said: "In addition, to ensure that poor people get two square meals a day, a new scheme called "Maa" will be launched to open community kitchens at different places from where cooked food will be served at nominal price." She proposed Rs 100 crore for the project.

Banerjee also proposed to allocate Rs 100 crore for the next fiscal to provide Rs 1,000 monthly pension to poor priests of Jaher Than and Majhi Than.

Banerjee also proposed allocation of Rs 1,500 crore for construction of 20 lakh pucca houses for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the next five years. This comes after constructing pucca houses for many homeless people from the communities. At the same time, allocation of Rs 150 crore for the next fiscal has been proposed for construction of houses for tea garden workers under "Chaa Sundari" scheme.

For the welfare of the refugees, Banerjee said deeds will be given to nearly 1.5 lakh people in phases and proposed allocation of Rs 100 crore for improvement of basic infrastructure including internal roads, parks, sewerage and lights at refugee colonies.

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