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E-pension to bring back smiles on faces of teachers, Panchayat employees

Kolkata: The days of waiting for years to get pension after retirement is over for school teachers, employees of Panchayat and civic bodies, with introduction of the e-pension system by the state Finance department.
The "revolutionary project", which has been nominated for the Skoch award, has so far ensured initiation of pension of more than 6,000 retired employees, without delay of a single day after retirement.
It may be recalled that during the Left Front regime, teachers of primary and secondary schools had to wait for years after their retirement for pension. Employees of Panchayat and civic bodies had to face similar situations as well and had to run from pillar to post to get their pension, even after spending their entire lives in service.
With the initiative taken by the Mamata Banerjee government, an employee now receives his or her Pension Payment Order (PPO) through e-mail, 15 days ahead of retirement.
"With the introduction of e-pension, as many as 4,908 school teachers have received their PPO between April 2017 and January 2018. There are another 1,000 employees of Panchayats and civic bodies, who have also started receiving their pension without any delay," said a senior official of the state Finance department.
It was stated that the previous "manual process" of executing the task of clearing files of the retired persons was the main cause behind the delay. But the e-pension system has ensured that documents of a particular retired person shouldn't lie with a concerned official for more than three months and the official has to be "answerable", if the online file tracking system shows any file lying with the official for more than three months without any valid reason.
Usually, an employee needs to apply for pension with all relevant documents, exactly a year before the date of their retirement to the head of the institution, in case of primary and secondary school teachers.
After a round of scrutiny, the head of the institution sends the same to the district inspector of school (DI), who again sends it to the official of West Bengal Accounts and Audit Service, posted in the district.
If the official finds everything required in the documents, he or she sends it back to the DI. It is the DI who sends it to the Directorate of Pension, Provident Fund and Group Insurance (DPPG), which sends the PPO to the concerned treasury from where the pension gets deposited in the bank account of a retired employee.
Earlier, this entire process used to take place manually. Now, with introduction of the e-pension system, the employee just needs to scan all documents and upload it through a portal, the link of which is available on the website of the state Finance department.
An application number gets generated as soon as the employee uploads the same. Using the application number, the employee can even track through which particular stage his or her application is passing.
The concerned officials take minimum time in clearing the files and at least 15 days before retirement, the employee gets an e-mail with directions to go to the concerned treasury to provide details of the pension account where it will get deposited.
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