The elders of a society constitute its important asset and there was a time in history when there were no books but these elders acted as the fountain of wisdom for the society. Although the times have changed, these elders still exert a powerful stabilizing influence on the cultural community. But, unfortunately, the government of Punjab considers them as a burden and tries to be as harsh to them as much as possible.
According to the law, the commuted part of their pension (which was 40% after 1.12.2001, and called gratuity) is to be restored to them after a particular period of time in each case. No clear-cut rules have been framed and it has been left to the discretion of every District Accounts Officer (DAO) to adopt any method of restoration he wants. As is the usual case in our country, those pensioners who grease the concerned officer’s palms have their commute restored after adding all the increases that were granted on their pension since the date of their retirement, and their pension is thus increased by 40% of their present amount. Those who don’t pay the tip receive short-shrift and no previous yearly increases and get only 1% rise in their pension.
The government of the Punjab is requested to take a pity on its pensioners and instruct the DAOs to restore their commuted portions at the rate they had surrendered their part of pension (which was 40% of the gross in 2002) along with all their increments since retirement, which would result in at least 40% rise in the amount of their present gross pension. The old people would be highly obliged.