To prevent fraud in availing benefits under welfare schemes, the government has a long-term plan to introduce bio-metric identification system and as an immediate measure, it has decided to link the Aadhar Card to all schemes from April 1, this year.
Within the next three months, beneficiaries under the Dayanand Social Security pension Scheme will have to have the Aadhar Card, in addition to submitting life certificates annually. This was disclosed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in the Goa Assembly, while replying on behalf of the social welfare minister during question hour on Thursday.
The query was raised by Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte who complained of procedural lapses in the implementation of the Dayanand Social Security Scheme (DSSS).
While Khaunte pointed out that pension disbursements under the scheme were not being done regularly, the chief minister said that payments where the department has doubts regarding beneficiaries have been held back.
The social welfare department serves about 1.16 lakh beneficiaries and a survey will be conducted to find out the status of all these persons.
Complaints about pensions of deceased are being drawn by others and existence of double beneficiaries has come to the notice of the department.
In North Goa the completed survey showed that there are many cases where beneficiaries have either migrated, died or not traceable. “The government will take steps to recover the money,” Parrikar said, “especially in those cases of double beneficiaries and disbursements made after death.”
Regarding complaints of delays in pension disbursements, Parrikar denied that there were any delay and pointed out that till date all disbursements have been made.
Out of the pending 10,812 new applications a total of 5863 applications have been cleared.
Khaunte however said, “While earlier it used to take one month to process applications now it takes seven to eight months.”
The minister for social welfare Mahadev Naik also replying to the queries raised in the House Thursday said that the delays were not deliberate and certain procedures have to be followed before the applications are cleared and sent to the ministry for the final approval and sanctions.
In his supplementary query Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal asked the social welfare ministry to come out with clearer guidelines for the physically handicapped.
VEGETABLE SCHEME WITHDRAWN: The social welfare minister Thursday justified its move to withdraw the vegetable vendors scheme on the grounds that it was being misused and could not be continued.
Parrikar said that those genuine and traditional cultivators could avail of financial assistance under the new scheme for traditional occupations.
While Calangute MLA Michael Lobo urged the government not to withdraw the earlier scheme and instead increase the assistance to genuine beneficiaries, Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte asked the government to link the scheme through agriculture department to promote agriculture. [H]