May 172017
 

This refers to the letter, ‘Plight of pensioners’ (May 15) by Ali Asghar Awan. The arguments given by the writer in favour of pensioners are valid. The writer correctly argued that senior citizens and retired employees, after having served the country for a major portion of their life, depend entirely on their pension. These old aged people are frail and not as healthy as they used to be when they were young. Therefore, they need to spend a substantial amount of income on their medical treatment. The meagre medical allowance provided by the government has not been increased for quite some time now. The average pension increase, in any case, is the bare minimum taking into account the galloping inflation and increase in the prices of everyday use and food items. The decreased value of the pension and profit from their savings, if any, is completely washed out by the price spiral.

A lot has been written in columns of various newspapers by the affected senior citizens and the retired employees requesting policymakers to be kind and considerate. The budget for the year 2017-18 will be announced next week. Hopefully, the finance minister and the PM will pay attention to these appeals and increase the amount of pension by at least 20 percent. It is also hoped that the government will also increase the amount of medical allowance by a substantial amount to cover the increased prices of medicines and medical tests etc.

Zaheer Ahmed

Islamabad

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