Kumar Rajiv Nayan

Ara: Alleged misappropriation of a huge amount meant for payment of pension under Social Security Scheme (SSS) has come to surface in Bhojpur district. It was detected that even the dead persons were given benefits of the SSS after getting thumb impression of other persons on the papers. On the condition of anonymity, the nazirs of almost all the blocks admitted the misappropriation of fund.

Prior to the Panchayat elections, the government had issued directive for holding pension camps under the SSS in every block to pay pension to 1,50,510 beneficiaries. But, the panchayat secretaries and the middlemen received the pension amount in the name of even dead persons and also persons who were not aware that pension had been sanctioned for them by taking thumb prints of othr persons on the papers and thus embezzled huge amount while the actual pension  holders are still waiting for their pension. The pension amount under the SSS has been distributed till February 2016.

The embezzlement of pension fund was done in a planned way in all the blocks in Bhojpur district. Besides, the recalcitrant officials also got pension sanctioned to the persons who are much below 60 years of age and embezzled the pension under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.

It may be mentioned here that the government had directed last year to deposit the pension amount into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries but in Bhojpur district the pension was distributed by organizing pension camps due to indifferent attitude of the district administration. Such pension camps benefitted the officials instead of the actual beneficiaries. The pension amount was received by putting thumb prints before the name of the literate or illiterate persons alike.

Assistant Director, Social Security, Shiv Kumar Sinha said that he had not received any complaint from any quarter in this regard and added if a complaint against an official is received, action would be taken after proper inquiry.

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