Government has issued instructions for immediate release of pension to the family of a government employee who loses his or her life due to COVID -19 infection. In a landmark order, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) in the Union Ministry of Personnel has instructed all Ministries, Departments, Controller General of Accounts as well as CMDs of Pension Disbursing Banks to ensure that the Family Pension is started within one month of the receipt of the claim from the eligible family member of a Government servant who has lost his or her life due to COVID.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that as per the new O.M., all Secretaries have been asked to personally monitor the in-Service death cases and ensure the start of Family Pension within a month of the receipt of claim and death certificate, on a periodic basis. The Secretaries shall also nominate for this purpose, an officer of the respective Ministry/Department, whose name and contact details shall be reflected on the website for any family member to contact in case of delay. At the same time, every Ministry/Department shall send a monthly position of such cases to the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the O.M. has been issued in the spirit of the sensitivity and concern with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally monitoring every aspect of the COVID pandemic on a day-to-day basis. He said, the Modi government is committed to assist and help every section of citizens and families affected by the pandemic.
The notification issued by the Department of Pension states that COVID-19 pandemic has claimed lives of several Government employees during the recent surge. In many cases, the deceased employees were the sole bread-winners of their family and the casualties have left the families in an urgent need of funds for livelihood. It is, therefore, incumbent to ensure that the Family Pension and the other entitlements are released to their families expeditiously.
The new O.M. also implies that action may be taken on priority basis for disbursement of regular Family Pension to the Bank and for payment of other entitlements of the family on death of the government servant. It may be ensured that the Pension Payment Order (PPO) for Family Pension is issued and disbursement of regular Family Pension is commenced by the Bank not later than one month of the receipt of the claim for the Family Pension.
Dr Jitendra Singh hoped that all the Departments of the Government will follow these instructions in letter and spirit, and the respective Heads of Departments will monitor it on a regular basis. He also hoped that various State/UT governments would also emulate this practice for their respective State/UT government employees in the wake of the unprecedented pandemic that we are going through.