Digital drive gets lukewarm response

The move to mitigate the difficulties in mustering pensioners in government treasury offices in Tamil Nadu seems to have received a lukewarm response from retirees and their spouses/legal heirs.

The Union Government recently launched an e-governance initiative — Jeevan Pramaan — to generate digital life certificates (DLC) using the Aadhaar number so as to get their names listed on the pension rolls in the treasury every year.

This facility was introduced in the State in 2015 when a communication from the Director of Treasuries and Accounts was sent to all pension disbursement offices directing them to issue suitable instructions to the pensioners having Aadhaar number but not enlisted with the pension disbursing office (PDO) for that year to use the Jeevan Pramaan portal for generation of DLCs.

Subsequently, in February 2016 the PDOs — Pension Payment Office, Chennai, Treasuries and Sub-treasuries all over the State — were permitted to register themselves with the Jeevan Pramaan portal for availing the services towards accepting DLCs generated from the portal for the mustering of pensioners from the financial year 2016-17.

Thus, it was claimed, the ordeal of pensioners, particularly those facing difficulty in view of their age, health and place of residence and availability of time, could be effectively annulled by way of presenting DLCs through the Jeevan Pramaan portal.

However, enquiries reveal that just 26.5% of 6,19,902 pensioners (total number of pensioners who have mustered their names) have opted for DLC route for mustering for the year 2017-18 so as to avail the pension benefits.

Kancheepuram District President, Tamil Nadu All Department Pensioners Association, Y. Seetharaman and Kancheepuram District President, Tamil Nadu Government Retired Employees Association C. Thiruvengadam said that though the new system helps pensioners avoid the trouble in getting the mustering process completed in time with ease, it has a few lacunae.

The first and foremost issue is in the verification of biometric data. “We encountered this problem when we conducted special camps in Chengalpattu taluk as well as in Kancheepuram town to help pensioners generate DLCs through Jeevan Pramaan portal. Subsequently, they completed the enrolment process through the usual method,” they added.

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