Punjab’s fractured pay panel

THE Punjab government’s decision to set up the Fifth Pay Commission to review the pay scales of its employees is fractured. There is no mention of terms of reference, time limit for submission, interim relief, retirement benefits and past pensioners. It has left the pensioners high and dry.

There is no plan to hike medical allowance. They are being paid Rs 250 a month for the past eight years. This is woefully inadequate to meet the ever-increasing cost of medical treatment these days.

Pensioners expect the Finance Minister to merge 50 per cent DA with basic pension for pre-April 2004 retirees as it has been done in the case of post-April 2004 retirees.

Pensioners want old age allowance at the age of 80 on a par with MLA-pensioners in Punjab. The Third Punjab Pay Commission had recommended this 18 years ago.

YASH PAUL GHAI, Gen. Secy, Punjab Govt Pensioners’ Assn, Ludhiana


Courtesy: BALWINDER, ChandigarhTransit system

This refers to the news-item “Rapid transit system for Shimla” (Aug 12). It is commendable that the Himachal government proposes to start an HRTC taxi service from Shimla’s bus stand to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, perhaps via Winterfield. It will immensely help senior citizens, children, sick and tourists as well.

Pedestrians will find it convenient as this road is very slippery during snow time. However, the fare of Rs 10 per person is hefty as the distance is short. It should be reduced to Rs 7. Himachal Transport Minister G.S. Bali’s proposal will also benefit tourists who have to climb to the Mall, Ridge, Jakho temple, etc.


Under lock and key

I would like to bring to the Railway Minister’s attention the inhuman action of officials in Patiala’s Diesel Loco Modernisation Works. The employees of the administrative building are kept under lock and key from 9 am to 11.30 am daily. During this period, the staff are not allowed to move in and out of the office and the visitors have to wait outside. Even during medical emergencies, the gate is not being opened before completing certain formalities.

Though such type of orders are not in vogue even at the Railway Board, Baroda House and other zonal railways headquarters, here in Patiala, human rights are being violated by the administration.

Wg-Cdr R.S. RASTOGI (retd), Patiala

Population boom

Sadly, the media is not adequately covering the importance of family planning and hazards of population explosion. It is not difficult to ponder over the maladies prevalent in Indian society and to find their root cause — be it illiteracy, poverty, job reservations or corruption. In a way, the root cause of all these problems is corruption.

Politicians are just fooling the people by diverting their attention from important problems. Why cannot we evolve a multi-pronged strategy to tackle population explosion? According to a report, if we can control one lakh births, it would be equivalent to creating one lakh jobs in the long run.

Dr ARUN GOYAL, Patiala


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