Senior citizens should get a better deal

While formulating the National Policy for Older Persons in 1999, the Centre fixed the age for senior citizens at 60 years. Subsequently, the Ministry of Railways allowed 30 per cent train concession to senior citizens, but the Income-Tax relief is given to those who attained the age of 65. This age limit should be lowered from 65 to 60 years and train concession raised to 50 per cent instead of 30 per cent.

Some banks have allowed one per cent extra interest on deposits of senior citizens. Some have allowed half a per cent interest whereas no extra interest is allowed on any Post Office deposits. Senior citizens in several states including Punjab, Rajasthan and Chandigarh UT get 30 per cent rebate in bus fares. Haryana may soon follow suit.

In the Union Budget, the Income-Tax limit for senior citizens should have been raised from Rs 1.85 lakh to 2.50 lakh. The upper investment ceiling in the Post Office Monthly Scheme should be raised from Rs 6 lakh to 20 lakh for senior citizens (joint account holders) so that employees can invest the amount they receive at the time of retirement.

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Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


The Department of Posts stopped the payment of 10 per cent bonus on the Monthly Income Scheme after the expiry of six years. Like banks, the Post Office too should give one per cent extra interest on all savings schemes. Punjab’s pensioners get in lump sum leave travel concession equal to one basic pension in the block of two years. Haryana should emulate this.

M.P. JAIN, Kurukshetra

Khanna remains neglected

Khanna is an important town of Punjab. It is said to have Asia’s biggest grain market. It is also the hometown of PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo. There are several steel industrial units here. Thus, Khanna contributes substantially to Punjab’s economic growth.

However, Khanna has been neglected. It is in dire need of an overbridge on the Lalheri Road railway crossing where accidents occur frequently due to heavy traffic.

Secondly, there is no sewerage/drainage water supply in the areas falling on the Chandigarh road outside the railway line. The sanitation, especially in GIB Nagar and Nandi Colony is very poor. The stagnant sewage in the streets emits a foul smell and is a health hazard. Repeated requests to the authorities have fallen on deaf ears. The government has declared 2006 as Development Year and is spending crores of rupees on advertisements. We expect our share of development funds too.


Lingua fracas

I refer to the editorial, “Lingua Fracas” (March 29). French President Jacques Chirac’s gesture has a welcome message for all nations in general and India in particular. One should not be obsequious when it comes to the use of language. One should be proud of one’s own language.

Besides, only six centuries back, i.e. till Spencer’s appearance on England’s literary horizon, the English language was considered a maid language in the country of its origin. People preferred to converse with each other in French and the scholars penned their thoughts in Latin. It is wrong to say that what the Indians speak “is more akin to Hinglish, Tinglish or Benglish”. An average English-speaking Indian has better command of the language than an average Englishman.

There is nothing wrong in speaking and writing in English if the occasion so demands. But it is definitely disgusting to prefer English to other languages, as a manifestation of inferiority complex.



In our colleges and universities, during the seminars and conferences, if we begin to use Indian languages and open such functions to general public, I am sure, we can succeed in our programmes of extension education and sharing power and benefits of knowledge with the community at large. At present, English stands as a wall between the gown and the town and research findings remain largely confined to the ivory towers of the university dons.

I am not opposed to the use of English at the national and international level meets but I do share President Chirac’s sentiments for his mother tongue.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala

Opportunistic fronts

I refer to the editorial “Chasing Third Front” (April 8). It rightly says that the idea of the Third Front is not new but its time is yet to come. A few decades ago, there was a Third Front formula — Right Front led by the BJP; Left Front led by the CPM; Central Front led by the Congress, after the failure of the two front rule thriving on negative votes. Since then, the idea remained on paper only.

Mr H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr I.K. Gujral were one-man third fronts where as V.P. Singh, Harkrishan Singh Surjit’s Front was opportunistic front. The latest Samajwadi-Telgu Desam Front is not only opportunistic but divisive too, for being linguistic-regional.


Caste-ridden society

This refers to the editorial “A judge has no caste” (April 7). History shows that India has always been a caste-ridden society. The bonds of casteism are so strong that even the edicts of Lord William Bentick or the sermons of Guru Nanak Dev and Kabir are of little help to weed it out.



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