PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has approved an ordinance for maintaining respect and dignity of senior citizens in society and providing them relief.
He also directed early preparation of the draft of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Citizens Bill for the welfare, facilitation and honour of the people above 60 years.
According to a handout issued here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister signed summary of the ordinance for extending immediate benefits to senior citizens.
For formal approval and enforcement, the ordinance has been sent to the Governor. after signing by the Governor the ordinance will be enforced across the province.
Under the ordinance all citizens including men and women above the age of 60 years will become deserving for provision of several incentives, which include free public transport, free treatment,free entry in parks and libraries while for childless and destitute senior citizens Senior Citizens Old Homes will be built.
Similarly, all registered senior citizens will also get the incentives of the provision of monthly stipends. After the enforcement of the law. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take lead in provision of these facilities, ensuring welfare, honour and respect of senior citizens.
The bill will be first legislation for senior citizens in the country.
The Chief Minister has directed the Department of Social Welfare for the preparation of senior citizens Bill.
In last meeting of the provincial cabinet the draft of the bill was approved in principle. However, on the directives of the Chief Minister a cabinet committee was constituted for making the bill comprehensive and realistic.
He also directed the Social Welfare department that instead of wasting time for approval of the bill, it should be enforced through ordinance as soon as possible to provide prompt relief to senior citizens.
For this purpose, he also directed the inclusion of one member each from opposition and treasury benches in its proposed advisory council. Similarly, he also directed the Department of Social Welfare for preparation of comprehensive welfare schemes for senior citizens.
He clarified that dearth of funds will not be excuse in this regard.
The provincial government is presently paying a stipend of Rs 500/ per month to each registered senior citizen in six backward and far-flung districts including Kohistan, Shangla, Battagram, Swabi, Karak and Tank while the Chief Minister has also directed the extension of the scheme to all districts of the province in the next financial year. The Social Welfare department has already completed the registration of senior citizens in the entire province. Furthermore, Pervez Khattak has also directed the preparation of legislation for the welfare of special persons (disabled) across the province. Under these directives all special children and persons in the province will be classified to make basic legislation for provision of free education, treatment and quota in giving scholarships and government employment. Through the implementation of this legislation besides guaranteeing the welfare of special persons, they would be made useful citizens of the society.
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