New Delhi: The North Delhi Muncipal Corporation has told the Delhi high court it can restart its old age pension scheme if the state government provides funds.

In its affidavit, the corporation says it is facing a serious financial crunch which forced it to stop the pension scheme in July 2014. But if the AAP government implements the Fourth Finance Commission’s recommendations and extends it the required money, the scheme can continue.

“A revised devolution of resources as per the recommendations of the 4th Finance Commission can go a long way in meeting budgetary deficit of North Corporation, which in turn will enable to pay the old age pension. It is relevant to mention that in some cases certain amount that have been with-held or reduced by the Delhi government if released can also enable it to pay the expenditure for old age schemes,” the corporation stated.

The affidavit came in response to a plea alleging over 1.5 lakh destitute have not been paid pension of Rs 1,000 per month by the agency.

HC had earlier issued notice after NGO Social Jurist moved a plea seeking to implead Delhi government as party in the matter saying North Corporation, due to financial crunch, has decided to discontinue a pension scheme since July last year.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal argued that under the circumstance, the only option is for Delhi government to take up liability to pay these 1.5 lakh aged residents of the city.

The NGO had claimed the municipal bodies had stopped paying the pension under the old-age/widow/disabled person’s pension and stipend scheme.

South Corporation, however, had informed the court that over 73,000 people were eligible to receive the benefit under its Old Age Pension scheme, but it had paid the amount to only 63,914 till September 30, 2014. The rest would be paid as soon as they provided details of Electronic Clearance Service or real-time gross settlement systems.

On its part, East Corporation had told the court it has decided to continue its pension scheme covering over 30,600 disabled, widowed and elderly persons, subject to availability of funds. It had also said that pension funds to the tune of Rs 107.52 crore has not been paid for the last 24 months due to lack of funds.

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Source: TOI-Delhi