KERALA

PF-pension adalat evokes good response

KOCHI, FEB. 26. A pension and general provident fund (GPF) adalat organised here today by the Accountant General (A and E), V. Kurian, evoked an enthusiastic response from the Government employees and pensioners. As many as 264 cases were settled at the adalat. Over 130 cases were referred to the Government departments concerned for speedy disposal.

Organised for the first time in Kochi, the PF-pension adalat was the fourth such conducted by the Accountant General in the State after it was revived two years ago. The first one was held in Kozhikode in 2002, and the next two in Kannur and Thrissur in 2003.

As a continuation of the adalat, a workshop for the Government staff of various departments will be held here tomorrow. According to Mr. Kurian, about 250 employees are expected to attend the workshop, where they will be given training in handling pension and PF cases expeditiously. On an average, two employees from all departments will take part in the workshop, he said. Training will be given to Government staff from 10 a.m. to 12-30 p.m. and for the staff of banks and treasuries from 2 p.m. to 4-30 p.m.

Inaugurating the adalat, the District Collector, Gyanesh Kumar, said the adalat was like the "mountain approaching Mohammed". Presiding of the inaugural function, the Accountant General said that punctuality and promptness are qualities, which could well be applied to Government matters too.

Overseeing the adalat throughout the day, Mr. Kurian took note of many complicated matters, which, he said, otherwise do not get the attention of high-level Government officials. He said he would exert his influence as Accountant General to solve the problems speedily.

Mr. Kurian said apart from finding solutions to the cases, it provided a platform for the Government officials to interact with the public at a different level. "It is a learning process for us too," he said.

Mr. Kurian said the process of speedy disposal of pension and provident fund cases will not stop with the adalat. The job of helping out the pensioners will continue into the coming weeks, he said.

Although they often get some curious cases, Mr. Kurian said, there was no extraordinary case at today's adalat. However, most cases were related with the lack of sanction from the authorities concerned. Anomalies in accounts and problems in interpretations of the rules were some other common grouses.

Most Government departments, particularly the departments of police, education, health and revenue, had problems peculiar to them.