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February 26, 2020

Pensioners demand adjustment of pensions with price hike

Islamabad

February 26, 2020

Islamabad : The pensioners have demanded of the government to adjust pensions keeping in view the devaluation of Pakistani rupee against dollar resulting spiral of prices of essential edible commodities and medicines.

"Our pensions should be adjusted keeping in view devaluation of rupee and increase in prices of edible oil, ghee, sugar, flour etc. and lifesaving drugs mostly used in old age especially for heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and various other diseases," the demand was made at the annual general meeting of the Association for Retired Persons (AWRP).

The meeting was presided over by its President Manzoor Hussain, retired Auditor General of Pakistan. A number of retired federal secretaries and additional secretaries and high and low-grade retired officials attended the meeting.

The AWRP is the sole representative body of retired federal government employees currently having more than 2,000 as its members.

The Association again demanded the family pension be increased from 75% to 100% so that the family of diseased retirees could survive respectfully. It may be mentioned that on the death of a pension when the family pension is calculated, it becomes less than 75%.

The meeting also called upon the government that the system of transfer of pension be made easy, as widow/family members cannot visit AGPR or concerned Account office frequently and their living becomes difficult without pension for 2 - 3 months, the period consumed for transfer of pension.

The AWRP has deputed one of the executive member Agha Amir Ahmad to provide necessary guidance to the retirees and their families for the redressal of their matters relating to release of pensions.

The meeting was informed that Pension to the daughter of an Air Force deceased officer denied this benefit on the grounds that civil pension rules were not applicable to defense personnel. A D.O. letter by the President of AWRP to the military accountant general helped in settling that the civil side amendments were applicable on the military side as well.

It may be mentioned here for the information of deceased retirees’ family that in June 2018, the rule was amended on court direction and pension was made devisable among all eligible daughters. Earlier family pension in case of death of widow of retiree was pay able to the eldest unmarried/divorced/widow daughter only.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that expert members of AWRP providing relief in solving the complicated cases by providing legal advice and rules and regulation and having liaison with other departments. The Retirees really appreciated the efforts of AWRP.

Association also demanded that medical allowance be either merged with pension or it should be defreeze and an adequate increase be given every year keeping in view the high price rise in drugs. Last year essential drugs price was increased from 300% to 500%. These were drugs used by elderly people.

The executive committee pointed out that it was quite cognizant of medical issues of the pensioners particularly concerning treatment at Government hospitals, reimbursement of medical claims, treatment at private hospitals in emergency cases. "In this regard we had been knocking at the doors of all concerned agencies. In this behalf the executive committee has recently requested the Prime Minister of Pakistan to include within the ambit of ‘Sehat Sahulat Programme’ the pensioners all over Pakistan so that they also get access to comprehensive medical cover in swift and dignified manner without any financial obligation," the AWRP president said.

The meeting was informed that a presentation would also be given to Zafar Mirza special advisor on health to the Prime Minister to the consider request on sympathetic and on humanitarian grounds.