Tamil Nadu to digitally monitor Rs 1,000 support scheme for women; Ineligible beneficiaries must be replaced

CHENNAI: Similar to the practice under the old age pension scheme, bank accounts and other transactions of beneficiaries of Kalaingar Magalir Urimai Thogai (KMUT) will also be digitally monitored from June this year to check whether the beneficiaries still meet the eligibility criteria under the schedule.

About 1.15 crore women heads of eligible households, including those in rehabilitation camps for Sri Lankan Tamils, will receive monthly assistance of Rs 1,000 under the scheme. The state government spends over Rs 12,000 crore on the scheme every year. If there is an improvement in the living conditions of the beneficiaries after the planned review and if they do not meet the eligibility criteria, they will be replaced with a new set of eligible beneficiaries, sources said.

To be eligible for the Kalaingar Magalir Urimai Thogai scheme, families’ land holdings should not exceed 5 hectares of wetland area or 10 hectares of dry land and annual income should be less than Rs 2.5 lakh. Other criteria include power consumption pattern

Land ownership may not exceed 5 hectares of wetland area

So far, under the KMUT scheme launched on September 15 last year, only the names of deceased persons are removed from the list of beneficiaries before monthly transfer of money to their bank accounts. The digital surveillance system has not covered recipients for other aspects so far, sources from the Social Security and Special Program Implementation Departments told TNIE.

Sources said that after signing up for the scheme, some beneficiaries’ relatives may have taken up government service, bought cars or other heavy vehicles or acquired new land, which would make them ineligible.

To be eligible for the scheme, families’ land holdings should not exceed 5 hectares of wetland area or 10 hectares of dry land and annual income should be less than Rs 2.5 lakh. There are also other criteria, including a limit on energy consumption.

An official pointed out that the living standards and financial status of the beneficiary families are dynamic. “Many who have new jobs or earn more may have to pay income taxes. If one family member exceeds the annual limit of Rs 2.5 lakh, the beneficiary will become ineligible,” the official said.

The same logic applies to the overall land holdings as well, the officer said. “If a family that owns three hectares of wetland buys another 2.5 hectares, they will be disqualified.” The accounts and transaction monitoring system to monitor this, linked to Aadhaar and other credentials, is supported by the Tamil Nadu e-governance agency. “If they do not qualify, they will be replaced by new members. The current practice for the old age pension scheme will be extended to the KMUT scheme after government approval,” said another official