Delhi cabinet okays relief to HIV patients, special needs pensioners

The financial assistance given to HIV/AIDS patients will be doubled and age restriction on pension to individuals with special needs will be removed, the Delhi cabinet decided on Tuesday.

According to a government statement, the monetary assistance given to people and children living with HIV/AIDS on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000, while orphans infected with the disease will get an enhanced aid of Rs 4,100 compared to the earlier Rs 2,050.

“The assistance for destitute children suffering from HIV/AIDS in institutional care was increased to Rs 4,100 from Rs 2,050 while the financial assistance for orphan children affected by HIV/AIDS has been increased from Rs 1,750 to Rs 3, 500,” the statement said.

Currently, 27,250 (by the end of March this year) People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are on anti-retroviral treatment in Delhi at the 11 ART centres in major government hospitals.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, also approved the social welfare department’s proposal for removing the age restriction on financial assistance being given to individuals with special needs.

“With this change the pension, as per the quantum in existence at the time, will be continued lifelong or until the conditions under which the assistance was granted no longer exists. However, the beneficiary will not be eligible for pension under more than one programme among the three schemes for the old age, persons with disability and pension to women in distress,” the statement said.

The social welfare department implements financial assistance to the Persons with Special Needs Scheme, under which money is given to persons with disability in the age group from birth to 60 years, and having annual family income not more than Rs 1 lakh per annum.

The scheme is applicable to persons with blindness, low vision, locomotor disability, hearing impairment, leprosy cured, cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation and mental illness.

The cabinet also approved a proposal of the art, culture and language department to set up academies of 15 languages including Bengali, Kumaoni-Garhwali, Kashmiri, Haryanvi, Assamese, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu among others.

Delhi assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Tuesday asked urban development minister Satyendar Jain to submit “in writing” detailed comments about his discussions with officers from urban development department who had allegedly not furnished replies to questions pertaining to the municipal corporations.

The Speaker said the comments should be submitted by August 10. Goel said the matter may be referred to the privileges committee. During the question hour, Jain alleged that despite his directions the principal secretary (urban development) did not provide complete information to the questions raised by the MLAs.

Earlier in the day, leader of the opposition Vijender Gupta was marshalled out of the House amid commotion following his demand for an apology by transport minister Kailash Gahlot over an alleged scam in procurement of 1,000 electric buses.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 03:23 IST

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