CAG Report Exposes Severe Lapses in Welfare Pension Disbursal

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has uncovered significant shortcomings, including the absence of proper accounts and records, in the distribution of welfare pensions through the Kerala Social Security Pension Limited. The report highlights a discrepancy of Rs 4,478 crores between the total funds received and disbursed to pensioners from 2018 to 2021, with no clear explanation from the government.

According to the report, the transaction figures between the pension direct benefit transfer (DBT) Cell and the pension company for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 do not align. Records submitted by the DBT cell indicate that the pension company disbursed Rs 11,088.09 crore to the panchayat directorate. However, the company’s data shows a transaction record of Rs 9,699.48 crore.

In response, the state government has directed the panchayat director and the pension company to examine the accounts and transaction records. The report emphasizes the government’s responsibility to prevent misuse of accounts that could lead to corruption.

The report also reveals a pattern of over-borrowing by the pension company since 2018. In the 2019-20 financial year, the company borrowed an additional Rs 4,049 crore beyond the required amount for pension distribution, later explaining it as a mistake.

During 2018-19, the company received Rs 1,000 crore from the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), but these transactions could not be verified due to insufficient information or explanations.

Furthermore, the CAG report highlights that the company, despite handling substantial sums for pension distribution, maintains no records or registers of transactions apart from passbooks. Auditors have faced difficulties in verifying the status of disbursed pensions or withheld amounts due to a lack of documents.

The CAG has called for prompt rectification of these lapses by the pension company.

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