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Social Ministry to push bills on senior citizens, transgenders

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Social Ministry to push bills on senior citizens, transgenders

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NEW DELHI: The Union government will push two key legislations —Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill and Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill — in the first session of Parliament starting June 17.

As part of its 100-day agenda, the Union government has lined up a slew of social welfare initiatives for Scheduled Castes including a revamped Rs 10,000-crore post matric scholarship flagship scheme and Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana.

The social justice and empowerment ministry would put the two legislations before the Cabinet and then begin the legislative process in the forthcoming session of Parliament. Social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said, “The two Bills could not be passed in the 16th Lok Sabha so we would be re-initiating the legislative process. There would be no amendments and the two legislations would be tabled as planned.” Transgender Bill, which defines a transgender person and enunciates transgender rights, was not passed by last Lok Sabha. Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Amendment Bill has expanded the ambit of social security for the elderly by making distant relatives responsible for their upkeep, increased fine and imprisonment for abandoning parents and done away with the financial cap of Rs 10,000 for maintenance of parents.

As part of its 100-day agenda till August end, the ministry would also move the cabinet to completely revamp its major welfare scheme – post matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes. So far, the scheme was working on committed liability principle where the major financial burden was felt by the states. The centre would release funds at the end of a five-year plan and would only add a small share to the entire kitty. However, now the ministry has proposed that centre bear 75% of the financial burden and states fund a mere 25%. The ministry moved a note for approval of expenditure finance committee (EFC) and is likely to table the revamped scheme in the next cabinet meeting.



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