RAWALPINDI: Every month, Pakistan Railways retired employees in the garrison city suffer due to delay in pensions.

“We get pension in the middle of the month which disturbs our household budget. Though my pension is not enough to run the kitchen, it still helps in making both ends meet,” said Ali Rajab, a retired Pakistan Railways employee.

He said they had to shuttle between railways offices and banks. He requested the railways authorities to pay the pensioners at the start of the month.

He said that the pension was the only source of income of senior citizens.

Ghulam Mohammad, another pensioner, said he starts visiting railways and bank offices at the beginning of each month to get the pension but nobody listens to him.

“After serving the organisation for more than 35 years, pension is my right under the law,” he said.

When contacted, Pakistan Railways Divisional Superintendent Abdul Malik refused to buy the claim of the pensioners and said that Pakistan Railways gave the pension to the former employees before paying the salaries to its employees.

He said they had introduced online system to pay salaries to the employees.

“We have asked the former employees to open bank accounts so they can get pension without any delay,” he said.

However, he said that in some cases, error in the small banks online system delayed the pensions.

He said the former employees had been advised to open the accounts in prominent banks which had swift online system of clearance.

He said he did not receive any complaint from the pensioners but would check what caused delay in clearance of their pension. He said Pakistan Railways prioritised disbursement of pensions.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018