Ensure pension for ISSS beneficiaries

The Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS), which was the backbone of Jammu and Kashmir’s poor for many years, has become a major hurdle for this section of society. Under this scheme, the J&K government gives Rs 1000 as financial support. However, for the last couple of months, the beneficiaries have been suffering as the participants of this scheme are asked to submit a new application on the Jansugam portal in order to receive their benefits. The administration has called for a verification process for which numerous documents are required, including a ration card e-ticket, a domicile certificate, an age certificate, an affidavit, Aadhar seeding, etc. Unfortunately, two older persons died in this process. Social activists, some politicians and beneficiaries have criticized the government’s move regarding this new rule as senior citizens and people with disabilities find it extremely difficult to complete this verification process. Even many beneficiaries allege that the Social Welfare Department has failed to provide pensions to them despite the completion of their verification process. Some believe the department ceased disbursing pensions to the beneficiaries approximately six months ago, using the verification process as an excuse. Although the verification of most of the beneficiaries has already been completed, their due payments are yet to be released. This is distressing. The officials involved must acknowledge that these beneficiaries belong to the below-poverty line segment, and their pension, though modest, holds great significance for their livelihood. Therefore, they should not be deprived of their rightful dues. The LG administration must thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that these downtrodden people receive their pensions promptly without any further delay.

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