Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister has urged the Centre not to introduce DBT(direct benefit of transfer) for disbursement of pensions under National Social Assistant Programme(NSAP).

The Centre in a letter on November 15, 2017 has asked the state to switch over to DBT compliant system for disbursement of pension.

“Any imposition of the system of bank payment will cause undue and unavoidable hardship to the vulnerable beneficiaries. I am sanguine you would appreciate the special circumstances of the State and not impose conditions on release of funds which may militate against the interest of the beneficiaries,” Patnaik has said in a letter to the prime minister.

Moreover, he has pointed out, the disbursement of pension in cash serves the purpose of beneficiaries in view of fragile nature of banking network and telecommunication prevailing in the state. It clarified that NSAP guidelines clearly stated that disbursement of pension must be done as per the choice and convenience of the beneficiaries.

The chief minister mentioned that the state has conducted a study of the beneficiaries and found that pensioners are not willing to accept pension through banks and post offices, while pointing out that as many as  4,376 gram panchayats in Odisha have no banking facilities. Even the existing banks are unable to bear the burden of large number of pensioners due to acute staff shortage, he has added.

The state has been disbursing pension in cash on 15th of every month at the gram panchayats and urban local body  headquarters.