Monday morning was as eventful as Sunday morning for Chela Singh (83) of this district’s Kaler village.
After HT reported that the man whose picture was used for promoting Punjab’s old-age pension scheme was not a beneficiary, the state’s Akali government went into damage-control mode and Chela Singh had surprise visitors at 8am — district social security officer Shinderpal Kaur and some other members of the administration. Later, the tehsildar and the patwari also came over to verify his credentials.
Later, the tehsildar and the patwari also came over to verify his credentials. Forms were filled for the man and his wife, Jagir Kaur. “The officials completed all the formalities by 10am and promised to clear my application soon,” said Chela Singh.
They meant it. “The (pension) cards were issued by the evening,” said Shinderpal Kaur. An elated Chela Singh can’t believe that the benefit for which he had waited for nine years (since 2007) came to him by an advertising goof-up about what the government achieved in that period.
Chela and his wife will now get a monthly pension of Rs 500 each.
Deputy commissioner MS Jaggi had sent these officials to the village. Shinderpal Kaur, who filed a report on the DC’s orders, stated that “Not a single application for old-age pension is pending in my office”. Sources said the chief minister’s office (CMO) had got things moving.
When exposed, the government was preparing to release booklets selling its development programmes to voters. Now to avoid another goof-up, the administration will scan every picture and data inside.