1,64,360 applicants for Rs 1000-a-month pension await clearance


Cases of as many as 164,360 applicants in Kashmir await social welfare department’s clearance that will make them eligible for financial assistance under various social security schemes.
In the past two days, government struck 8449 ineligible persons off the beneficiary list and also approved 40,000 cases for old-age-, widow- and disabled-pension of Rs 1000 a month.
Once these 40,000 cases are formally approved, the pendency will reduce to 124,360. Some of the cases have been pending clearance since 2009.
The pension is provided under central government’s National Social Assistance Programme and state government’s Integrated Social Security Scheme.
The ISSS was launched by the state government in 1995 to provide financial assistance to the elderly, destitute, widows, divorcees and persons with disability. The NSAP is a centrally-sponsored scheme for the poor living below poverty line.
A cash assistance of 1000 is provided to beneficiaries under ISSS and NSAP. A one-time cash assistance of Rs 20000 is provided to the families under NFBS.
Under ISSS, a total of 344,455 applications have been received for pension. Of these 242,668 persons currently receive the pension while 101787 applications s are pending with the social welfare department.
Similarly, under NSAP 134,178 applications have been received, 78656 cases approved and 55, 522 are pending for approval. Under NFBS, 7051 applications are pending.
Of the 40000 approved cases, 3240 have been cleared in Srinagar district, 1109 Ganderbal, 3165 Budgam, 2600 Anantnag, 2720 Kulgam, 1340 Pulwama, 347 Shopian, 3147 Baramulla, 2158 Bandipora, 3860 Kupwara, 140 Leh, 457 Kargil, 4115 Jammu, 1292 Kathua, 1445 Udhampur, 1594 Rajouri, 1810 Poonch, 1424 Reasi, 1113 Ramban, 549 Kishtwar, 1125 Samba and 1250 for Doda.
Director social welfare department Ruqsana Gani said the funds for these schemes are limited. At the same time, applicants keep on increasing.
The cases are assessed for eligibility at the district level every five years. For example, if a person has died, she is removed from the beneficiary list to make way for the new applicant.
However, Ruqsana said, several applicants vie for each vacancy officials detect during assessment.
“That is the reason for pendency,” she said.
The issue of pendency even reached the State Human Rights Commission when a woman from Chadoora, Budgam, filed a complaint saying the social welfare department had denied her cash assistance.
The Commission had asked the department to furnish the data regarding the pendency in the state. It was told 260,831 people have applied for pension.

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