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Bill draft prepared to facilitate old people

ISLAMABAD - The draft of ‘Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Welfare Bill 2013’ has been prepared to give them better opportunities of transportation, recreation, medical facilities, increase in pension and legal assistance.Presiding over the follow-up stakeholders’ meeting to discuss various issues concerning welfare of senior citizens here, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD), Abdul Latif Leghari informed that on direction of Ministry of CAD, National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) is actively involved in preparation of Draft Bill for welfare of the senior citizens at Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The meeting was jointly organised by National Council of Social Welfare (Ministry of Capital Administration and Development), HelpAge International and Pakistan National Centre on Ageing (PNCA).Abdul Latif Leghari said Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, enjoins on the state to alleviate the sufferings of all the citizens, irrespective of gender, creed or race. After consultation, he stated, the draft bill  has been prepared and circulated again for final comments before the same bill submission through a summary for in principle approval of the Cabinet. He informed that the draft of “National Policy on Older Persons” for the welfare of Senior Citizens has also been prepared after consultation of all the stakeholders and the final draft has also been prepared. “The comments from the relevant ministries/divisions have been received,” he statedLeghari noted that the follow up meeting is important for further discussion on the comments received from all the stakeholders. “I hope all the representatives will be added their valuable suggestions for betterment in draft bill and policy.”He also announced that a `Senior Citizens Facilitation Desk’ has also been setup at the National Council of Social Welfare to facilitate the senior citizens to resolve their issues.  Other speakers from the stakeholders Dr. Haider Zaman, President, Pakistan National Center on Ageing (PNCA), Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, Secretary General, Pakistan National Center on Ageing (PNCA), Waqas Qureshi, Senior Advocacy and Communications Officer, HelpAge International, Muzaffar Mehmood Qureshi, Former Federal Secretary, S. Farogh Naweed, former Additional Secretary (Retd)Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Muhammad Arshad, Deputy Chief, Social Welfare Section, Planning and Development Division, Haji Akbar Cheena, Director (CE&Law) Ministry of CAD, Arif Shamim, Director (Social Welfare), Ministry of CAD, Imran Ali, Law Officer, Ministry of CAD, Farhat Sultana, Director, National Council of Social Welfare and other representatives of the civil societies organisations working for the welfare of senior citizens participated in the meeting.

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