Nepal | October 31, 2020

Authorities told to release social security allowance

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The Department of National ID and Civil Registration under the Ministry of Home Affairs has written to all 753 local levels, requesting them to distribute social security allowance to differently-abled persons bearing blue card and single women below 60 years of age for the first four-monthly instalments of the current fiscal.

Citing the recent decision of the Council of Ministers, the DoNIDCR said the Cabinet on October 12 had decided to continue with the social security allowance being enjoyed by the beneficiaries.

“We request the local levels to act on the Cabinet decision and release the first four-monthly instalment for differently-abled persons bearing blue card and single women below 60 years of age,” read a letter sent by the DoNIDCR to local governments yesterday.

On October 4, the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs, requesting it to ensure the provision for continuity of all types of social security allowances that were earlier implemented by the Government of Nepal.

Based on the request of the MoWCSC, the MoHA had tabled a proposal on this issue at the Cabinet meeting. The budget speech for the fiscal 2020-21 had also stated that the government would continue with all types of social security allowances being enjoyed by the beneficiaries.

After the amendments to Social Security Act-2018 and Social Security Rules-2019, were published in the Nepal Gazette by depriving the blue card holder differently-abled persons and single women below 60 years of age, the MoHA had issued a circular to all local levels through the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, directing them to abide by the new rules with effect from the first four-monthly tranche 2020- 21. Various parliamentary panels, the National Human Rights Commission, Nepali Congress, civil society and National Federation of the Disabled-Nepal had objected to that decision amid COVID-19 pandemic, which they said had cast doubt about the state’s accountability to the needy persons and groups.

The Government has mandated the local levels to distribute social security allowance to the listed beneficiaries through banking channels on a four-monthly basis. Blue card is issued to persons with severe disability under ‘B’ category as per the Procedure for Distribution of Identification Card to Persons With Disabilities.

Blue card holder differently-abled persons and single women had been receiving a monthly allowance of Rs 1,600 and Rs 2,000, respectively.

Many of the beneficiaries depend on social security allowance to support their medical care.

A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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