Kerala implements DBT; Central share of welfare pension delayed due to technical snag

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Thiruvananthapuram: In line with the directive of the union government, Kerala has implemented the online Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system for distributing the share of union government in welfare pension schemes. However, due to a technical snag, several beneficiaries did not receive the central share.

Of the total 57 lakh beneficiaries of the social security pension in the state, only 5.7 lakh (senior citizens, widows and differently-abled persons) are eligible for Central share of Rs 200 to Rs 500 of the total pension of Rs 1600.

Normally, the central share was paid in advance by the state, and later the union government credits the amount to the Kerala Social Security Pension Limited. The union government has to pay Rs 480 crore to Kerala from 2021 in this category.

The union government manages the Direct Benefit Transfer through an online system called Public Financial Management System (PFMS), and has instructed states to distribute their share through this system. Kerala implemented the directive this time.

While the state spends Rs 750 crore on pension per month, the central share is only around Rs 33 crore.

The state has allocated Rs 67 crore of the central share to PFMS for two months, as clarified in the order of the Finance Department sanctioning the pension. However, due to a technical hurdle in the integration between the two accounts, only the state share was received by the beneficiaries in the last few days. PFMS officials in Delhi and Kerala are working to resolve the issue, and is expected to be resolved by Friday. Sources in the finance department also indicate that in the future, the central and state allocations will be provided together.

Summary of Welfare Pension in Kerala:

  • Total monthly pension amount: Rs 750 crore

  • Central share: Rs 33 crore

  • Total beneficiaries: 57 lakh people

  • Beneficiaries of central share: 5.7 lakh people

  • Old Age Pension in Kerala: Rs 1,600

  • Central share for below 80 years: Rs 200
  • Central share for above 80 years: Rs 500
  • Widow and Disability Pension in Kerala: Rs 1,600

    • Central contribution for below 80 years: Rs 300

  • Central contribution for above 80 years: Rs 500

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