1.74 lakh dead pensioners eliminated, Tamil Nadu saves Rs 200 crore – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

CHENNAI: A data cleansing exercise conducted by the Social Security Scheme Commissariat over the past three months has helped clear the names of nearly 1.73 lakh of deceased beneficiaries of various social security pension schemes, which which saved almost Rs 200 crore per year.

The revenue department also suspended the pensions of 6,147 people across the state and began checking the details of 18,656 people who had failed to meet government-mandated criteria. The exercise was carried out by matching social security records with data from the Tamil Nadu E-Governance Agency.

Official sources said that Aadhaar and other details were used to remove the names of 1,73,788 deceased people from the list of beneficiaries. N Venkatachalam, Commissioner for the Social Security Scheme, said: “Unlike state and union government retirees and recipients of government liabilities, we do not require life certificates from people every year. The work of data purification is a dynamic process and it will continue.

He said eliminating ineligible beneficiaries from social security schemes is essential to support the population in need. “Since May last year, we have included 3.5 lakh new beneficiaries under various pension schemes,” he said.

Social security pensions are granted to the elderly, disabled, widows, destitute women, landless agricultural workers (uzhavar padhukappu thittam), single women over 50 and Sri Lankan refugees. As of May 31, 34,27,410 people received a pension of Rs 1,000 each month; Rs 345 crore has been allocated for the program.

Several pensioners hold 2 bottles

The process of weeding out ineligible recipients is ongoing based on the guidelines issued by the government in March that anyone who has sold or purchased a property worth Rs 1 lakh and above, holds two LPG cylinders , is a council/government retiree, and lives in good economic conditions will not be entitled to a pension.

According to data from the Registry Service, 18,656 retirees had made property transactions worth Rs 1 lakh and above. “We have decided not to cancel their pensions immediately. If a beneficiary has sold their property to pay off a debt, the person will still be eligible for a pension. Verification on the ground by tax inspectors is ongoing. Action will be taken based on the inspection reports,” Venkatachalam said.

While the pension was cut off for 630 people who were also receiving pensions from the Tamil Nadu Construction Workers Welfare Board, benefits were cut off for 5,517 people living in better economic conditions. The electricity bill and electronic devices are used as indicators to determine their living conditions.

Surprisingly, according to the records, several retirees from Tamil Nadu also hold two cylinders. “It is possible that the beneficiaries are not using them or that someone else is using the cylinders purchased in their name. We have not yet taken a decision on the cancellation of these pensions. A verification on the ground will be done,” Venkatachalam said.

Under the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), the Center contributes Rs 200 to Rs 500 per beneficiary for the old age pension scheme, Rs 300 for the disabled and Rs 300 for widows. The rest of the cost is borne by the State. Six other schemes are fully funded by the state government.

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