NHRC notice to Jharkhand government and Centre over pending pensions

Raj Kumar/Ranchi, March 9: The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday served notices to the Government of Jharkhand through its chief secretary and Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment through its secretary, over denial or delayed payment of financial assistance under various schemes, including the old age pension and COVID relief payments under the Pradhan Mantri Gharib Kalyan Yojana in the state since July 2020 amid the height of covid-19 pandemic.

Efforts are on across States to implement Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna  to help poor during lockdown

The commission has said that the notices are served taking suo motu cognizance of the media reports in this regard. It added that on the basis of media report it appears the funds became a bone of contention between the Centre and the Government of Jharkhand for a considerable period resulting in denial or delayed payments.“Reportedly, since July, 2020, i.e. in the middle of pandemic, which disrupted the livelihood of lakhs of people across the country, the Government of Jharkhand stopped distribution of pensions to nearly 10 lakh eligible widows, senior citizens and the specially abled citizen across the State,” it stated, adding that if, they are true, it raises a serious issue of human rights violation.

It also expressed concern over reports of money received from the Centre under one head was utilized for another head, resulting thereby in denial of basic need for survival of the poor people. It has also expressed concern over a reported huge gap between the beneficiaries on the roll and those actually getting the pension under various categories.

The commission has given six weeks time to submit a detailed report in the matter.