No new ben­e­fi­ciary in three months due to tech­ni­cal snag

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - PUNJAB - Jatin­der Ma­hal let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com n

The state gov­ern­ment’s plan to make an on­line sys­tem for the so­cial se­cu­rity de­part­ment for has­sle-free pen­sion ser­vices has back­fired as not even a sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion to add new ben­e­fi­ciary has been ap­proved.

This is due to some tech­ni­cal snag in the on­line sys­tem at sewa kendras in the dis­trict for the past three months.

As per in­for­ma­tion, over 2,000 ap­pli­cants are wait­ing for the of­fi­cial ap­proval from ad­min­is­tra­tion to make them el­i­gi­ble for so­cial schemes’ ben­e­fits.

PRO­CE­DURE

Un­der the project, if an ap­pli­cant ap­plies at sewa kendras af­ter the gov­ern­ment started on­line fa­cil­ity, the file is for­warded to the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion or coun­cil of­fice for field ver­i­fi­ca­tion, which then sends it to the of­fice of sub-di­vi­sional mag­is­trate (SDM) for ver­i­fi­ca­tion.

The SDM’s of­fice, af­ter ver­i­fi­ca­tion, for­wards the ap­pli­ca­tions to the dis­trict so­cial se­cu­rity of­fi­cer (DSSO), which is­sues a sanc­tion let­ter to the ben­e­fi­ciary. Un­der the scheme, the so­cial se­cu­rity de­part­ment is also pay­ing ₹500 per month to old-age pen­sion­ers (women aged 60 years or above and men aged 65 or above). The state gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a hike in the monthly pen­sion but it has not is­sued any no­ti­fi­ca­tion in this re­gard.

FLAW

How­ever, due to a tech­ni­cal snag in the sys­tem of sewa kendras, the ap­pli­ca­tions are go­ing to the SDM of­fice straight away. As a re­sult, a proper chan­nel is not fol­lowed and the ap­pli­cants are wait­ing for a re­sponse from the past three months. The ap­pli­cants have been vis­it­ing the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion (MC), SDM and DSSO of­fices since many weeks now, but to no avail.

OTHER TROU­BLES

The al­ready ex­ist­ing ben­e­fi­cia­ries —el­derly peo­ple, wid­ows and the dis­abled —have not re­ceived their pen­sion from the state gov­ern­ment since Jan­uary this year.

The dis­trict so­cial se­cu­rity of­fi­cer (DSSO), Dalwinder Singh said, “I have ap­proached the higher author­i­ties and we hope that the is­sue will soon be re­solved.”

“We have not re­ceived funds since Jan­uary. We have given the pen­sion for Novem­ber and De­cem­ber and when­ever we get the amount, it will be dis­trib­uted among the ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” he said. Ow­ing to the de­lay in trans­fer of funds, ben­e­fi­cia­ries are mak­ing bee­lines at gov­ern­ment of­fices and MC of­fices to in­quire about the pen­sion.

Shila Devi, 68, of Pro­fes­sor Colony in Phag­wara, said that she had vis­ited the MC of­fice about 10 times in the past four months to in­quire about the pen­sion, but to no avail.

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