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Old age pensioners still awaiting pensions, SWD unmoved
6/6/2015 11:21:18 PM
G S Asgotra

Early Times Report

Jammu, June 6: Lackadaisical approach of coalition government could be gauged from the fact that the old age pensioners under Integrated Social Service Scheme (ISSS) have been waiting for their pensions for the last more than one year while the Social Welfare Department (SWD) rather than redressing the issue has been forcing this marginalized community to run from pillar to post.
Source in the department informed Early Times that due to careless attitude of the department concerned, the previous' year funds under ISSS, to the tune of nearly Rs 4 Crore had got lapsed, as a result of which the old age pensions were not paid to beneficiaries. "The previous government headed by NC-Congress coalition had sanctioned Rs. 4 Crores but after change of guard in state, the PDP-BJP coalition government had not released the pension funds, resulting in the lapse of Rs. 4 Crores in the last financial year", sources said, adding that the government was yet to release grant for the ongoing financial year, due to which the pension claims of several people have been delayed.
Bimla Rani, a resident of Block Dhansal, Jammu said, "For the last one year, she has been making rounds of adjoining bank but every time she has to return empty hands", adding that on one hand the state government had promised to increase the old age pension but on other hand, it has been failed to even release meager pension of Rs. 300 per month. She further said that the delay in release of pension claims has virtually exposed the tall claims of government. "The government is restricted to -persuasive speeches and boasting of tall claims but on ground level, the problems of common masses are still intact", another pensioner said. When this correspondent contacted to Director SWD, MS Choudhary said that due to lapse of last year grant amount of Rs. 4 Crore, the problem exists. "Whenever the funds will be released by government, the pension dues of all beneficiaries would be cleared", he said. Social Welfare Minister, Bali Bhagat said that it was the failure of previous government that the funds to the tune of several crores, for last three years was pending. He added that they have been pursuing the case and shortly the pension dues would be cleared.
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