With the feedback from legislators on the processing of applications for various pension schemes not being rosy, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday said she would be signing a notification for improving the delivery mechanism for these social welfare schemes meant for widows, handicapped and the elderly.
Talking to The Hindu, the Chief Minister said as per the new plan all the MLAs would be part of the District Development Committee meant for overlooking the schemes in a given area. As of now these schemes come under the revenue department through the Deputy Commissioner and each of the nearly half a dozen District Commissioners have an average of about 10 Assembly segments under them.
“The complaint from the MLAs has been that the cases they recommend keep on piling up in the office of the District Commissioner and they do not get a feedback also. All this would now change. The MLAs would be part of the District Committee and they would have a direct say in the clearing of the files as they would be able to interact with the officers on a regular and direct basis.’’
The new plan of action also intends to improve the accountability as the MLAs would now be able to take up the matter at the district level with the concerned officer.
Further, Ms. Dikshit said the Members of Parliament would also be made special visitors to these committees so that there is wider participation of the elected representatives. Incidentally, in a Congress Legislature Party meeting recently, this was one of the issues that was raised. Wazirpur MLA Hari Shankar Gupta had stated that the MLAs were not getting any feedback on the applications forwarded by them. He had also informed that in many cases the applications had been pending for nearly a year now.
As other MLAs have also been encountering similar problem, with another common allegation being that Anganwadi workers being sent for verification often seek bribe for clearing the cases, the Delhi Government has decided to step in and curb the malpractices that are plaguing its well-intended pension scheme.