The Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Petitions Committee reported on Wednesday that the centre’s failure to pay its meagre share and the arbitrary barriers erected by the finance department had prevented 4,26,058 elderly persons in the city from receiving their pensions.
The Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Petitions Committee summoned officials from the social welfare and finance departments after taking note of these issues.
The committee has learned that out of the pension of Rs 2,000 given to the elderly, approximately 1,11,361 people get a part of Rs 200 from the central government and Rs 1,800 from the Delhi government, according to MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who provided data about the meeting. The Centre hasn’t paid its portion of Rs 200 toward the senior people’s pension for the past 1.5 years. The finance department consistently delays the old pension by two to three months due to the failure to pay the central contribution of Rs 200.
“Today, representatives from the finance department and the social welfare department were called in by the petitions committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. We’ve told them to start looking for a long-term fix right away,” he said.
According to Saurabh Bharadwaj, who is also the chairman of the petition committee, “MLAs in Delhi have been complaining over the past few months that the pension that the Delhi Government provides to older residents has been delayed by three to four months. The Petitions Committee had asked the officials to swiftly clear the senior citizen pension that had been delayed for two to three months even before the Diwali celebration.
“Today, a meeting on this matter was convened once more, and the committee members were informed by the Social Welfare Department officials that, of the Rs. 2000 pension that some older residents receive, Rs. 200 comes from the central government. The state government contributes the remaining Rs 1800, according to the AAP leader.
“As a result, the government file on pensions keeps circling between the Finance Department and the Social Welfare Department, causing the pension to be delayed by three months. The Social Welfare Department asks the Finance Department what should be done about this Rs 200 component every three months. The senior citizens’ pension is delayed by about three months as a result of the Finance Department’s request that it pay for this component out of its own funds. This is because the file must travel back and forth between the two departments.
“Today we have directed the Finance Department to find a long-term solution to this issue,” the AAP MLA continued. We instructed them to take the whole sum of Rs 2000 from the Delhi Government and to anticipate that the Central Government will not contribute funds for its component. Additionally, we requested that the money be adjusted later if the Central Government were to accidentally pay its portion.
He further mentioned that the Principal Secretary (Finance) was absent from the meeting today.
The livelihood of Delhi’s senior citizens is at stake, thus we have urged the Finance Department’s employees to resolve these problems quickly and sensitively.
According to the AAP MLA, the Delhi government is willing to provide an additional Rs 200 for pensions for senior citizens, but the finance department rotates these files for this money for three months.
“The same process continues after every three months, which causes a delay in pension payments. This has a minor centre defect and a significant finance department fault. We asked them to come up with a long-term fix today. The committee has received assurances from the officials of the Finance Department and Social Welfare Department that this issue will be rectified quickly, he continued.