State Bank of India had been paying pension to more than 3,000 dead pensioners for many years after their death, leading to the transfer of these accounts out of SBI and the recovery of Rs 16 crore from it, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question by T Rathinavel of the AIADMK, Rijiju said that the government has decided to transfer accounts of Central Freedom Fighter Pensioners from SBI to other banks that re authorised to disburse Central Freedom Fighter Pension.
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He said that this was due to certain irregularities on the part of SBI, such as paying pension to more than 3,000 deceased pensioners for many years after their death, payment of wrong amount of pension to many pensioners, delayed payment of revised dearness relief, and loss of more than 1,100 original disbursers’ portion of PPOs, or payment pension orders.
On account of these irregularities, more than Rs 16 crore has already been recovered from SBI, the minister said.
In order to prevent any difficulties for the pensioners, they have been advised to open an account in any bank of their choice from among the banks authorised to disburse pensions, Rijiju said. The banks have also been advised to approach such pensioners and open their accounts on priority by June 30, he said.
As for those pensioners who have not opened a new account in banks other than SBI till June 30, State Bank of India will continue to disburse their pension so that the pensioners need not face any hardship, the minister added.