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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Pension to terrorism-affected families delayed for months

Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, August 30, 2014
First Published: 12:31 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 12:33 IST(30/8/2014)

Several terrorism-hit families in the district have not got their pension for the past two to four months. And, with no funds available with the administration so far, there is no hope of the pension being disbursed to them by the end of this month also. The terrorism-affected families are entitled to a pension of Rs. 5,000 per month.

An official in the district administration, on the condition of anonymity, said that as many as 68 families in the Bathinda sub-division have not got pension after March.

“The amount to be disbursed as pension among these families for three months was received in April but, as we already had the pendency of last three months (January, February and March), the sanctioned amount just cleared the backlog. As, no more amount has been sanctioned by the state government till now, we have not been able to disburse the pending pensions,” said the official.  

The official said that the situation is almost similar all over the state and a large number of beneficiaries are yet to get their pensions for the period ranging from two months to four months.

With no funds available with the district administration, families will not get the pension this month also.

Sub-divisional magistrate, Rampura Phul, Sakattar Singh Bal, said that in his subdivision, as many as 44 families are yet to get the pension for June and July.  He said, “We have a monthly requirement of  Rs. 2.20 lakh to be disbursed as pension among terrorism-affected families. We have cleared the pendency till May, but now we are left with Rs. 93,000 only for this head, so we have not disbursed any pension under this category as it might invite objections from families if we chose some families for payment. We have demanded funds for the purpose and will disburse the same as soon as we receive them,” he said.

Balwinder Kaur, wife of Gursevak Singh, a resident of Malout, who was killed by terrorists in 1990 in Bathinda, said that she and other pensioners here haven’t get the pensions after March. “Earlier, we used to get the pension in time, but now we have been facing the problem of getting them in time,” she said.

She said that the families having other sources of income can bear the delay, but the families totally dependent on the pensions are finding it hard to manage.

Deputy commissioner Basant Garg could not be contacted despite repeated phone calls, but additional deputy commissioner (general) Sumeet Jarangal assured to tell about the situation within half an hour after inquiring into the matter. But later on, he turned his mobile off.

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