Delhi: Pension Of Over 4 Lakh Senior Citizens Delayed


The Petitions Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly has taken cognizance of complaints of pensions of as many as 4,26,058 senior citizens getting withheld in Delhi

New Delhi: The Petitions Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly has taken cognizance of complaints of pensions of as many as 4,26,058 senior citizens getting withheld in Delhi, and accordingly, has summoned officials of the finance department as well as those of the social welfare department to get to the bottom of the matter.

After the Petitions Committee meeting at Delhi Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, one of the members MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said to the media “For the last couple of months, MLAs in Delhi have been complaining that the pension that is provided by the Delhi Government to the senior citizens has been delayed by 3-4 months.” He said, “Even before the festival of Diwali, the Petitions Committee had instructed the officials to immediately clear the pension of senior citizens that had been held up for 2-3 months. Today again a meeting was held on this issue and the officials of the Social Welfare Department informed the committee members that out of the Rs 2000 pension that is given to some senior citizens, a component of Rs 200 comes from the Central Government. The state government provides the remaining amount of Rs 1800. But for the last 18 months, the Central Government has not been providing its share of Rs 200. ”

The pension gets delayed as files are transferred between the Social Welfare Department and the Finance Department as the Central government is not paying its due share in the pension, pointed out by the MLA.

Saurabh Bhardwaj also said that “The pension has been getting delayed by 3 months because of the non-payment by central government and pension files keep going back and forth between the Social Welfare Department and the Finance Department. Due to this every three months, the Social Welfare Department asks the Finance Department what is to be done about this Rs 200 component. The Finance Department asks it to provide this component out of their own funds, and then this file travels between the two departments and therefore the pension for senior citizens gets delayed by around three months.”

He also said that “We have instructed the Finance Department to find a permanent solution to this problem. We have asked them to assume that the Central Government will not provide the funds for its component and asked them to take the entire amount of Rs 2000 from the Delhi Government. We also asked them that if by chance, the Central Government pays its share, then the money can be adjusted later.”

He continued, “The Principal Secretary (Finance) did not attend the meeting. The Committee found this to be unfortunate and also tried to call up the official, but he did not pick up his phone. If the Principal Secretary (Finance) Ashish Chandra Verma had attended today’s meeting, we believe that this issue could have been resolved at the earliest. The Committee expressed its displeasure that the Principal Secretary (Finance) did not attend its meeting and believes that the official has been creating such issues due to which the constitutional duties of the Delhi Government and particularly those of the Social Welfare Department have been getting hampered.”
“We have asked the officials of the Finance Department to show some sensitivity and urgency in resolving such issues as it affects the livelihood of senior citizens of Delhi.” He added.

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Mentioning last meeting, Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “Last time we had discussed the issue of the salaries and medical tests of the doctors of Mohalla Clinics of the Health Department. We had come to know that there was a delay on the part of the Finance Department. Again such an instance has come to the fore when the Finance Department creates such situations that the file circulates between departments like a football for three months.”

He concluded, “The Delhi government is ready to give the extra Rs 200 crore for the pension of the elderly, but the Finance Department rotates these files for this Rs 200 crore for 3 months. The same process goes on again and again after every three months due to which there is a delay in pensions. There is a slight fault of the Centre in this and a major fault of the Finance Department. In the meeting, we asked them to find a permanent solution. The officials of the Finance Department and Social Welfare Department have assured the committee that this problem will be resolved soon.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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