Hundreds of widows and legal heirs left in lurch

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Filed by the legal heirs and widows of deceased government employees, hundreds of cases of benevolent funds have been pending since years in Sindh Secretariat and AG office owing to ruling agents’ mafia, which takes 10% to 20% share out of payable funds to get one’s case file ‘wheeled’.

It was revealed by a widow of a deceased government employee on condition of anonymity on Saturday.

According to the affected widow, her husband died in 2012 owing to a brief illness during his employment tenure, but after three years she has yet to receive the benevolent funds, including other dues, because of her incapability to pay the mandatory processing fee to those of the agents who work like gatekeepers between ‘clients’ and concerned govt departments, including Sindh Secretariat and AG office. Running from pillar to post for several years, widows and legal heirs of deceased government employees have been still waiting for disbursement of their dues, but unending bribery culture in concerned departments makes it almost impossible to receive one’s dues through legal means.

“The government is not only dysfunctional, but appears to be missing from the picture totally. As demise of the deceased already hits the affected families, the lack of adequate financial means drives the final nail in the coffin too. Mostly belonging to the low-income groups, these families lead a miserable life and find themselves on the verge of abject poverty, but despite their repeated requests they can’t get their funds until they pay a hefty amount to these agents openly hovering around the concerned govt. departments,’ a widow of deceased govt. employee revealed.

She said, “Making several rounds of the offices regularly is frustrating, expensive and exhausting too and we feel like left in the lurch. In this modern technological age, these funds can be easily transferred to the nominees on submission of a death certificate, but the prevailing system remains unchanged so as to foster the evergreen corruption culture in such government-run departments.”

Back in October 2011, a 70-years old man in Lahore died in queue while waiting for his pension, which resulted into the implementation of a new system of transferring pension directly to pensioner’s bank account automatically.

‘Is government waiting for another human tragedy to turn to modern system in place of flawed, traditional payment methods?’ the affected widow concluded.