More than 58,000 veterans have failed to receive their pensions for April and they have promoted the defence ministry to intervene in the matter. They have requested the Centre to disburse their pending pension immediately.
According to the ministry data, a total of 58,275 veterans have been devoid of their pension for the month of April.
Reasons For Not Receiving Pensions
The ministry said veterans did not receive their pensions due to not submitting their life certificates on the SPARSH platform. The cut-off date for submitting was March 31.
Earlier, the last date for the mandatory submission of these certificates was November 2021, which was extended considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the ministry had directed the Defence Accounts Department to disburse the pensions with immediate effect so that the amount is credited to the accounts of the veterans.
SPARSH: New Method Of Pension Distribution
SPARSH stands for System for Pension Administration, a new method of the distribution of pensions. The portal was introduced as a part of the modernisation drive of the defence ministry. This system was introduced to remove the bank as a mediator or a commissioning agent. With the vision of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) initiative, this system is expected to make substantial financial savings for the government.
However, veterans seem to be at crossroads with the new system and several of them are complaining about not being able to acquire accurate information from the portal.
Veterans’ Complaint About SPARSH
Many veterans complained that they did not receive the last date to submit documents on time. The reminders were received late. Some complained of not being able to upload the documents on the portal.
There are other complaints including wrong information being updated on the platform regarding salary details. Many officers pointed out that they didn’t receive their salary slips since September last year. If retired officers are facing these problems then what would happen with the prospective jawans and JCOs, who are as technologically savvy, said the veterans.
The ministry said the platform is functioning properly and has disbursed pensions to over five lakh pensioners since 2016. The digital system replaces the need for the pensioners to pay multiple visits to the pension offices, said the Defence Accounts Department.