THIS is with reference to National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) “Senior Citizens exempted from renewing CNICs” (Metropolitan April 7) clarifying that senior citizens are exempted from getting their computerized national identity cards renewed after the age of 65.
The decision in principle is welcome but fixing the age of eligibility as a senior citizen at 65 is beyond comprehension.
Of course universally there is no one set age when a person becomes a “senior citizen”.
In America benefits as a senior citizen start occurring after the age of 60 and gradually they increase but at 70 full Social Security benefits are given regardless of the amount of earned income.
In a country like ours a government or non government employee on attaining the age of superannuation i.e. 60 is entitled to all assistance of a senior citizen. He is eligible to Social Security benefits like EOBI, 50% concession in railway fares, more profit on investment in National Savings schemes, separate queue on Airports, exemption from income tax on pension etc.
Thus considering age of 60 for realization of benefits as a 'senior citizen' is not only logical, but is also in true spirit of the very scheme in view of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country.
Reason being that immediately after retirement one is not only deprived of full monetary benefits and social status but all of sudden he is exposed to all rigors of life whereas his ability to cope with the same is reduced to almost nullity.
I, therefore, request the Nadra authorities to review its decision and allow exemption from renewing the CNICs to the senior citizens who have attained the age of 60 which is also in accord with policy followed by other departments and organizations of the government.
At this age of infirmity it will save the retired citizens from physical and mental torture and at the same time reduce enormous burden on the NADRA establishment considerably.
DR KAZI KHADIM HUSSAIN
Ex-Dean, Faculty of Arts Sindh University
Regarding Nadra's news item informing the senior citizens to be exempt from renewing their CNIC, I would be obliged if it was clarified if this applies to all senior citizens or only those who do not seek to open a bank account and renew their passports.
According to the information available at local centres of Nadra, those who want a renewal of their passports or bank accounts must get their CNIC renewed.
ZULFIQAR ALI RAMZI