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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Laxities in Gujarat govt’s old age pension scheme: CAG

In its report tabled in the state Assembly on Friday, the CAG has observed that the state government has not covered all Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries, from both rural and urban population, under the scheme.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: September 26, 2020 3:21:51 pm
The ministry mentioned that the “requirement of continuous qualifying service of 7 years is done away with” effective from October 1, 2019 through a letter issued on Monday. (File)

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out laxities and discrepancies in the implementation of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme by the state Social Justice and Empowerment Department.

In its report tabled in the state Assembly on Friday, the CAG has observed that the state government has not covered all Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries, from both rural and urban population, under the scheme.

“As against the estimated BPL beneficiaries of 5.81 lakh approved as a ceiling by the GoI based on poverty ratio of 2004-05, the state government could cover 5.60 lakh BPL beneficiaries under the scheme as of March 2018,” the report stated.

Further, the CAG observed that out of total 2949 eligible BPL persons in the 21 gram panchayats of eight talukas under four districts — Banaskantha, Dahod, Valsad and Jamnagar – 1,288 eligible BPL persons remained uncovered under the scheme.

The records of Social Justice and Empowerment Department covering the period from 2013-18 was test checked under the audit.

The report also revealed that mamlatdars have provided pensions to ineligible persons along with non-disbursement of pension in cases of return of money orders were noticed.

Further, non-disbursement of pension in cases of return of money orders were noticed in the eight talukas.

“In Dahod, Jamnagar and Palanpur talukas, the audit observed that pension to 107 beneficiaries (Rs 10.18 lakh) was being credited wrongly to the bank accounts of others due to incorrect linkage of Aadhaar and incorrect entry of bank account number by the mamlatdars who have not conducted annual personal verification of existing beneficiaries.”

While mamlatdar of Dahod stated in June 2018 that necessary action to rectify discrepancies would be taken, mamlatdars of Palanpur and Jamnagar attributed the reason for not making payment of arrears to absence of provision for the same in the scheme guidelines.

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