Sops to Punjab staff another poll gimmick

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has given the maximum relief to the state government employees by putting the yearly expenditure of Rs 775 crore on the government. This is, certainly, a questionable move with the State Assembly elections round the corner.

Having got indications of deep resentment brewing among the employees against his government, the Chief Minister has come forward to release all facilities to them which had been withdrawn by his own regime earlier. It needs to be emphasised that successive governments had earlier granted all these facilities to the employees from time to time keeping in view their needs.

The government officials and major employees union(s) are also not happy with the package announced by the Chief Minister. They now reportedly plan to stage dharnas and agitations against the government. This itself is a clear signal to the government.

S. K. NAYAR, Panchkula



I have three points to make. First, where was the need for the Congress party to include the state government employees’ demand for promotions in its election manifesto?

Secondly, more than half of the commutation pension benefits of the employees had been withdrawn. This amounts to more than Rs 755 crore. And thirdly, what is being propagated is an insult to the employees. Only a handful of them would be benefited by the government’s latest move while those waiting for their 32-year increment will stand to lose.

Dr SHAM LAL GARG, Sunam (Sangrur)


The Punjab government has given a package of Rs 755 crore to its employees, but ignored family pensioners. Vide Notification No. 16/16/84 PPC/479 dated May 14, 2001, it stopped paying DA to family pensioners, whose dependants got government service on compassionate grounds.

The Haryana government had released DA to such family pensioners. The Punjab government should also do the same. It will not cost the government more than Rs 10 crore a year.

In case the government is unable to bear this financial burden, the DA amount of family pensioners may kindly be deducted from the pay of the dependants, who got service on compassionate grounds till the family pensioner’s death.

K.K. JINDIA, Sangrur


The Punjab government’s decision to grant interim relief to its staff is most welcome. But the pensioners have been left out. It has caused deep resentment among them. Earlier, whenever interim relief was granted to Punjab staff before the submission of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission Report, pensioners were also granted interim relief. The Punjab government should grant interim relief to pensioners also.

K.K. SHARMA, Ludhiana

Bleak economic scenario

In his article, “India’s economic paradox” (Oct 20), Inder Malhotra has rightly pointed out that the country’s worsening economic condition “is the result of the total collusion between corrupt politicians, equally venal bureaucrats, comprehensively unscrupulous businessmen, corporate crooks and ubiquitous fixers and power brokers in the indestructible conspiracy to loot the fruits of development”.

I sincerely wish that his views are taken as an advice, if not warning, by the present government headed by a sincere, mature and well-meaning person in Dr Manmohan Singh. Otherwise, the nation is sure to face greater problems due to the widening gap between the rich and the poor.


Forest encroachment

Encroachment on the forest land has become a serious problem in Himachal Pradesh. Precious forest cover is fast dwindling and passing into the hands of big farmers. Owing to the official laxity and insensitivity, the encroachments are extending their boundaries. Worse, the greedy are grabbing up the land.

The Supreme Court had directed the state government to clear the protected forests from the encroachers’ clutches. The situation is changing from bad to worse. The government cares more for big sharks than the interests of the common people.


Neglected park

The Nehru Park near Model Town, Narwana, is in a shambles. The municipal council does not bother about its maintenance. The park has no lights and the sweepers don’t clean it up. The toilets are dirty and bad smell from the toilets has become a health hazard. The authorities concerned should rise to the occasion and help.

Dr UTTAM SINGH, President, Senior Citizens’ Council, Narwana

TV contests

TV channels organise various contests to promote budding artists. Aspirants in thousands participate in these to show their talent. The selection process for these events does not purely depend upon the panel of judges, but on the general public too, which some times becomes a source of disappointment among the contestants.

In the presence of the panel of judges, the opinion of the general public should not be sought at all. The present system has been commercialised because telecom companies mint huge money through such programmes. The organisers should resolve the matter in public interest.




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