On August 30, the Union minister Jitendra Singh said that pensioners can now obtain electronic pension payment order (ePPO) directly to their DigiLocker, thus cutting all delays. DigiLocker is a digital document wallet for citizens that permits them to store and get important documents electronically. He said this measure is a digital leap in a bid to ensure that during the COVID-19 pandemic, new pensioners are not compelled to accept a physical copy of their pension payment order.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, Public grievances, and Pensions, said that the e-PPO will be combined with DigiLocker for the convenience of pensioners, By using digital technology, e-PPOs will be promptly sent to DigiLocker of the concerned pensioner, thus cutting all delays, according to an official statement.
This would also address the recurrent problem of loss or misplacement of original PPOs by some pensioners and the consequent hassles and misery. Singh recollected that at the time of the lockdown period, the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare had taken several initiatives for complete digitalization of the pension processing system, intended at simplification of rules and comfort of living for the elderly pensioners.
These contain amendments in Rule 64 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, to make sure that no person retiring during this period should suffer on account of delays happening in the transfer of documents and pension processes. The statement revealed that rule 80A was also amended similarly to start a provisional family pension in case of the death of a government servant during service.
Singh informed that the department has delivered detailed instructions to the pension disbursing banks to make sure that the exception list of pensioners, who are unable to give their life certificate was prepared and doorstep service ensured to avail the same.
The Indian Postal Payment Bank (IPPB) has been roped in to get a life certificate and also ease pensioners to withdraw money while sitting at home.
Unique care has been taken of the family pensioners. Singh said that a circular comprising of consolidated instructions for pension disbursing authorities has been issued to ensure smooth payment of pension to family pensioners as well.