MADURAI: Pensioners in the district have appealed to the government to increase the medical allowance from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500.

In a resolution passed at its recent meeting, the Madurai District Pensioners’ Association said that the revision to at least Rs. 500 was necessary in view of increasing cost of medicines. The cost of glasses prescribed after cataract surgery should also be reimbursed, it said. As a first step towards implementing medical insurance scheme for pensioners, the government should make them eligible to get treatment for diseases listed for medical insurance cover in the case of those in service.

It should pay a month’s salary with dearness allowance, on the basis of the last position held by a pensioner, in the event of his death to perform the last rites. An order should be passed to pay the amount to the person nominated by the pensioner.

The association urged the government to disburse pension to former employees of Department of Local Administration and quasi-government organisations through treasuries as in the case of retired teachers of municipal corporations. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, the meeting said, should consider providing 25 per cent concession in telephone rent for pensioners and senior citizens, as was being done in Delhi and Mumbai by MTNL, according to a press release.

The meeting, presided over by K. Chakrapani, president, thanked Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for paying interim relief to all pensioners, ahead of implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. It appealed to the government to take necessary steps for the speedy implementation of pay scales recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission for pensioners. It also wanted the government to issue an order to fix the pension for those retired from service between June 1, 1988 and December 31, 1995 at the basic salary drawn by them prior to retirement plus the average dearness allowance paid in the last 10 months. Revised pension should be paid to those who retired from service between July 1, 1996 and March 31, 1998 as in the case of those who attained superannuation between January 1, 1996 and June 30, 1996.