Karnataka government pensioners demand hikes at shorter duration
They have sought change in enhancement slabs citing an increase in the cost of living
Citing an increase in the cost of living leaving many senior citizens vulnerable, pensioners have sought introduction of additional slabs for enhancement of pension.
While the current enhancement slabs start after a pensioner turns 80, pensioners have sought enhancement after 70.
The demand has come in the light of several States launching pension enhancement from the age of 70. In Karnataka, additional two pension enhancement slabs of 10% and 15% have been sought after pensioners attain 70 years and 75 years, respectively. The Karnataka State Government Pensioners' Association has petitioned the government drawing parallels with the practice in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala that offer an enhancement of 10% at the age of 70. In Tamil Nadu, a 15% enhancement slab has been introduced for those attaining 75 years.
“A large number of government pensioners are suffering as the cost of living and expenses have gone up. For those without medical insurance, health issues and medical expenses have brought financial misery,” association president L. Bhyrappa said.
Currently, the enhancement slabs for pensioners starts at 80 years with a 20% enhancement, followed by 30% enhancement at 85 years, 40% after 90 years, 50% for those above 95, and 100% for those attaining 100 years, all of which have been fixed by the pay commission.
Mr. Bhyrappa said that early introduction of enhancement would benefit pensioners as fewer people benefit from pension enhancement post 80 years. Karnataka has about 4.2 lakh pensioners and 1.5 lakh family pensioners.
The association has also urged the State Government to implement enhancement soon after a pensioner completes 79 years citing orders of the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and Guwahati High Court. Currently, it begins on completion of 80 years.