What's wrong if pensions are withheld for audit, questions YS Jagan

YS Jaganmohan Reddy defended his government's drive against fake pensions and rubbished the misinformation campaign being carried out over the issue

YS Jaganmohan Reddy

AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday defended his government's drive against fake pensions (pensions to the unqualified) and rubbished the misinformation campaign being carried out over the issue.

He faulted the pro-TDP media for publishing false stories saying that pensions were stopped.

"It is the aim of our government to ensure that the benefit of pension should not be extended to unqualified and ineligible persons. What is wrong in temporarily withholding the disbursal of pensions for the purpose of conducting the periodical social audit?

"Why will we even think of avoiding pensions to anyone when we are going to every doorstep and handing over the benefit?

"Authorities will not initiate any action without conducting reverification of pensions. A misinformation campaign is being carried out against the verification process, claiming that pensions were being stopped," the Chief Minister commented.

YS Jagan also asked the officials to conduct an audit once in every six months to ensure transparency over pensions.

Elaborating on the pensions, he said that the Government had been spending Rs.1,770 crores on pensions as against a meagre Rs 400 crores allotted by the TDP regime which gave only a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to 39 lakh persons. The monthly pension has now gone up to Rs 2,750 while the number of pensioners has soared to 62,70,000, he said.

Rs 3.3 lakh cr benefit transferred into accounts in three-and-a-half years

The Chief Minister released Rs 590.91 crore to 2,79,065 persons by pressing the button at a high-level meeting at his camp office here. These beneficiaries missed out on receiving the benefits disbursed between June and November, 2022 for various reasons.

The Chief Minister said that his government had been implementing welfare schemes for everyone's benefit far from the considerations of caste, parties and regions. He also claimed that the beneficiaries were being served under various schemes without the scope for corruption.

YS Jagan said that the YSRCP government, during its rule in the last three-and-a-half years, Rs 1.85 lakh crores had been directly transferred into the accounts of beneficiaries of various schemes. Under both the DBT (direct benefit transfer) and non-DBT, a total of Rs 3.3 lakh crores have been handed over to the people, he said.

He also exhorted the district collectors by saying that they played a key role in the implementation of the welfare schemes across the state.

He said that the names of all left-over beneficiaries would be displayed at the village and ward secretariats openly after a social audit to ensure that no eligible person was left out from the welfare schemes.

Tuesday's release of funds will take the total number of beneficiaries under various welfare schemes to 44,27,641 while the total amount disbursed under various schemes to Rs. 6,684.84 crores.

The Chief Minister said that the present Government had been implementing various welfare schemes in an unbiased manner while the earlier TDP regime acted partially and disbursed even the scarce welfare benefits to only those who voted for it in the elections. It was steeped in corruption and discrimination, he said.

"Now, the welfare benefits are reaching all eligible persons in a transparent manner where there is no room for bribery or nepotism. The previous TDP regime had fixed rates for every welfare scheme forcing people to pay a percentage to Janmabhoomi committees," he claimed.

Deputy Chief Minister (Panchayat Raj and Rural Development) Budi Mutyala Naidu, Social Welfare Minister Meruga Nagarjuna, AP Agri Mission Vice-Chairman MVS Nagi Reddy and a host of officials took part in the meeting.

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