Expressing shock and anguish at the death of Som Nath, an 83 years old elderly person of Dhilwan in Kapurthala district due to delay in disbursement of old age pension, President of Federation of Senior Citizens’ Associations, Punjab (FEDSEN) SP Karkara has demanded a thorough enquiry into the circumstances which compelled him to commit suicide.
Karkara stated that FEDSEN has been repeatedly requesting the Punjab Government for past two years to increase old age pension to Rs. 1000 per month and to ensure its timely payment. He informed that in his January 15, 2015 letter to Chief Minister Punjab, he had requested for early resumption of payment of old age pension, its increase to Rs. 1000 per month and for strengthening Social Security Dedicated Fund created in year 2005 to ensure regular payment of old age pension and relief to widows, destitute children and handicapped persons, but the letter went unacknowledged.
He pointed out that in its 2012 Election Manifesto, Shiromani Akali Dal had promised to raise old age pension to Rs 800 per month and similarly BJP had promised to raise it to Rs. 750/- per month. Terming increase of Rs. 50/- per month announced by Minister for Social Security, Punjab as totally inadequate, he appealed to Punjab Government to immediately increase old age pension to Rs 800/- per month promised by Akali Dal in its Election Manifesto.