Come 1 November and the aged pensioners would no longer have to stand in long queues for submitting their life certificates as state government has introduced a facility for submitting this through digital mode. In terms of Sub-Rule 2 under Rule 4.171 of West Bengal Treasury Rule-2005 every pensioner drawing pension from the State Exchequer is required to submit life certificate mandatorily in the month of November each year as per format provided to them.
The life certificate in the prescribed format is verified by the authorities and has to be submitted to the Pension Disbursing Authority either directly or through the bank. The submission of this certificate is needed every year to ensure continuation of their pension. If the certificate is not submitted by 30 November then the pension is stopped by the respective government department. Once the pension is stopped, getting it re-started is a tedious task.
However, due to rush and other difficulties such as standing in queues for submitting life certificate, it becomes problematic for very old pensioners. “Under the existing provision, pensioners are required to visit the Treasury r the bank branch in which they have their pension account for submission of life certificates which often causes difficulties to the aged pensioners as well as those pensioners whose residences are far away from the bank branches or Treasury.
Moreover, printing of physical copies of blank life certificates, their delivery to the disbursing bank-branches, verification and collection of the certificates involve a huge cost as well as manpower. Thus the state government had been considering to provide a facility for submission of digital life certificate by pensioners without physically appearing at the particular Treasury or bank,” said an official of the state finance department. The option of submitting digital certificate is fully optional and a pensioner can continue to submit physical certificate following the existing procedure, he said adding that the pensioners have the flexibility and choice of selecting a method for submitting the certificate which is convenient to him/her.
The department has issued a notification in this regard on 25 October to “introduce the facility for submission of Digital Life Certificate to leverage the benefit of digitisation for the pensioner/ family pensioner drawing pension from the State Treasuries in addition to existing facility of submission of physical Life Certificate at the Treasuries/Banks”. It has been decided that pensioners including those in receipt of pension through Money Order will also have the option of submitting Digital Life Certificate.
The pensioner may visit any nearest Treasury or bank branch having the facility of submission of digital certificate after ‘One time Registration’ is completed in the Pension Disbursing Treasury’. User guideline for submission of digital certificate through Jeevan Pramaan portal is available under ‘Guidelines’ of IFMS Portal. However, the facility of digital certificate is not available for pensioners who are re-employed after retirement.