The Defence Ministry has implemented SPARSH, an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of defence pension. This web-based system processes pension claims and credits pension directly into the bank accounts of defence pensioners without relying on any external intermediary. The Ministry said, a Pensioner Portal is available for pensioners to view their pension related information, access services and register complaints for redressal of grievances.
SPARSH envisages establishment of Service Centres to provide last mile connectivity to pensioners who may be unable to directly access the SPARSH portal for any reason. In addition to several offices of the Defence Accounts Department, which are already functioning as Service Centres for pensioners, the two largest banks dealing with defence pensioners – State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank have been co-opted as Service Centres.
An agreement to this effect was signed between Officiating Controller General of Defence Accounts Rajnish Kumar and officials of SBI and PNB, in the presence of Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar in New Delhi today. Under the agreement, the pensioners can approach various branches of these two banks for obtaining any service relating to their pension issues. Appreciating the efforts of all those involved in this process, the Defence Secretary said implementation of SPARSH fulfilled a long pending requirement. He added that the decision will prove to be a boon for defence pensioners.