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Odisha CM urges to continue ‘Pension disbursement’ in Cash

By Hemant Pande

December 2017

KalingaTV News Network

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to impose the bank payment system on disbursement of pension under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), instead allow Odisha Government to disburse it in cash to the beneficiaries of the state.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik said, “The State of Odisha , according to the NSAP guidelines, has been disbursing pension in cash on a fixed day ( 15 of every month irrespective of the day being a holiday) at the Gram Panchayat  and ULB headquarters  in an open and transparent manner.”

“Regular cash disbursement on a fixed day of the month entails burden on state administration but ensures the desired outcome of providing social security to the most vulnerable sections of population. The state is discharging its responsibility in the interest of the beneficiaries,” the Chief Minister claimed.

Patnaik further apprised the Prime Minister that as many as 4,376 Gram Panchayats in Odisha have no banking facilities and the existing banks find difficult to take the burden of large number of pensioners due to shortage of their staff members.

“Payment of pension in the bank accounts to beneficiaries will not serve the desired purpose in view of the difficulties in drawing money from the banks. In view of their impecunious condition, the pensioners need cash urgently to meet their daily needs and not a deposit in the banks. Cash for disbursement of pension ensures achievement of the basic objective of social security for the vulnerable pensioners,” he added.

The move came after the Union Government asked the State Government to switch over to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) complaint system for disbursement of pensions under the NSAP.