The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, DrJitendra Singh said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today that several measures have been taken for the benefit of pensioners during COVID-19.
The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, ever since the lockdown due to unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, has been taking various initiatives for the pensioners, to ensure the timely credit of pension & retirement benefits and keep them healthy and aware during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of major initiatives/support measures taken in this regard are enumerated hereunder:
- A web event was organized by this department with the pensioners covering about 20 Indian cities for a tele-interaction with Dr.Randeep Gulleria, Director, AIIMS, in which all aspects of COVID-19 were covered to allay Pensioners’ fear.
- For ensuring preventive-health care of pensioners, another web event on Yoga was held covering about 20 Indian cities, in the course of which, a Yoga trainer gave a live demonstration and lecture to Pensioners and answered their questions, in order to boost their immunity during lockdown and to stay fit.
- To ensure timely credit of pension in cases, where PPO (Pension Payment Order) has been issued but not sent to CPAO or banks due to lockdown, the matter was taken up with Controller General of Accounts (CGA) to issue necessary directive to CPAO and CPPCs of banks to use electronic modes during the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 pandemic till normalcy returns.
- Rule 64 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, was relaxed in order to ensure immediate provisional sanction of pensionary benefits amid the unprecedented situation of COVID-19, wherever an employee is likely to retire before finalization of his dues or is unable to submit the pension claim form.
- In order to enhance Ease of Living of central government civil pensioners, a provision has been made to integrate the e-PPO (Electronic Pension Payment Order) with DigiLocker. This initiative will create a permanent record of PPO in the DigiLocker and the pensioner can get the instant copy/print-out of the latest copy of his PPO.
- In view of the on-going COVID-19 and the vulnerability of elderly population to Corona virus, the timeline for submitting the life certificate has been relaxed. All central government pensioners can submit Life Certificate from 1st November, 2020 to 31st December, 2020. However, the pensioners in the age group of 80 years and above can submit Life Certificate from 1st October, 2020 to 31st December, 2020.