Railway pensioners lament government’s narrow mindedness

LUDHIANA: The 15th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Northern Railway Pensioners’ Welfare Associations, Ludhiana, was held on Sunday at NRMU complex.

Kuldeep Singh, CRS (retd) government employee, inaugurated the meeting and presented the financial report. Chetan Kapoor, medical superintendent railway hospital, and Daljit Singh, divisional secretary, also attended the AGM and deplored the narrow minded attitude of the government.

Since inflation had risen manifold, the basic pension of pre 1996 and pre 2006 remains the same. The 5th pay commission granted full parity up to 1986 and added that the next pay commission should give full parity up to 1996 but the 6th Pay Commission did nothing. The members said there there is no increase in medical allowance and within the orbit of 2.5km from the health unit/railway hospital pensioner are denied the medical allowance, which is not in good taste.

They further said old age pension must be increased at the age of 75 by 10% whereas the government is increasing the same at the age bracket of 80 years when 80% of the pensioners are no more. Companion tickets in 1st class/AC must also be made free at the age of 75. In order to achieve these goals, the association urged all to protest at Janta Mantar, New Delhi, to awaken the UPA government from their slumber.