The pensioner's plight

The skyrocketing prices of consumer goods and alarming rise in rates of electricity, petrol and gas are causing deep depression among the pensioners. They feel the relief provided to pensioners in the budget was mere peanuts compared to the inflation since. The old pensioners, whose pension is less than half that of the new pensioners are the worst sufferers. They are again reiterating their demand for equalizing the pension of old and new pensioners. On the UN Senior Citizens Day on October 1, 1999, Nawaz Sharif had promised to equalize pension rates but the Musharraf government put the issue in the cold storage. The pensioners request the new government to favorably consider their case in accordance with the formula already forwarded to the authorities suggesting that the pensioners over the age of 70 years be compensated first followed by the rest. This will keep the pressure on the government's financial resources low. -COL (Retd) RAFI NASIM, Lahore, via e-mail, July 11.

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