Jagatsinghpur, December 10 (LocalWire): Hundreds of artists in Balikuda block have been deprived of their pension despite submitting their life certificates twice in the year, instead of the mandatory once in a year routine.
Locals also allege that hundreds of genuine pensioners who had submitted fresh applications are yet to receive the pension due to irregularities in the identification of artists.
In 2018, the state chief minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that a monthly pension of Rs 1,200 will be provided to artists under Mukhya Mantri Kalakara Sahayata Yojana, and nearly 3,000 artists have been identified for the pension in Jagatsinghpur district.
Sources indicate that overall, 1,246 artists are receiving monthly pension under the scheme.
Expressing his anger Pala singer Maheswer Barik from Balikuda block stated that while he had been submitting the life certificate regularly, he has not received the artist pension due to negligence and the callous attitude of the officials.
“Every month we are supposed to get a monthly pension of Rs 1,200, but I have not received my pension for the last six months, making life difficult for me,” he said.
According to the Balikuda block social security officer Sagar Behera, earlier there was a provision for submission of life certificates quarterly per year.
“Now, it has been decided that they need to submit it only twice in a year.
Out of 208 pension holders, only 104 pension holders have submitted their life certificate and hence we can only sanctions pension for them,” he said.