Pay panel has an arduous task ahead

Normally, a new pay commission is appointed by the government after every 12 or 13 years. Headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna, the Government of India has constituted the four-member Sixth Pay Commission, which has been asked to submit its report within 18 months (i.e. by April 5, 2008).

It is indeed a tough task because the commission has to examine in depth various issues, conduct specialised studies and consult different service associations and important official and non-official establishments. The armed forces have been feeling that the government has not given them a good deal.

Mr P.C. Hota, former UPSC Chairman and Secretary, Union Ministry of Personnel, has given a very good suggestion that a senior officer of the armed forces be co-opted as a full-time member of the Sixty Pay Commission. The retired personnel of the armed forces always clamour that there should be ‘one rank one pension’.


For parity, the state employees also deserve the same pay scales. Otherwise, it will lead to heart burning. While recommending the new pay scales for the government employees, the pay commission should keep in mind the grades and perks prevailing in the private sector also so that there is no brain drain. Indeed, inflation is bound to increase because an additional expenditure of over Rs 35,000 crore is involved.

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan (HP)


We should not look at the betterment of the working class only. What is the use of the consumer index if wages remain stagnant for years? A 10-year interval of revision of pay scales is already too large to cope with the fast changing standards of living.

Accumulation of arrears of employees from the due date is not good for both the employees and the employer. The employees’ wage bill is not a burden. Reduction of staff is not done at the cost of work. Production is also a complex process as also marketing. One individual cannot be segregated. Punishment and appeal are also a separate process.

Pay fixation is altogether a separate process. To revise the already framed pay scales is not a lengthy job. I headed various delegations at the invitation of Justice G.C. Suri (retd), the then Chairman of the Third Pay Pension Commission, Punjab. Besides quick revision of pay scales, he removed various hurdles in the smooth progression of pay scales and suggested anti-stagnation measures. The commission is only a recommending body and final decision will have to be taken by the Union Cabinet.

S.S. RANDHAWA, Chandigarh


The 18-month period given to the Sixth Pay Commission is not short. But delaying matters is the typical bureaucratic way of doing things. There is no need to take the assistance of research institutions for pay revision. The employees’ associations also should not send in unwieldy memoranda or raise impossible demands and make the pay panel’s job complex and difficult.

As for the cut in the staff strength, the extra workload on the government machinery due to a phenomenal rise in the population or the number of vehicles, factories, houses etc. and the rising unemployment and frustration among the educated youth has to be kept in mind. The Pay Commission should give a careful thought to all aspects of the matter and try to come out with a swift, crisp, brief and well balanced report.

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

Make copyright laws stringent

At major public places, we often read a caution, ‘Beware of pickpockets’. We do have some stringent laws to prevent theft of our tangible properties. But what about intangible creations? We do have laws for the protection of our intellectual property but they mostly remain on paper.

Every day we listen to remixes. The original intellectual property of the maestros of the bygone era is plundered ruthlessly for money and fame. The basic compositions are considerably retained with overriding musical notes put thereon smartly, to evade legal consequences.

Ironically, the creators are silent witnesses to this theft. They can hardly do anything to protect their original creations. Persons of little talent become celebrities overnight. And their fame evaporates within a fortnight! All this is happening because of our vulnerable copyright laws. The Copyright Act needs to be made stringent to protect the original creations of the artiste.

HARDEEP GURU, Chandigarh

Blind to reality

S. Nihal Singh has rightly analysed the situation arising out of the Indo-US nuclear deal situation. The United States is purely guided by its self-interest. It cannot see India moving upwards; hence an effort to make it subservient.

Why is the UPA government blind to reality? The CPM may be opposed to the agreement. However, its opposition is meaningless as it won’t pull the government’s leg in its own interest (not in national interest). We hope better sense will prevail on Dr Manmohan Singh.

Dr SUBHASH DOHROO, Aima (Palampur)

Crazy for cars

It is shocking that the Haryana government has purchased two new Mercedes Benz cars, costing Rs 60 lakh each, for the exclusive use of the Chief Minister. Earlier, all the ministers were provided with new Skoda Superb cars, costing about Rs 24 lakh each. Similarly, all top bureaucrats were provided with new Maruti Esteems, costing about 6 lakh each.

Such brazen misuse of public money should be condemned and those in power must be ashamed of wasting the state’s finances. This kind of luxury enjoyed by the ruling class is a mockery of the poor people to whom they claim to serve.


Docs on the mat

The menace of quacks masquerading as doctors seems to be increasing day by day. Some doctors reportedly get commission from every source, including laboratories and all kinds of tests, medical firms and others in numerous ways.

Today, even some big hospitals are known to be involved in this business. The Consumer Act has failed to check bad practices and ensure quality service and vigilance. General hygiene in most clinics is very poor. These clinics are congested and delivery by unwanted caesarian operations has become the order of the day.

Unfortunately, it is becoming difficult for one to get a doctor who is non-commercial and patient-friendly. Of course, things are totally different if the doctor is your close friend or relative.

P.L. GARG, Bathinda



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