Hyderabad: The Government of Telangana has begun the process to identify citizens between the age from 57-64 years so as to include them as the beneficiaries of Old Age Pension.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), in its manifesto for Telangana Assembly Elections 2018, had promised to reduce the eligibility age for Old Age Pension from present 65 years to 57 years. Therefore, the State Government has now started the drive to collect information about citizens between the age 57-64 years. However, Chief Secretary Dr. Shailendra Kumar Joshi, while addressing a review meeting recently, has directed the District Collectors to gather the data from the electoral rolls. This sound unprecedented as earlier the data for various categories of beneficiaries was primarily taken from the Census of India. The opposition parties have raised several doubts over the authenticity of present electoral rolls. While nearly 22 lakh genuine voters are alleged to have been removed from the list, there are allegations of existence of lakhs of fake voters in the electoral rolls. Therefore, there are strong chances that many eligible beneficiaries of revised Old Age Pension scheme might be excluded due to absence of their names in the voter list.
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