All central government secretaries have been asked to monitor cases of in-service death of employees due to COVID-19 and ensure the start of family pension within a month of the receipt of the claim, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday. Singh also hoped that various state and UT governments would also emulate this practice for their employees in the wake of the unprecedented pandemic that has claimed many lives.
He said the secretaries shall also nominate an officer of the respective ministry or department whose name and contact details shall be reflected on the website for any family member to contact in case of a delay, according to an official statement. In its landmark order, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) in the Union Ministry of Personnel has instructed all ministries as well as CMDs of the 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 employee who has died due to COVID. Singh informed that under the new order, 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, said the statement issued by the Personnel Ministry. He hoped that all the departments of the government will follow these instructions in letter and spirit, and the respective heads of department will monitor it regularly.
Singh said the order 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. Singh 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 the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of several government employees during the recent surge. In many cases, the deceased employees were the sole breadwinners of their family and the casualties have left the families in urgent need of funds for livelihood, the statement said. It is, therefore, incumbent to ensure that the family pension and the other entitlements are released to their families expeditiously, it said.
The new order also implies that action may be taken on a priority basis for disbursement of regular family pension to the bank and payment of other entitlements of the family on the death of a government employee, the statement said. 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, it said.
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