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    HomeAndhra PradeshPensions to be distributed through village and ward secretariats by AP government...

    Pensions to be distributed through village and ward secretariats by AP government during elections

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    The Election Commission of India (ECI) has instructed the Andhra Pradesh Government not to use volunteers to distribute cash benefits, including pensions. As a result, the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) has asked beneficiaries to collect their pensions from village and ward secretariats by providing their Aadhaar and undergoing biometric authentication.

    The volunteers will not distribute cash until the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in place. The ECI’s directive came as the YSRCP Government planned to distribute pensions through 2.66 lakh volunteers starting from April 3, 2024. This decision was made following complaints and a petition against the use of volunteers in distributing government schemes, which were believed to influence elections at the grassroots level.

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    In response to the ECI’s directive, the Andhra Pradesh Department of Rural Development (SERP) has issued guidelines for the distribution of benefits through all village/ward secretariat staff. The guidelines aim to ensure that ongoing schemes are distributed using Direct Benefit Transfer or regular government employees.

    The guidelines state that pension disbursement will now be carried out only by village/ward secretariat staff, with the assistance of Panchayat Secretaries and Welfare & Education Assistants in rural areas, and Ward Administrative Secretaries and Ward Welfare Development Secretaries in urban areas. The distribution process will involve obtaining Aadhaar authentication and adhering to the Model Code of Conduct to prevent any irregularities.

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