Pensioner Kanani: a welfare watchdog in Tamil Nadu

I like Pensioner Kanani for the high-quality service that it provides to retirees. The mainstream media is too preoccupied with breaking news, political games and pseudo-events to cover the retirement sector.

One can imagine that they are also less interested in this population sub-set because pensioners are not aggressive consumers, and are therefore unattractive to advertisers.

But Pensioner Kanani bridges the gap nicely. In its July 2010 issue, for instance, the slim volume reproduces some important Government Orders and instructions. One of them relates to the eligibility of a disabled son/daughter of a pensioner, to be nominated by the father for the benefit after his demise. Apparently, as per the letter no. 17109/Pension/2010 from the Principal Secretary to Government, Mr. K. Shanmugam, the son is eligible even if he is married, but Rule 49 (iii) (vi) of Tamil Nadu Pension Rules 1978 does not provide the same benefit to a disabled daughter. In fact, the son gets the benefit because there is no specific prohibition of pension nomination based on marriage status, while it does exist for daughter. The whole issue has come up after being agitated in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, in WP (MD) No. 10144/2006 dated 15.12.2006.

Pensioner Kanani has also raised the issue of the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu not ordering the same health benefit for state pensioners, as their Central counterparts, in the area of monthly medical allowance. Although the State has announced parity in pensions, it has not raised the monthly health allowance from Rs. 100 to Rs. 300, which the Centre has done with effect from September 1, 2008.

This nifty collection of Government orders and information in the Kanani, besides related articles by experts in various fields is edited and published by A. Saminathan, who actively participated in the Joint Action Council of agitating employees in the late 1980s. The publication address is : A. Saminathan, State President, All India Senior Citizens and Pensioners Confederation, 15/32, Bharathidasan Street, Avinashi, 641654 Tamil Nadu.

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