4,500 new applications cleared since new administration took charge
The welfare standing committee of the Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation has begun taking measures to speed up processing of welfare pension applications and cut down the backlogs.
Instructions have been issued to Revenue Inspectors to process all pending pension applications within June 20, to be submitted to the council for clearance. The officials have also been asked to clear all new applications within one month of applying.
According to welfare standing committee chairperson S.Salim, as many as 4,500 new pension applications were cleared since the new administration took charge at the Corporation.
“New applications for pension usually remain pending for months due to various issues. At times, this could be due to small issues in applications, for instance when the beneficiaries might not have submitted identity cards or account details. There are cases where notices have been issued for rectification already. Early this month, we convened a meeting of all Revenue Inspectors and asked them to take steps to speed up all pending applications. Once the lockdown is over, we plan to hold a pension adalat too,” says Mr.Salim.
At present, the city Corporation has a total of 92,804 welfare pensioners across various categories. Out of this, 59,636 are women, while 33,164 are men. Old age pension beneficiaries come to a total of 53,177, while 28,839 beneficiaries draw pension for widows. The remaining beneficiaries draw either the pensions for differently abled or agricultural labourers or for unmarried women.
In every council meeting, the names of hundreds of applicants for the various welfare pensions are cleared. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the processing of pension applications had slowed down, reducing the number of applications which are cleared in council meetings since the past one year.
This has led to a considerable backlog. A couple of years back, the waiting list had gone up to 15,000 after the online window for inclusion of new beneficiaries remained closed for months, around the time when the process for weeding out ineligible beneficiaries and those drawing double benefits began. The welfare pension beneficiary list was cleaned up in 2019 after 1,699 ineligible beneficiaries were identified and removed.
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