National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of the Directive Principles of the State Policy written in the Constitution of India which enjoins upon the State to undertake a number of welfare measures within its means. Specifically, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to offer public assistance to its people who face unemployment, sickness, old age and disablement, and in other specific cases, those within the parameters of its economic capacity and development. The programme was initially launched on the 15th of August, 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme targeting the destitute, and to be identified by the States or Union Territories, with the objective of providing appropriate financial support.
Key Principles of the Programme
The following are the key principles of the National Social Assistance Programme.
- Universal coverage of eligible persons and pro-active identification.
- Transparent and people-friendly process for application, sanction, appeal and review.
- Regular monthly disbursement of pensions and benefits preferably at the door-step of the beneficiaries.
- Electronic transfer
- Robust Social Audit and Annual Verification.
- Key Role for Local Self Government Institution
- IT-based Management Information System (MIS)
- Robust Grievance
- Redressal System
- Automatic Convergence
Current Schemes of NSAP
As a part of NSAP, five different schemes are being implemented. The eligibility criteria for each programme varies accordingly. The process of the beneficiary selection and approval procedure are more or less the same for all the schemes under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
|Scheme Name||Eligibility Criteria|
A monthly pension of INR 200 is provided to all persons of 60-79 years from the Below Poverty Line families. For individuals above the age of 80 years, the pension amount is INR 500.
Under this scheme, BPL widows between the age of 40-79 years, have been entitled to a monthly pension of INR 300, which is enhanced to INR 500 for widows above 80 years of age.
|The individuals with severe and multiple disabilities (including dwarfs) with about 80% and above disability from BPL individuals and families in the age group of 18-79 years are provided with a monthly pension of INR 300, which is enhanced to INR 500 to the age group of 80 years of age and more.|
National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
|Under this scheme, 10 KGS of food grains, be it wheat or rice, per month, are offered free of cost to those senior citizens who, though eligible, have remained uncovered under IGNOAPS|
Additional Assistance by the State Government
Along with the assistance offered by the Ministry of Rural Development, the State Governments have been directed to provide additional assistance to eligible beneficiaries. This would offer the beneficiaries with a decent level of assistance, and this would amount as an equal contribution in all the schemes. As a result, many of the State Governments have increased their assistance as given in the table below.
|States||Amount per Individual per Month||States||Amount per Individual per Month|
|Meghalaya||INR 50||Maharashtra||INR 400|
|Mizoram||INR 50||Sikkim||INR 400|
|Madhya Pradesh||INR 75||Uttarakhand||INR 600|
|Chhattisgarh||INR 100||Andhra Pradesh||INR 800|
|Odisha||INR 100||Dadra & Nagar Haveli||INR 800|
|Uttar Pradesh||INR 100||Daman & Diu||INR 800|
|Assam||INR 200||Lakshadweep||INR 800|
|Gujarat||INR 200||Tamil Nadu||INR 800|
|Jammu & Kashmir||INR 200||Chandigarh||INR 1000|
|Kerala||INR 250||Delhi||INR 1000|
|Punjab||INR 250||Himachal Pradesh||INR 1000|
|West Bengal||INR 250||Telangana||INR 1000|
|Rajasthan||INR 300||Haryana||INR 1200|
|Tripura||INR 300||Puducherry||INR 1800|
|Karnataka||INR 300||Goa||INR 1800|
Disbursement of Benefits
The following are the guidelines for the disbursement and the mode of payments.
- Pensions may be disbursed at the convenience and the choice of the beneficiary.
- Physical disbursement mechanisms such as door-step services, postal money orders, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) such as a bank account, post office account and so on, are made to offer pensions to the older beneficiaries on the basis of their social, economic and physical vulnerability. The programme works in a way that the beneficiaries are not required to travel more than 3 KMS to access their pension account.
The following are the guidelines for cash disbursement.
- In the case of cash disbursements, it must be disbursed to the beneficiary in a Gram Sabha or the Area Sabha.
- Payments are required to be made on a specific day of the month regularly.
- Door-step delivery of pensions to beneficiaries are to be ensured within 7 days and the beneficiaries list to be displayed to the general public in the local language.
- Receipt of payment to the beneficiary must be recorded and must be maintained on the record at the Gram Panchayat or Municipality.
- In the NSAP, both for the sanction and the disbursement of pensions to beneficiaries with the use of IT is essential for efficient service delivery.
Coverage and Beneficiaries
The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) aims to cover every eligible individual on the basis of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) population of every State. To have an estimate of the number of beneficiaries under each scheme of the programme for each State or Union Territory, the population figures according to the Census of India of the immediately previous year and the poverty ratio determined by the Planning Commission would be taken into consideration. The number of beneficiaries for each year would be calculated and determined on the basis of the reports of the year prior to the present year submitted by all the State Governments.