Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to reconsider the state government’s recent decision to hand out cash as pension to the elderly, widows and disabled people.
Mr. Pradhan, a native of Odisha, alleged that in the past there were many cases of beneficiaries being exploited due to corruption and manipulation by middlemen through cash payments and said that the Odisha government’s decision to give cash to the beneficiaries “will encourage corruption and bad practices” in the state.
ଓଡ଼ିଶା ସରକାରଙ୍କ ଦ୍ୱାରା ବରିଷ୍ଠ ନାଗରିକ ଓ ଦିବ୍ୟ ାଙ୍ଗ ମାନଙ୍କ ସାମାଜିକ ସୁରକ୍ଷା ଭତ୍ତାକୁ ଡିବିଟି ଧ୍ ୟମରେ ସିଧା ବ୍ୟାଙ୍କ ଖାତା ବଦଳରେ ନଗଦ ଆକାରରେ ଦେବା ର ନିଷ୍ପତି ଦୁର୍ନୀତିମୁକ୍ତ ଶାସନ ଦିଗରେ ପଛଘୁଞ୍ଚା ଦ େ ବା ତଥା ଜନକଲ୍ୟାଣ ସେବା ପ୍ରଦାନର ବୀପରିତ ଦିଗକୁ ଦର ୍ ଶାଉଛି । ତେଣୁ ଏହା ଉପରେ ପୁର୍ନବିଚାର କରିବା ପାଇଁ…
—Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) May 24, 2023
“Keeping in mind our commitment to uphold transparency and eradicate corruption, I urge you to proceed with the DBT mechanism for the payment of pensions to old people, widows and disabled people in Odisha and review the cash payment decision,” he said. Mr. Pradhan, the Union Education Minister said in a letter to Mr. Patnaik.
The senior BJP leader’s opposition to cash distribution to old age recipients came after the state government’s Social Security and Disability Empowerment department (SSEPD) called on all district collectors and commissioners from the municipal corporations that the beneficiaries of Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY ) will receive cash pension from June.
The state government’s decision in this regard was made after being criticized for “failing” to ensure payment of pensions through direct benefit transfer (DBT) to beneficiaries. The Odisha government has decided to go back to the old method of disbursing cash.
Honorable Union Minister Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan’s stance on providing social security pensions for divyangs and seniors through DBT instead of cash is shocking. He looks like Shri. Pradhan is unaware of the basic realities and problems they face due to lack of banking…
— ଡ଼ଃ ସସ୍ମିତ ପାତ୍ର I Dr. Sasmit Patra (@sasmitpatra) May 24, 2023
Stating that the effective schemes of the central government are reaching all the citizens without any intermediaries, Mr. Pradhan claimed that around Rs 2.99 crore beneficiaries in the country including 20.95, 695 Odisha beneficiaries under NSAP (Program National Welfare Fund) from the Government of India are receiving assistance through DBT without any problem.
He also stated that due to the DBT system, false and fictitious payees have been eliminated and the need for intermediaries has been eliminated.
Mr. Pradhan claimed that due to the removal of phantom/duplicate payees by adopting DBT, the Odisha government saved an estimated Rs 459.96 crore in FY 2021-22 and the central government also saved approximately Rs 2.73 lakh crore accrued till the close of 2021-22 due to the adoption of DBT.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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