The Punjab government has decided to credit pension and financial assistance under social security schemes directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The decision has been taken to facilitate the beneficiaries living in rural areas of the state. Social Security Minister Razia Sultana today said in a statement that as per the earlier practice pension to the beneficiaries living in rural areas was provided through the respective panchayat. Under the previous state government, beneficiaries had to face hurdles in getting the pensions and the current government has amended the norms of such social security schemes.
Now the pensions and financial assistance will be directly deposited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, she said. The minister said that the Punjab government has also raised the annual income limit of eligibility for pension and other social security schemes to Rs 60,000 from Rs 24,000 and beneficiaries can now avail the benefit of these schemes by furnishing a self-certificate in this regard. Sultana said that to avail the benefit an applicant should not be in government or private service, and should not have an annual income of more than Rs 60,000 from any source, including interest/rental income.
Further, the applicant would also need to provide a self-certificate that he/she does not have more than 2.5 acres of land. She said that before the amendment, approval rights for the provisional pension were vested with the sub-divisional magistrate and the beneficiaries from rural areas had to face obstacles get the benefits. Sulatana said this procedure has been simplified and now child development and the executive officer of the municipal council and secretary of municipal corporation have been authorized for accepting the application forms in rural and urban areas.