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Increase in retirement age not feasible

The Punjab Pay Commission (“ Pay hike in Punjab”, editorial, April 22) has recommended an increase in the retirement age of government employees from 58 to 60 years. The argument that this move will save Rs. 2000 crore, which would have been paid as retirement benefits to about 18,000 employees retiring in the next two years, is not plausible. These benefits will ultimately have to be paid to the employees. After two years, the government will have to face the same problem. It seems while making this recommendation, the commission has given little thought to the economic and social conditions in the state.

Scores of graduates, post-graduates and other professionals are passing out each year. Fresh recruitment, even for the vacant posts, has not been made for many years or so. The employees are burdened with extra duties. Due to the economic meltdown, several private establishments have already been closed down which has rendered many employees unemployed.

In the absence of recruitment, the public services have been affected and consequently people are suffering. By accepting this recommendation, the position in the state would go from bad to worse. Instead, the government should make fresh recruitments.

S K KHOSLA, Chandigarh. 


The pay hike is a boost to Punjab government employees and they will get 27 per cent more pay in th near future. But the recommendation for an increase in the retirement age is not right. The government should recruit young persons to tackle unemployment. Also, there is a question of how the state government will implement the pay hike as the financial position of the state is not very healthy.


Unworthy of awards

The intentional absence of M S Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh from the Padma award ceremony is shocking. It clearly smacked of relegation of national interest and a total disregard of national pride.

More shocking are the cricket board members’ cover-ups. Both have proved themselves unworthy of such awards. National awards should not be given to them in future. Right now, they owe an explanation and apology to the nation. The board should take appropriate action against them to avoid recurrence of such acts of national disgrace.

O P COUSHIK, Kurukshetra


Recently cricketers— Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh— failed to show up at the Padma award ceremony. The Sports Minister, Mr M S Gill, has rightly criticised their casual attitude. Surprisingly, Harbhajan was busy with his brand endorsement. Dhoni, too, had a commercial commitment. They did not bother about receiving the prestigious Padma awards. It is evident that both have greater interest in commercial gains than national honours.


Respect children

Child abuse is common the world over, mainly because children are defenceless, and therefore vulnerable to violence. We should respect children as individuals. Unfortunately, this is where parents often fail. We should not underestimate the children’s intelligence. We must hold them in esteem and respect their feelings, which will in turn teach them to respect others.

This will also allow children to develop intellectually and socially. Children should be taught to handle responsibility. Too many of us — adults as well as children—have the tendency to shirk responsibilities. Also, we must be just in our dealings with children. This will provide them a sense of stability.


Democracy in danger

By and large, the means adopted by politicians and parties are making the democratic system meaningless. In a democracy, proper methods have to be used. Sadly, the democratic values are vanishing. Even the sanctity of the Election Commission is at stake. Democracy is becoming the costliest form of government and is increasingly being controlled by criminals and the corrupt. During the last six decades our leaders have failed to remove poverty.




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