How a PSU curbed embezzlements, reduced cost and resources to handle 15000 Pensioners

Pension sanctioning authorities face various challenges in sanctioning Death Cum Retirement of Gratuity (DCRG), pension, and commutation such as verification of pensioners, time-consuming and bureaucratic procedures, lack of proper supporting documents to process the case, limited resources, and continuous changes in regulations.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN) had over 15000 pensioners/family pensioners who are to be paid pension against their Pension Payment Order (PPO) subject to submission of Alive Certificate once a year and after considering their entitlement to additional pension, restoration of enhanced family pension, restoration of commuted pension, income tax saving instruments, Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Dearness Allowance (DA) notified by Government of Haryana. In addition, the organization had to sanction and process DCRG, pension, and commutation of about 800-1000 new pensioners and revise authorities based on orders/regulations of competent authorities. The pension cell had limited resources. Manual record keeping and de-centralized disbursement of payment also compounded the Issue. Further, a lack of monitoring mechanisms led to embezzlement and fraud.

After that, the management of UHBVN took a decision to adopt Pensioner Sathi to automate the tabulation of DCRG, payment orders, pension payment orders, and commutation payment orders of pensioners as per regulations of the Haryana Government, its approval through a workflow-based system, to issue and print authorities and disbursement of payments to the pensioners after deduction of statutory taxes. In addition, the intent was to provide a web and mobile interface to the pensioners to enable them to mark their annual attendance and retrieve their gratuity payment order, pension payment order, commutation payment order, pension payment slip, TDS certificate and also submit tax saving instruments from anywhere and anytime.

The biggest challenge was digitizing the authorities of over 15000 pensioners from the manual record lying with over 50 drawing and disbursement authorities across the Nigam jurisdiction and validating it for correctness. Pensioner Sathi provided a workflow-based verification and validation process to enable the swift digitization of legacy records.

Another challenge was to retrieve and integrate all the relevant regulations of the State Government to process the fresh and revision cases within the stipulated deadlines of the project. This too was facilitated through a web-based interface available in Pensioner Sathi which allows a designated officer to configure regulations.

Allocation of cases, tabulation and sanctioning of DCRG, getting pension and commutation required approvals from the concerned section officer up to the level of Chief Accounts Officer was also a major task. Pensioner Sathi facilitated this through a workflow-based system to approve fresh/revised DCRG, pension/enhanced family pension/family pension and commutation cases in a transparent and time-bound manner.

Deduction of income tax was another challenge as pensioners made investments in tax-saving instruments in the second half of a Financial Year and produced their receipts at the tail end of the Financial Year whereas TDS was to be deducted from the monthly pension as per Income Tax Rules. Also, there were one-time and recurring recoveries to be made from the DCRG/pension. To counter this, Pensioner Sathi allows a pensioner to submit his income tax saving plan at the onset of the Financial Year and produce receipts in the second half of the Financial Year. It deducts income tax as per the income tax saving plan of the pensioner in the first half and as per the actual submission of income tax saving instruments in the second half of the Financial Year. Henceforth, compliance with the Income Tax Act was also done with tremendous ease.

Now, the tabulation of monthly pension, its approval from drawing and disbursement officers in the field and the Chief Accounts Officer, and remittance to the respective bank accounts of the pensioner are carried out on the same day with fewer resources at a negligible cost and in a transparent manner

In addition, pensioners can mark their annual attendance, view DCRG Orders, PPOs and Commutation Payment Orders, Pension Payment Slip, TDS Certificate, and account statements; and submit income tax saving instruments through a web and mobile app from anywhere and anytime.

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