e-Pension: Changing the old way

This e-governance project by the Himachal Pradesh government involves a complete overhaul in the pension disbursement system.

brajesh

Brajesh Kumar | January 26, 2010


Pankaj Sharma, a beneficiary of the e-Pension scheme
Pankaj Sharma, a beneficiary of the e-Pension scheme

Solan: e-Pension is one of the many successful e-governance projects rolled out by the Himachal Pradesh government in last few years. Launched in August 2006, it involves a complete overhaul in the pension disbursement system for pensioners.

The web interface enables the Himachal Pradesh government pensioners to know the status and details of their monthly pension through internet where complete details of one’s pension for last one year are available.  

The old system of disbursement of pension through treasuries and the banks involved lot of data entries, which was difficult to maintain. The pensioners too had difficulty in travelling to the district headquarters if they had any make any query regarding any change in the pension scheme. “It was also felt that the old system of pension disbursement was out of tune with the present e-governance age,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a National Informatics Centre (NIC) officer at the Solan NIC office.

In order to overhaul the old system, computerization of all the records related to the pension disbursement was undertaken in a major way in 2005. The pilot project was started in Solan district in early 2006 and thereafter rolled in the entire state in August the same year.

Under the new system, every pensioner is able to draw his pension through a bank branch which had been designated as Pension Disbursement Authorities (PDAs) and no cash disbursal is carried by the treasuries.

The pensioners are also getting break-up of twelve months on the internet and their grievances are also being redressed through email facilities. The banks have also been directed to disburse the pension on first day of every month.

Pankaj Sharma, 60, retired from the state irrigation department, wanted to know the changes the Himachal government had initiated in the pension scheme and the amount accrued because of the scheme. Earlier, he would have to travel from his home in Solan to the district headquarters located about 20 km away. “Today all I needed to do was login to the website, feed in my pension account number and get all the information,” he told Governance Now. 

The Himachal government was awarded the Golden Icon award under Professional-Innovative Operations & Best Practices category in the 9th National e-Governance Awards held by the Department of Information Technology in 2006.
 

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