Kochi. The Kerala Government has uncovered that Rs 1344 crore meant for the welfare pension has gone to undeserving sections of society. The government has found that seven lakh people enjoyed the benefits of the pension scheme till December 2019 illegally. The welfare scheme is applicable only to people with salaries less than one lakh per annum. The government has found that the undeserving people mostly got into the list through political affiliations and help from powerful people.
To verify the eligibility of the beneficiaries, the government asked for salary certificates. However, 6.5 lakh people failed to submit the documents, and another 50,000 people who provided the certificates had salaries exceeding one lakh per annum. The government plans to remove these undeserving people from the welfare scheme list.
To ensure that only deserving people benefit from the scheme, the government plans to adopt strict scrutinizing schemes to check the salary certificate and undergo a mustering process. The next check will end in July 2023, and undeserving people found during this time will lose access to the welfare pension scheme. People with cars and AC fitted in their houses will also lose their eligibility.
According to reports, many deserving people are still omitted from the scheme. Delays in obtaining salary certificates from the village offices are making it difficult for them to join the welfare scheme list.
The government has also uncovered another fraud where people who were just divorced took advantage of the widow pension schemes. Going forward, the central-allotted pensions will come through the public financial management system. The central and state governments will have separate pension schemes, and the beneficiaries will not receive Rs 1600 in one go like before.
The government’s findings revealed that undeserving sections took a whopping Rs 1344 crore during the three-year period as part of the welfare pension scheme. To pay the welfare pension schemes to the financially downtrodden in society, the government increased the fuel cess. The government plans to take strict action against those who fraudulently claimed welfare pensions and ensure that the scheme reaches the deserving sections of society.
Inputs – Media Reports