New Delhi: Weeding out ghost beneficiaries would help save the exchequer to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore annually by linking pension, subsidy and scholarship to Jan Dhan Yojna and Aadhar, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
"If bogus claims are removed from scholarships, pension, subsidies, ration cards and other schemes and these are linked to Jan Dhan Yojna and Aadhar, it will result in savings of Rs 1 lakh crore to the exchequer," the Road Transport and Highways Minister said at an event here.
The government is trying to stamp out bogus beneficiaries, given instances of fake claims in scholarships, pension, gas subsidies and other such schemes.
He regretted that "cylinders are diverted to restaurants and five-star hotels" under gas subsidy.
Bank accounts in Jan Dhan Yojna, according to the minister, have swelled to 21.80 crore, from a meagre 3.5 crore, and these should be linked to all subsidies and benefits.
Citing an example, he said the Shipping Ministry recently issued a directive asking for linkage of all pension accounts in ports to Jan Dhan Yojna.
Terming the results as "astounding", Gadkari said "only 82 per cent people in Kolkata port took pension and 18 per cent did not turn up. It was found that fake claims were done in the name of people whose ages were shown as 103 years and 104 years. You can imagine what must be happening".
In some cases, family members of beneficiaries aged over 110 years were found to be drawing money on their behalf, the minister added.
Besides, 4,000 beneficiaries have not been able to submit their "life certificates" to banks.