Lahore: Ombudsman Punjab Javed Mahmood has directed Finance Department to review and obtain Chief Minister’s approval for increase in the meager amount of Rs.3000 per month minimum pension in order to fulfill the promise made to the elderly and hapless retired government employees according to the constitution.
Ombudsman Punjab Javed Mahmood issued these orders on the complaint of a retired chowkidar of Sardar Town Sher Shah Colony Lahore, Muhammad Shafi who had not been receiving the minimum pension of three thousand rupees per month from Accountant General Punjab. Ombudsman Punjab directed Consultant Ombudsman Office Wazir Ahmed Qureshi to probe into the matter. According to Wazir Ahmed Qureshi, Class-4 employees of Punjab government had been given minimum monthly pension of Rs.300, after that Punjab government increased this amount to Rs.2,000 per month in 2010 and later fixed Rs.3,000 per month. Ombudsman Punjab ordered Accountant General Punjab to make payment of outstanding dues of minimum pension of Rs.3000 to the applicant. He ordered that although Punjab government has enhanced minimum pension from Rs.300 to Rs.3000 per month yet due to price-hike and inflation this amount is very low for retired government employees to meet their both ends. The Ombudsman said that according to the judgments of superior courts, pension is not only the legal and constitutional right of the old pensioners but it is also their social need. According to the Artice-38(d) of the constitution, the state is responsible to provide basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief for all such citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment.
Ombudsman directed Finance Department to make suitable increase every year in the proposed minimum pension and inform the Ombudsman Punjab about the progress to be made in this regard within one month.