“Steps will be taken to increase pensions on par with increases of government servants. Anomalies now affecting all categories of pensioners will be removed to safeguard their dignity”. In keeping with this promise, the salaries of government servants were increased by a substantial amount in January, 2006 in keeping with the very high cost of living as a result of country-wide agitation for wage increases. However, the principles enunciated in the Mahinda Chinthanaya were not implemented as far as the government pensioners were concerned.
Government Pensioners’ Associations were taking up this matter at various political levels from time to time, but to no avail. Pensioners have to be satisfied with a meagre increase of either Rs. 500 or Rs.1,000/= each year that follows. This state of affairs still continues and is causing the poor government pensioners tremendous hardships with the intolerable increases in the cost of living.
Let us hope that the government realises the need to keep its retired elderly servants with some dignity which they naturally deserve. If this is not rectified soon, and the elderly government pensioners are left to suffer the indignity they are facing now, even the present government servants will start worrying about their fate when the time comes for them to become pensioners!