Interest scheme won’t help senior citizens

The new interest scheme introduced by the Government of India for senior citizens allowing 9 per cent interest per annum is nothing but an eye wash. The interest accrued is taxable and no bonus has been allowed on maturity, while there is 10 per cent bonus on monthly income schemes.

In a nutshell, as senior citizens solely depend upon the interest on their hard-earned money invested in small saving schemes, they will not be able to derive any financial relief by investing in the new scheme. If the government is sympathetic towards senior citizens and is committed to help them, it should enhance the rate of interest reasonably from the existing 8 per cent.



October 1 is observed every year as Senior Citizens’ Day in our country and all over the world. To maintain the sanctity of the day, the Union Government should announce one per cent higher rate of interest over the normal rate on bank deposits of senior citizens.



Earlier, they were paid one per cent higher rate of interest but the erstwhile NDA government reduced it to half per cent. This needs to be reversed to meet the principles of natural justice.


Going down memory lane

Jamila Verghese’s middle “Magic lantern in Fatehgarh Churian” (Aug 31) has taken me about 60 years down memory lane. All those fine and poignant anecdotes remind me of my bachpan and things associated with it — the wooden slate, the gramophone, the kerosene lantern, the walnuts, the punkha hanging from the ceiling and so on.

One thing that we did not have is the petromax, which, my mother thought, generated more heat than light. And instead of the hand-pump, we had in our courtyard a well, exclusive to ourselves, with a pulley to draw water.

This has reminds me of another story — that of a fountain pen which my father bought me. One day my uncle saw me writing with the pen. He first told that I would be spoiling my handwriting with that pen. To be sure that I did not use it again, he took it away. I thought I must get the pen somehow. So I bought a new one.

A word about ‘swan ink’ which my grandmother used to call as swaaneenk. Any pen ink was “swaaneenk” just as any vacuum flask was a Thermos, and any vegetable ghee as against pure desi ghee was Dalda, during those fine and beautiful days!

K.S. KHURANA, Amritsar


HRA for pensioners

The Punjab government employees get House Rent Allowance (HRA). They are also provided government accommodation, wherever available. But this facility is denied to the Punjab government pensioners though they deserve more because of their old age.

Pensioners get dearness allowance and medical allowance at par with employees in service. The Punjab government should, therefore, consider the genuineness of the case and grant HRA or government accommodation to pensioners also.

S.S. UTREJA, Nangal Township

Road repair must

The road from Dera Bassi to Barwala is in a bad condition. The stretch from Dera Bassi to Rampur Sainian in particular is worst. The road is full of potholes. Driving on this road can be fatal. The condition of the road is deplorable. The authorities concerned should get the road repaired on priority.


Regional imbalances

Reference two reports in The Tribune (both Sept 9): “Virbhadra creating regional imbalances: Dhumal”; and “Cong cadres feel isolated from government", Anita Katyal has rightly reported that the Congress cadre feels isolated and neglected in a governance which is corrupt and dependent on civil servants. Jobs and contracts are being given to the kith and kin of the powers that be in typical Laloo style; even tickets are given to the sons or wives of the politicians, ignoring merit.

Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s statement is also correct. The people of Himachal Pradesh from the upper and lower areas should understand that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is dividing the state for personal benefit.

THAKUR SINGH, Rohru (Shimla)

Mubarakpur buses

The buses of Haryana Roadways on Kalka- Mubarakpur- Ambala route were diverted recently via Zirakpur as the narrow bridge between Ramgarh and Mubarakpur became unserviceable because of heavy rains, thereby putting Mubarakpur out of route. However, the General Manager, Haryana Roadways, Chandigarh, who controls the said route along with his counterpart in Ambala, took steps to help the daily passengers, particularly government employees. They have directed the drivers to reinstate bus services to Mubarakpur by diverting the buses from Bhankharpur till the original route was restored after the bridge repairs.

It is regretted that most drivers are not obeying the orders and still bypassing Mubarakpur. The authorities concerned should ensure that the orders are implemented by all the drivers strictly for the benefit of countless passengers.

VINOD DEWAN, Panchkula

Teachers’ role

The editorial “Homilies won’t help” (Sept 4) rightly endorses the fact that teachers are being ignored. They are only remembered on Teachers’ Day and given tokens of love and respect. A teacher needs full mastery over the subjects to satisfy the curiosity of the students. A teacher guides, shapes and nurtures the physical, mental, social and spiritual growth and development of a child. A teacher teaches with love patience, care, reward and punishment.

A teacher is the guiding light to the ignorant students. A teacher can make or mar the future of a child. A teacher plays an important role in shaping the future of a nation. Hence, teachers should be given due respect and position in society along with suitable salary and other facilities.


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