The Punjab government on Wednesday launched a campaign to weed out ineligible old-age pensioners as per directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court. A statewide drive has been started to verify the age and residence proof of all beneficiaries of the old-age pension.
According to an official spokesman, all cases of old-age pension beneficiaries of villages and urban areas after January 1, 2009 would be verified and instructions in this regard have already been issued to all deputy commissioners of the state.
Clarifying the procedure to be adopted for verification, the spokesperson said primary verification would be completed by village-level officers for proof of residence and age; patwaris (revenue officials) would be the competent authority for primary verification of the beneficiary's income.
He said the list of cases not fulfilling the eligibility criteria for old-age pension would be displayed in the panchayat ghar in villages for inviting claims and objections. He said claims and objections would be heard in the gram sabha by an officer deputed by the deputy commissioner concerned and preferably of the rank of subdivisional officer (SDO).
He added that the subdivisional magistrate would be overall incharge of the verification process for his/her subdivision. After the completion of the entire process at the subdivision level, reports would be sent to the deputy commissioner, who would send these to the director, social security and women's welfare department, Punjab. After verification, the status report of eligible and ineligible beneficiaries would be presented in the high court.