News Desk : dhakamirror.com
After holding the office of president for the longest time — 10 years spanning two consecutive terms — Abdul Hamid went into retirement on Monday and left Bangabhaban, the office and residence of the head of state.
But even after his retirement, Abdul Hamid is going to get some benefits, including retirement and medical allowances as per law.
The benefits a former president will receive is stated in the President’s Retirement Allowance, Perquisites and Other Benefits Act.
According to the law, a person who resigns after serving at least six months in the office of president, or when the term expires, will get a monthly pension at the rate of 75 percent of the last monthly salary he was getting as president until his death.
As per the President’s (Remuneration and Privileges) Act, 1975 (as amended up to May 2016), the monthly salary of the president is currently Tk 1.20 lakh.
As such, after his retirement, Abdul Hamid will get a retirement allowance of Tk 90,000 per month.
According to the law, if a person retires from any other service or position before assuming the office of president, he or she can choose between receiving either that pension or the president’s pension. If the president dies while getting pension, his surviving spouse shall receive a monthly pension for life at the rate of two-thirds of the pension.
A former president, who has acquired the right to receive pension, can also receive a gratuity in lieu of pension.
For this, he has to inform about his desire to take gratuity in lieu of pension within one month from the date of vesting.
The amount of the gratuity shall be equal to the amount of pension payable for one year, for the number of years a person has held the office of president.
A partial year shall be counted as a full year for the purposes of determining the term of office of the president.
A person shall be deemed to have expressed his intention to receive a pension if he dies without having expressed his intention to receive a pension. Then the nominee or the heirs will get the money.
Abdul Hamid will get some other benefits as a former president. As per the law, he will get a personal assistant and an attendant. He will also receive office expenses, the total annual amount of which will be fixed by the government from time to time.
Apart from this, the former president will get medical benefits equal to that of a minister. He will also enjoy free use of government vehicles for attending government functions, a telephone connection at his residence and exemption from payment of its bills up to the limit prescribed by the government from time to time.
As a former president, Abdul Hamid will also receive a diplomatic passport. He will then get the benefit of rent-free accommodation in government circuit houses or rest houses while traveling within the country.
Abdul Hamid’s wife will also get medical facilities, a diplomatic passport and the opportunity to avail government circuit houses or rest houses within the country without paying any rent.
The law also mentions the conditions under which a former president will not be given pension and other benefits. The retirement allowance and other benefits of the president will be forfeited if he receives a salary or any other benefit from the designated fund (connected fund) by serving in any office, position or status after the end of his office as president, according to the law.
Those benefits will not be availed if he or she is convicted of any crime of moral turpitude by a court after being entitled to pension.
Apart from this, if the High Court declares that he or she has held the office of president by unconstitutional means or illegal means, no former president will get that benefit.
The eventful two consecutive terms of President Abdul Hamid finally ended yesterday as President-elect Md Shahabuddin took his oath of office.
Abdul Hamid’s journey from grassroots to the Bangabhaban was quite significant.
He made a unique record in the history of Bangladesh as he was the only president who completed two five-year tenures of presidency in a row.
After leaving Bangabhaban, Hamid is staying at his residence at city’s Nikunja.
– Input from The Daily Star was used in this article.