Lessen the elders’ worries,  Mr Chidambaram

This refers to the news item “Tax on senior citizens’ scheme” (June 15). With the interest rates drastically slashed, 10 per cent bonus on post office monthly income scheme quietly withdrawn and now senior citizens’ scheme brought under the tax net, there seems to be no end to pensioners’ woes.

The new complicated and unfriendly Saral IT form was withdrawn on Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, but contradictory and confusing reports like “New IT form 2F here to stay” (June 12) keep emanating.

One gets the impression that the middle class, mostly the salaried class and the pensioners, is on the “hit list” of the UPA government, particularly Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Details sought in the new 4-page IT form were indicative of his distrust in them. The government would do well to provide some relief to this oppressed class instead of adding to their woes.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar



Mr P. Chidambaram is punishing senior citizens and honest tax payers. He has now withdrawn the new IT form, but quietly imposed 12.5 per cent Service Tax. The Post Office Suvidha Centres opened by the state government for helping the public have also come under the purview of this tax.

In a nutshell, Mr Chidambaram has not spared a single person from non-payment of Service Tax, which the Centre is collecting to the tune of crores of rupees. The hefty increase in petrol and diesel prices is another big blow.

S.L. SURI, Kapurthala


Two major recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission have not yet been implemented. One is the relief by restoring the commuted portion of pension after 12 years of retirement instead of 15 years as at present. Under the rules governing pension commutation, a pensioner who draws a monthly pension of Rs 1365 on superannuation (at 58 years) will get Rs 57112 as the commuted value of pension for the portion of pension of Rs 455.

In lieu thereof, he has to repay at the rate of Rs 455 a month for 15 years and draw reduced pension of Rs 910 a month for the said period. The total amount of repayment works out to Rs 81,900 as against the principal amount of Rs 57112, carrying a high interest of 44 per cent.

The other is the extension of CS (MA) Rules to pensioners as at present the Central government pensioners settled in places not covered by the CGHS scheme continue to be neglected. They are not entitled to any reimbursement of medical expenses on treatment even at state-run hospitals.

On the contrary, the state government pensioners in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi etc. are treated at par with the serving employees for medical care. The Central Government pensioners not covered by the CGHS deserve a better deal.

N.L. KHURANA, Chandigarh


There is gross disparity in the old age allowance (beyond 80 years of age) between MLA pensioners and other Punjab government pensioners. Though the former get additional old age allowance, the latter are deprived of it. This is unfair and they deserve equal treatment.

Post-2004 Punjab government pensioners get Leave Travel Concession @ pension inclusive of 50 per cent DA. But Pre-2004 pensioners get LTC without 50 per cent DA. This disparity must go. LTC due in July 2006 should be given to Pre-2004 pensioners @ pension inclusive of 50 per cent Dearness Relief.

Medical allowance @ Rs 250 a month was sanctioned long ago. The prices of medicines have gone up. As DA is raised every six months, medical allowance should be increased by Rs 500 a month. All the three demands merit the Punjab government’s prompt approval.

GURNAM SINGH and 11 others, Patiala

Punish the guilty

This has reference to the editorial “Revenge most foul: Women’s dignity is stripped” (June 9). It is really heart rending that in a village near Ferozepur, a woman was stripped and paraded through the village, that too, with a blackened face. How can we say ourselves to be living in a developing country?

It is shameful that not even a single person in the village protested against this act. We should wake up and fight collectively against this horrifying practice. The administration should also ensure that the guilty are punished.


Ban on Fanaa unjustified

I am ashamed to live in a country where a ruling party uses its power to punish a person and rob him of his democratic rights. It is only because the person in question believes in a righteous cause that goes against the party’s interest. While imposing a ban on Aamir Khan’s Fanaa in Gujarat, the Narendra Modi government is sending a wrong message to the film industry. This is not in public interest.

Aamir Khan is not against the dam but for the rehabilitation of the displaced people. The silence of senior BJP leaders on this issue is shocking.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala



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