As disastrous as it may sound, the Punjab government has been giving social security pensions to at least 65,743 dead people.
As disastrous as it may sound, the Punjab government has been giving social security pensions to at least 65,743 dead people, according to a report by India Today. Taking to Twitter, former Infosys honcho Mohandas Pai said, “What a scam.very reason Aadhar needed.” This alleged scam has been going on for over a decade now, and it has put the state government under the scanner – the state was being ruled by the SAD-BJP combine an now Congress government has taken over. Re-verification of the about 19.80 lakh pensioners in Punjab has revealed that as many as 2,45,935 social security pension holders are fake. Surprisingly, most of the fake pensioners are young and do not even meet the income criteria. A sizeable chunk of them even own properties. What is clear here is that if Aadhaar is seeded into every aspect of subsidies/doles /pensions provided by the government, chances of scams diminesh to a large extent.
Out of the 65,743 dead people, who are still registered beneficiaries of old age pension, 45,128 pension holders have furnished wrong address details. The report further reveals that as many as 42,437 young people are also getting old age pensions besides 10,199 rich senior citizens. According to government officials, 82,428 pension holders failed to join the re-verification drive launched after the new government was sworn in earlier this year.
Given that the Punjab government has 20 lakh social security pension holders and each one of them is receiving Rs 500 monthly under social security pension scheme, the state government is spending around Rs 49.51 crore every year on social security pensions including old age pension, widow pension and disability pension.
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) October 31, 2017
Reacting to this alleged, multi-crore scam, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a probe. According to officials, more than 82,000 people did not participate in the re-verification process. The news comes at a time when the Punjab government’s financial health is deteriorating day by day. The financial burden of the state government is likely to cross Rs 1.9 lakh crore by the end of this financial year while the revenue deficit is also rising every year.