No new beneficiary in three months due to technical snag
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.
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.
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.
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.