Govt accused of ignoring voices of senior citizens

KATHMANDU: The government decision to provide extra Rs 500 monthly as medical allowance to elderly people has irked the senior citizens who have been protesting since the past thirty-one months with a charter of eight-point demand.

The Joint Senior Citizens Struggle Ad hoc Committee which has been demanding Rs 3,000 monthly allowance to the senior citizens has slammed the government decision. The government, in the budget for the current fiscal year, announced to provide additional Rs 500 as medical expenses (beside Rs 500 monthly allowance) to the people of above 70 years of age.

At a press conference here on Friday, the Committee accused the government of ignoring its voices in the budget and warned to continue the agitation. Our voice is not for Rs 500, but for 50 per cent discount on public transport, 50 per cent discount on medical treatment at private hospitals and free treatment at government hospitals, among others and the government should address the demands in a package, Committee Chairperson Mahaprasad Parajuli stressed.

Only the people completing 70 years of age are entitled for the elderly allowance, but the people above 60 years be recognised as elders as defined by the Senior Citizens Act and provided the state facility, Committee Vice-Chair Gam Bahadur Chhetri said.