Pension: need to apply the old formula

The Punjab Finance Minister should look into the injustice meted out to the state pensioners retired between July 31, 2003 and October 30, 2006. The Finance Department, Punjab, scrapped the old pension commutation formula and modified the table for calculating the value of commuted pension amount the enhancing the interest rate from 4.75 per cent to 8 per cent.

Consequently, this got reduced the payable amount to retiring employee to about 65 per cent of the admissible amount with the old table. This, too, was done when all other financial institutions were drastically reducing the rate of interest. The period for recovery was kept unchanged, i.e. 15 years.

Having realised the grave injustice meted out to the retirees, the Punjab government restored the old pension commutation table. The old formula was, however, made applicable to employees retiring on or after October 31, 2006. This resulted in avoidable loss and step-motherly treatment to the those retiring between July 31, 2003 and October 30, 2006. They are made to suffer financial loss for no fault of theirs.


The retired Punjab government officers and employees appeal to the government to apply the old formula for calculating the value of commuted pension to the pensioners who retired between July 31, 2003 and October 30, 2006. This would bring them at par with all other pensioners/employees.

S. P. SINGH, Mohali

Old order changeth

The letter “BSP in Himachal” (Aug 23) makes a strong case for status quo ante in the state. It, however, ignores Nature’s inexorable law — external change. Sans change, things stagnate. “Old order changeth, yielding place to new”, as the poet wrote long ago.

Faction-ridden established political outfits seem to have got stuck into morass of stagnation. For sheer survival they have, over the years, been increasingly resorting to populism, jeopardising the larger interest of the state. Why be pessimistic about the new development? Why not hope for the best?

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Two accounts incompatible

The report “Bhagat Singh and Bose took shelter” (Aug 22) mentioned that Bhagat Singh had proceeded to Amritsar on Dec 17, 1928 after Saunders’ murder at Lahore to stay overnight with Comrade Sohan Singh ‘Josh’ at his residence there.

However, according to the oral and documentary records perused by me while compiling the martyr’s biography for publication by the Government of India on the occasion of his birth centenary, Bhagat Singh had left Lahore only on Dec 19-20 night with Raj Guru, in disguise, accompanied by Mrs Durga Vohra (Durga Bhabi) and her three-year-old son Shachi by train for Lucknow/Calcutta from Lahore railway station.

Obviously, the two accounts are incompatible unless it is surmised that Bhagat Singh had returned to Lahore after having left that city on Dec 17-18 to depart again on Dec 19-20, 1928. The martyr’s contemporaries, particularly his associates, regard Bhagat Singh’s escape on Dec 19-20 in the said manner as a miracle, a masterstroke of the prime organiser of the party, Sukhdev.

Interestingly, the Special Tribunal Judges, in their final verdict of Oct 7, 1930, have held Sukhdev to be “…the brain to the conspiracy while Bhagat Singh was his right arm”.


Life begins at 60

I read the letter “Politicians also must retire” (Aug 23). Here are the findings of researchers who have looked into the histories of some 400 famous men, each an outstanding statesman, scientist, painter, warrior, poet or writer of his time.

Of the group, 35 per cent made their mark when they were between 60 and 73; 23 per cent when they were between 70 and 80 and 8 per cent when they were over 80 years of age. In other words, 66 per cent of world’s greatest works have been done by men past 60 years. Needless to add, one should retire (only) when one is tired of doing anything. By the way, doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians and donkeys never retire!

K. J. S. AHLUWALIA, Amritsar

Illogical demand

Now and then, suggestions are offered to increase the pension of the retired government employees. The demand for pension review and subsequent hike is justified on the ground of price rise, among other things. But what one does not understand is the enormous burden that would impose on the state exchequer.

One feels that the government employees don’t want to feel that they have retired from service. They are a class by themselves. They demand jobs for kin on campassionate grounds if an employee dies in harness, waiver of loans, plots and houses, bagful of money at the time of retirement and, above all, a fat pension.

The government should pay more attention to those whose families have never been in government service and those who are living a life of misery and poverty. Hundreds of thousands of qualified people are loitering on roads and are wasting their lives for want of sustenance and jobs. It is such people who need more consideration and not only the pensioners.

K. S. KOTHI, Chandigarh



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