50pc discount on airfare for disabled persons

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Capital Administration & Development (CAD) has taken notice of non-implementation of the cabinetís decision to grant 50 percent concessions in airfares to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and 25 percent to their attendants, and requested the defence ministry to direct all airlines to follow the decision.
This concession was granted for both domestic and foreign travelling in 2009 but it has not been implemented in its letter and spirit during the last three years of the PPP-led government.

According to an official communication sent by the senior joint secretary to Lt Gen (Retd) Asif Yasin Malick, secretary ministry of defence, dated November 27, 2012, the federal cabinet in its meeting held on June 3, 2009 decided to give 50 percent concessions in the air, rail and road fares to the PWDs.

This concession was to be granted on the basis of disability certificate of National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (NCRDP) and special computerised national identity cards (CNICs) issued to PWDs by the National Database Registeration Authority (NADRA) which carries universal logo of disabled. These documents were issued after detailed scrutiny by the concerned quarter.

In the aftermath of the 18th constitutional amendment, the defunct ministry of social welfare and special education through official communications dated August 5, 2009 as well as December 3, 2009 requested the defence ministry to ensure the said concessions to all PWDs including physically-handicapped, mentally-retarded, and visually-and hearing-impaired by all public-run and private airlines.

Subsequently, the defence ministry vide office memoranda dated September 17, 2009 and later January 6, 2010 issued instructions.

The CAD ministry to which the function of NCRDP transferred after the 18th constitutional amendment has received complaints particularly from Pakistan Disabled Foundation that some offices of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and private airlines were not following the cabinet decision despite the instructions regarding the provision of 50 percent concessions to disabled persons and 25 percent to their attendants on the basis of disability certificate and special CNIC.

The defence ministry was again requested to re-circulate the instructions to all airlines in both public and private sectors to grant the said concessions to all disabled persons and their attendants.

Riffat Shaheen Qazi, acting secretary of the CAD ministry, said the decision was yet to be implemented by the concerned quarters and the ministry had taken decision to take up this issue with the relevant authorities.

The CAD ministry was planning to arrange a conference to highlight the issues of special persons who are playing critical role on individual and collective basis for the progress of the society, she said.

Courtesy: The News

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