Since the Pay & Pensions Committee is actively considering increase in pensions in the budget 2009-2010, it is most appropriate to apprise them of the fact that the pension structures prevailing since 2000 and before are unacceptably meager and insufficient. Life for the poor pensioner has been hell before and since. In 2000, some reasonable increase was offered in the pay structure of the public servant making them comparatively better off. But the pensioner retired before 2000 are still living from hand to mouth, often unable to meet even daily food expenses, what to say of paying the utility bills. The sick pensioners who have nothing beyond pension cannot afford expenses on medical treatment, medicine and prescribed food in government hospitals. There is no question of any of those pensioners seeking treatment from any renowned specialist. Eids, births and deaths pass in a blur in their lives and they can participate in rituals of neither because of paucity of funds till it is time they look up towards havens and close their eyes. -BASHIR AKHTAR SAHI, Lalamusa, May 11.