Procedure Simplified for issue of Disability Certificate

       The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Rules 1996 have been amended in December last year. The amended rules enable a simplified and decentralized procedure for issue of disability certificate. Disability certificate can now be issued by a single doctor in respect of obvious disabilities at the level Primary Health Centre (PHCs)/Government Medical Practitioner, Community Health Centres and Hospitals at the Sub-Divisional level. In case of non obvious disabilities, certificate can be issued by a specialist. Only in case of multiple disability, a Medical Board is required. Further, Medical Certificate is to be issued as far as possible within 7 days from the date of application but in any case not later than one month. 

           State Governments have also been requested to make similar amendments in their PwD Rules and notify their medical authorities accordingly. 

          A Committee consisting of representatives of various stake holders, experts in disabilities etc. has been set up in April this year to study the suggestions received from State Governments, concerned Central Ministries and several other sources on the proposed amendments to the PwD Act, 1995 and to prepare a new draft Legislation aligning it with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

     This information was given by Shri. D. Napoleon, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

Swavalamban Yojana Scheme

              The Union Finance Minister has announced Swavalamban Scheme in the Union Budget 2010-11 to address the longevity risk of poorer sections of the country. Under the Swavalamban, the Government of India shall contribute a sum of Rs. 1,000 to each subscriber account of the New Pension System (NPS) during the current year and the next three years provided the subscriber contributes any amount between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 12,000 per annum. The Government has targeted to cover ten lakh subscribers each in the four years beginning 2010-11, bringing the total number of subscribers to 40 lakhs by March, 2014. The Operational Guidelines on Swavalamban Scheme have been approved and released which, inter-alia, provide the applicability, benefits, definitions of the un-organized sector, eligibility, funding, operation etc. of the Scheme.

         The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has placed these Guidelines in public domain on its website . The Government has launched the Scheme on 26.09.2010 and the same will be implemented by the PFRDA. PFRDA has appointed various agencies all over the country, such as, Financial Sector entities, Government entities, Civil Society organizations, etc. for enrolment of subscribers and contribution collection under the Swavalamban Scheme. A higher level of enrolments under the Scheme will ensure old age income security for such subscribers in their post-retirement phase.

      The Minister of Labour and Employment Shri Mallikarjun Kharge gave this information in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

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