New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) The Delhi High Court was on Friday informed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation that due to “serious financial crunch” and budget deficit, it has not been able to disburse old-age pensions since July last year.
In an affidavit filed before a division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, the civic body said that it may discontinue the disbursement of old age pensions and it has written to Delhi government to consider merging the scheme with a similar one run by its social welfare department.
“The North DMC has not been able to disburse the old age pension since July 2014 onwards and the yearly budget for this scheme as per the budget estimate 2015-16 is Rs.142.16 crore. Finance is of the view that North DMC may discontinue the disbursement of old age pension..,” said the affidavit.
Earlier, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has told the bench that subject to availability of funds, it has decided to continue its pension scheme for people, including disabled, widow, and aged people.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) 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 last year, and the rest would be paid as soon.
The responses of civic bodies has come on a PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist through advocate Ashok Agarwal terming denial of pension to the old and the disabled as a violation of fundamental rights.
The PIL said municipal corporations abruptly stopped payment of pension without specifying a reason which is “arbitrary and illegal”.