On one hand, the Punjab government is struggling with financial constraints, on the other hand, more than 65000 dead are being given old age pension. Rs 500 are given every month in the form of old age pension in the state. From the fraud, the government has so far lost Rs 50 crore. This fraud has been going on since the tenure of former Akali-BJP government and is also in the current government.Verification work is going on right now. Of the pensioners, Rs 19.80 lakh have been made of physical verification only two lakhs. This work has been targeted to be completed in the next six months. The number can increase further. The fraud has so far estimated a loss of around Rs 50 crore to the Punjab government.The state government officials, who conducted re-verification, believe that most of the people who did not turn-up for the clean-up drive could be fake claimants. This means the size of the pension scam is larger than estimated by the officials. The financial health of the Punjab government is said to be deteriorating day by day. The financial burden of the state government is likely to cross Rs 1.9 lakh crore by the end of this financial year. The revenue deficit is rising every year.Only after the Congress government assumed office, the Social Security Department was entrusted with the task of investigating this fraud. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that considering the financial crisis, the pension amount will be released in the budget, but verification of first beneficiaries will be done.In Verification Report till October 25, 65,793 beneficiaries were marked, those who had died and were getting pension benefits. 82,533 Beneficiaries, who are under age and can not take advantage of old age pension. 45,128 beneficiaries’ addresses were found to be wrong. There are total 19.89 lakh pensioners in the state. ‘Verification is going on at the order of the Chief Minister. Only after the final report situation will be clear how many cases are fake and what further action will be taken by the government’.
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