Finance Deptt to shortly release Rs 500 cr for settlement of pending GPF claims

Directions issued for release of pending turnover incentives
CS for early clearance of GST reimbursement cases

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Nov 16: In order to provide sigh of relief to the pensioners and employees, the Finance Department of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will shortly release Rs 500 crore for settlement of General Provident Fund (GPF) claims, which otherwise are pending for the past several months in the treasuries.
Moreover, the Chief Secretary has directed the GST Department and Industries and Commerce Department to take steps for prompt clearance of pending GST reimbursement cases and release of turnover incentives to the industrial units.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that the issue of inordinate delay in settlement of GPF claims was deliberated upon in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta few days back and accordingly Dr Mehta asked the Finance Department to make necessary arrangements to bring an end to the miseries of the pensioners and Government employees.
“In the meeting, Santosh D Vaidya, Principal Secretary to the Government Finance Department apprised the Chief Secretary that Rs 500 crore are bring provided shortly for the settlement of GPF claims”, sources disclosed, adding “detailed exercise in this regard is going on in the Finance Department and within next few days funds are likely to be released to the treasuries across the Union Territory”.
When contacted, a senior officer of the Accounts and Treasuries, while wishing anonymity, said, “large number of GPF claims of the pensioners and employees are pending in different treasuries for want of funds”, adding “we have also heard that Finance Department has given assurance to the Chief Secretary about early release of funds to settle the claims”.
As per the pensioners, they are suffering because of inordinate delay in the payment of GPF as well as retirement gratuity. “We are facing immense hardships due to the non-clearance of rightful entitlements currently languishing at the treasuries”, they said, adding “this money is crucial for financing our children’s education and marriages”.
They further said, “the denial of these benefits has plunged retired officials into severe financial crises. The Government’s claims of abundant financial resources only exacerbate the retirees’ frustration”, adding “we are also entitled for interest for the duration of the unsettled claims as only Government is responsible for pendency of claims in the treasuries”.
“After dedicating entire career to public welfare, employees should not be subjected to such unwarranted financial losses after retirement”, they said and demanded that a mechanism should be evolved by the Government so that GPF and other claims of the retirees are cleared in the shortest possible time-frame.
Not only the retirees even the serving employees of the Government are facing immense difficulties as they have applied for partial release of their GPF to meet emergent situation like marriages and higher education of their children apart from treatment for different ailments.
“We make savings in the form of GPF so as to meet the requirements in future but such a prolonged delay in settlement of GPF claims is nothing less than a harassment to us”, a number of employees said on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary has directed GST Department to ensure that pending cases of GST reimbursement are cleared at the earliest. Likewise, the Industries and Commerce Department has been directed to ensure release of pending turnover incentive to the industrial units.
As per the sources, existing industrial units are suffering very badly because of inordinate delay in clearance of claims of turnover incentives for the financial year 2021-22.
The industrial bodies have already made numerous representations to the Government seeking early release of funds to the Industries and Commerce Department so that claims of turnover incentives are settled without further loss of time.

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