Centre’s stand on EPF unjust

The Centre’s decision to reduce the EPF interest rate from 9.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent is unjust and unfair. Clearly, it has failed to give a reasonable justification to the peremptory cut in the interest rate. Instead, it is creating confusion among the civil society and the workers about the so-called reserve fund in the EPF.

Last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to pay 9.5 per cent interest on EPF. Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram honoured the subscribers’ deposits by diverting Rs 719 crore from the Special Reserve Fund (SRF). This was not the reserve fund of EPF, but was called forfeiture account fund, built up through legal deductions from the employers’ PF contribution in case of workers who resigned or left service before retirement or retrenchment before 1990.

After 1990, this amount was credited to the forfeiture account fund, which was named the SRF. It was a small amount, but was continuously invested because of the high interest rate.

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief


Examples galore, the Centre had bailed out the Unit Trust of India and Seamen’s Provident Fund earlier. Why can’t it help the EPFO when there is no safety net and very little social security?

The Centre should pay administered interest rate at 9.5 per cent annum to the EPF subscribers by raising the interest rates of the funds parked in the Special Deposit Scheme used for development.


Embodiment of sacrifice

Swami Vivekananda’s 143rd birth anniversary was observed on Jan 12. To perpetuate his memory, we should follow his lessons and ideals in our day-to-day life.

He is best remembered as the man who “stole the show” at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He earned well-deserved encomiums for having begun his Address with the words, “Sisters and Brothers of America”. Many sections identified his arrival in the US as the beginning of the western interest in Hinduism.

The valiant monk, who proclaimed in the US the greatness of Hinduism and Indian culture, was a unique embodiment of sacrifice. He dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the downtrodden. He was a great thinker. For generations to come, he will be a source of inspiration to humankind.


Of bus and bunkers

I read two news-items “Amritsar-Lahore bus” and “Pak army building bunkers” in The Tribune recently. To me, both reports appeared paradoxical, if not strange. Interestingly, the idea behind running friendly buses would be overshadowed if bunkers are too being built simultaneously.

If infiltrating terrorists are behind such plots, the Pakistani government would do well to check these peace-disturbing activities expeditiously. The sooner is the better.

RAVI DATTA, Dehra (Kangra)

NPA for doctors

The Haryana government has reportedly decided to include Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) as part of the basic pay for calculating pension. The NPA had always been a part of pay for all purposes including pension since Haryana was a part of the united Punjab.

During the Om Parkash Chautala regime, this discriminatory decision of not including NPA towards calculation of pension was taken. Now once this anomaly is removed, those doctors who retired during this intervening period may also be provided this relief so that they need not go to the court to seek this benefit.

Dr S.B. SOOD, Faridabad

Dastardly act

This has reference to the news-item about an 18-day-girl being thrown into a well near Kharar with her mother’s consent. This was a dastardly act. In Sector 23 at Chandigarh, there is a charity home run by Mother Theresa’s followers. Near the gate, they have put up a basket in which any unwanted baby can be put. The inmates of the charity home get to know about it and take care of such babies.

Otherwise, there would be many childless couples who may like to adopt them. Do not kill these babies but hand over them to the benefactors.


Overdue reform

This has reference to the editorial Deadwood must go (Dec 26). I fully endorse Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposal to reform the administration with provisions for mid-career exit for inefficient civil servants and fast track rewards for the competent.

If the government selects highly educated professionals, relentless and dedicated staff, proper screening is needed. This reform in the civil services was long overdue. In this highly competitive world, only suitably trained persons can do justice to work.


LTC to pensioners

The employees of Punjab Government who retired after April 1, are being paid LTC after adding 50 per cent of Dearness Allowances in their Basic Pension whereas the pensioners who retires prior to April 1, 04 are deprived of this Benefit of 50 per cent of DA in their basic pension.

This is highly discriminatory, unjustified and against the spirit of equally. This glorying anomaly should be immediately rectified in the interest of justice and equity.

B.K. CHOPRA, Amritsar

Gender bias

The question of father’s name on all records, right from school admission to court records has come up many times. Still no concrete action has been taken. This is strange in this era of enlightenment when there is clamour for women’s liberation and empowerment.

No woman’s body or human rights organisation has taken notice of this. Once the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had written to the registrars of all universities, but in vain. It is the mother who bears the burden of the child right from conception, but father’s name is used on all documents. Mother’s name is particularly relevant when she lives separately with the child, with or without maintenance and earns money, even more than the father.

KHUSHBOO, Chandigarh

Tuition menace

There is a burning problem in the Government Senior Secondary School in Jagadhri workshop. The teachers of this school force students of +1, +2 (non-medical science group) to take private tuition by them. This is illegal according to the Haryana Government Education Rules.

The teachers are not interested to take classes in the school, but insist on undertaking tuition at home. The people of this area are not so rich that they can afford a tuition fee of Rs 500 a month. The teachers threaten students that they will fail in the practical and other examinations if they don’t take tuition.



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