Digital India Denies 10 lakh Pensioners in Bihar
15th December 2017
As per government’s own data, ten lakh pensioners are currently being denied their entitlement to social security. While the government has listed 63 lakh social security pensioners, only 53 lakh persons are actually getting this. The difference of approximately 10 lakhs is due to purely administrative lapses, such as wrong details entered in the database either on bank account numbers or names. No official is held liable for this cruel and inhumane denial of people’s entitlements.
This came to light during recently concluded camps to spread awareness and use of the Bihar Lok Shikayat Nivaran Guarantee Act, 2015, which were held in Katihar and Araria from 27th November to 12th December.
Through this exercise, the most severe grievances that emerged related to pensions.
|S. No.||Issue||Total||% grievances|
On further investigation in the website of the Department of Social Welfare www.elabharthi.nic.in it is clear that almost 10 lakh pensioners in the state are being denied their pensions.
Total Beneficiary Paid
Not Being Paid
Figures from: www.elabarthi.nic.in as of 13th December 2017
This could be for a variety of reasons, including; rejected by the Public Fund Management System (of Ministry of Finance), no Bank Account of IFSC Code, no Aadhaar with Bank Account, no Aadhaar and Bank Account not seeded. The worst affected districts are Madhubani, Saran, Bhagalpur and Darbhanga where over sixty thousand pensioners each are being denied their entitlement.
This does not even reflect the cases where person’s pensions have been sanctioned but not entered into the database. It also doesn’t reflect the countless number of persons who are eligible but who are not getting a pension. This only reflects the limited universe to which the government provides a social security pension.
Furthermore, the Government of Bihar is considering making payments through the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System from 1st April 2018. The move from cash to bank payments two years ago, has already excluded several lakhs of pensioners. This potential move to mandatory aadhaar will be disastrous, leading to situations like pensioner deaths in Rajasthan and hunger deaths in Jharkhand. At present, only 20% of the pensioners on the system have aadhaar seeded bank accounts.
We met Saryu Musahar in Bagulaha Panchayat of Raniganj in Araria District. Saryu Ji had not received his meager Pension amount of Rs 400/months for more than 1.5 years. He even showed us his Pan Card which he was forced to get to keep his account Operative by his local bank where he gets the Pension money.
This reflects the callousness and unpreparedness of the administration in bringing new policy measures, which affect the weakest and most vulnerable citizens in our society.
Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan demands:
1. An immediate review of the list of pensioners not receiving pension as per government data.
2. Action taken on administrative officials for not reviewing and redressing these issues in a time bound manner.
3. Immediately pay pensions, and the entire backlog for all pensioners on the system.
4. It is clear that this figure of 63 lakh is an under representation of the true extent of eligible pensioners. Eligible persons may be enrolled on a camp basis.
5. Under no circumstances should Aadhaar Enabled Payment System and biometric authentication be introduced into social security pensions.
Ashish Ranjan Kamayani Swami Ranjit Paswan for the JJSS
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