NEW DELHI, Jan 12: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed here today that 88% of pension accounts of Central Government employees have already been linked to the respective “Aadhar” number. This, he said, is a commendable achievement considering the fact that the total number of “Aadhar’ Cards in the country today is around 100 crore, out of which over 40 crore are linked with bank accounts, whereas as far as the Central Government Pensioners are concerned, there are hardly 10% to 12% whose accounts are yet to be linked with “Aadhar” number and thus the target of 100% is likely to be achieved very soon.
Dr Jitendra Singh was presiding over the 29th meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) of Pensioners at Vigyan Bhawan here today, said that with the total number of pensioners having gone up to almost 55 lakhs, the significant point to be noted is that there are today almost as many number of superannuated or retired government employees in the country as are the serving employees and therefore, this constantly increasing group of ‘plus 60’ population which is full of experience and expertise in their individual field of work needs to be utilized even after retirement. It is with this consideration that the Modi government in 2014 launched a web-based application “SANKALP” which is meant to channelize the skill, experience and time of the retired government officials in a meaningful way, he added.
The mandate of the Pension Department, Dr Jitendra Singh said, should not be only the timely issuance of PPOs (Pension Pay Orders) or timely clearance of dues but, keeping in spirit with the style of the functioning of the Modi Government, we need to think innovatively and out-of-the-box as to how to actively engage the post retirement employees in the task of nation building. For this purpose, he suggested engaging the retired employees, in an institutionalized manner, to carry forward various priority programs of Prime Minister like “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” and drive against black money through promotion of cashless transactions. He issued directions to the Pension Department to hold digital camps and awareness programs on cashless transactions in collaboration with such retired officials who have the aptitude and capacity to contribute in this direction.
Dr Jitendra Singh expressed satisfaction that in the last two years, the process of holding pre-retirement counseling workshops has gained momentum. Such workshops, he said, not only enables the retiring employees to prepare themselves to reorient and readjust to the post-retirement life, but also enables the government to understand how best such superannuating employees can be engaged post-retirement.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the priority that the Modi Government accords to the concerns of pensioners is borne out of the fact that within 6 months of the change of government in May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched “Jeevan Praman” facility wherein a pensioner can submit life certificate digitally from his residence. Similarly, he said, the “Bhavishya” online tracking system enables every employee to keep track of the progress and the status of his pension case while at the same time, it also brings in more transparency and accountability in the process.
Union Secretary ARPG & Pensions C. Viswanath and senior officers of Department of Pensions, besides representatives of various Pension organizations from all over the country and different departments of Central Government including Defence Forces, participated in the meeting.