Pension Blues

This refers to the middle article ‘Pension blues’ by V K Kandhari (DE May 9). The author has presented a veritable tale of woe which the pensioners undergo every time they visit the Treasury.
However, this is not wholly true. The treatment meted to pensioners during the ongoing pension revision under process in the AG office has left everything to be desired. The office has created confusion worse confounded by impervious attitude of the functionaries to queries of pensioners. Hapless pensioners are unable even to confirm if their papers have even reached the AG office let alone tentative date of starting its process. The fact is neither the Department concerned nor treasury officer concerned inform the pensioner if their case stands forwarded to the AG. It is rumoured that around 1.5 lac pension cases pertaining to ongoing revision are lying in the AG office with God alone knowing when these will be finalized. Cases of queue jumping in revision of pension have also come to our notice The AG should come clean on the issue as its reputation is at stage. It should inform the public the measures it has taken to quell this delay at its level. It ought to examine the option of giving incentives to its staff to work over- time and on holidays. The state government could have avoided this harassment to these poor pensioner had it directed submission of cases direct as was the case during previous revision. But by some strange logic it has not been done this time.
My personal experience at Additional Treasury New Plots, Jammu is no praise worthy. First, old pensioners have to negotiate a stair case that is too steep to reach the treasury office. There is no arrangement for sitting of these super senior citizen nor is any element of courtesy extended to them. There is no drinking water facility available even in this hot and sultry weather. On that day one may not be fortunate as the official may be on leave. The poor pensioner has to reconcile to his circumstances.
I too was made to wait by the treasury officer for 15 minutes when I accompanied an old pensioner to get his pension revised. The officer made me stand full 20 minutes and did not have courtesy of offering me a chair, I too am 70 year old senior citizen.
In this time of digitalization, most of difficulties could have been minimized if a system of SMS service is made available to pensioners as they could be kept informed about the status of their case. Surely, if pensioner has to pay for this efficient service, he would welcome it.
But million dollar question is who will bell the proverbial cat in mess called J&K Government. Till such time pensioner are doomed to suffer humiliation of visiting treasuries.
V K Zadoo
on e-mail