Hyderabad: “Stern action will be taken against the “Smart Card Agencies” if they were found collecting money from the beneficiaries of pension schemes”, the Minister for Women’s Welfare and Child Development, Ms Sunitha Laxma Reddy, warned.
Replying to a question on old-age and widow pensions in the Assembly on Monday, Ms Sunitha Laxma Reddy said that it was also came to the notice of the government that some Smart Card Agencies were collecting Rs 100 from each of the beneficiaries. The Smart Card Agencies have already been directed not to collect any amount from the beneficiaries. The government would take stringent action against the Agencies, if they continue to collect money from the beneficiaries, she added.
She has also informed that the government had allocated district-wise and category wise pensions under Old age, weavers, widows, disabled and toddy tapper categories. The government, under the budget head “Indiramma pensions to old age, widow pensions” was allocating amount for sanction of 46,00,554 pensions to old age, weavers and widows.
The vacancies arising under this head were being filled irrespective of vacancies in a specific category of pensions to all the eligible beneficiaries in a saturation mode. A total of 43,71,381 pensions were sanctioned under this budget head in January this year for disbursement of pensions on February 1, 2011 of which a total of 19,23,042 pensions were under widow category, she added.
Ms Laxma Reddy claimed that all type of pensions would be paid to the beneficiaries before 5th day of every month. During Rachchabanda programme, 12,16,904 applications for pensions have been received. The applications would be uploaded after six stages of verification. Uploading of 5,68,000 applications were already completed, she added.
Clarifying to the allegation of the Opposition members that the officials were rejecting applications of widows aged above 54 for widow pensions, the Minister made it clear that there was no age limit for widow pension. It was also not possible to provide widow pensions to divorced women, she added.
When it was brought her notice that the Chief Minister had assured at Rachchabanda that widow pension would be extended to divorced women also, the Minister assured to hold a meeting with the officials concerned and take a decision on it. (NSS)