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DA instalments of Punjab staff are piling up

The Punjab government is to be thanked for releasing for its employees and pensioners the DA instalment, which has been long over due. It has, however, not released the arrears from January 2013; the arrears have been allowed to be paid only from July. The payment of arrears from January to June has been kept pending. Significantly, another DA instalment has since become due from July 2013, which is also to be paid.

It is ironical that the Punjab government; due to paucity of funds, is not able to pay full arrears of DA, but it is diminishing its financial resources by slashing down property tax. The Tribune has rightly said, "Punjab Government cannot pay full DA, but slashes property tax" (October 26)

The third DA instalment will also become due from January 2014. If the arrears are not paid regularly; they will keep piling up. Among the pensioners, there are elderly persons above the age of 80-85 years age (super citizens). They need the money urgently, as most of them have no other source of income. The government should pay immediately at least these persons all DA instalments and arrears thereof.

G R Kalra, Panchkula


That the Punjab government has failed to pay salaries and pensions in time and the third instalment of the Fifth Pay Commission and two instalments of DA, i.e. 8 per cent and 10 per cent, to its employees are still unpaid is indeed disconcerting (editorial, October 7). Astonishingly, the government never hesitates to announce mega projects worth crores of rupees to boost the economy. The Deputy Chief Minister is running from pillar to post to woo entrepreneurs, but in vain.

Despite the empty coffers, the government is indulging in profligacy. Recently, it decided to hire a Punjabi film star as ambassador on the pattern of the Gujarat government’s much-acclaimed 'Khushboo Gujarat ki" campaign with 15 ad films that feature superstar Amitabh Bachchan at the cost of Rs 40 crore.

It is not possible for the Punjab government to improve the fiscal health of the state without exercising restraint. It must withdraw subsidies like the atta dal scheme and free power. Octroi should be reimposed.

Drug addictions and diseases like cancer are the other grave concerns for the government to tackle. As many as 70 per cent of the rural households in the state have at least one drug addict in the family.

Bansi Ram, Hoshiarpur


The news item on the payment of dearness allowance (DA) to Punjab government employees (Punjab can’t pay full DA, October 26) is shocking. Such a situation had never arisen earlier. The state government, after much delay, has released the DA of employees and pensioners for four months only. It was due from January, this year. Looking at the precarious state of finances, the employees should forget to get DA announced by the central government employees from July.

Big advertisements of ‘development schemes’ recently appearing in the newspapers give the impression that the coffers of the state exchequer are overflowing. There seems to be no dearth of funds for doling out freebies to promote populism.

Reforms at all levels have always lagged, hitting revenue generation to garner more funds from the Centre for various schemes. No austerity measures are in place to reduce government expenditure.

Instead, the size of the government has been enlarged, further burdening the exchequer. Claims that the financial health of the state is sound are falling flat. Accountability is missing at all levels. The only excuse given for the maladies is that the Central government is responsible. The ways of the Punjab government appear to be not only strange but also elusive. Let wise counsel prevail on those governing the state before it is too late.

Dr Himal Chand, Chandigarh


The recent grants of 8 per cent DA by the Central government from January and then 10 per cent from July are self-defeating since the inflation has risen by 6.46 per cent in September, up from 6.10 per cent in August. Rising prices in every sphere are overshadowing the small rise in salaries. Many state governments, including that of Punjab, have not released fully even the earlier 8 per cent DA to its employees and pensioners.

The rise in DA is also defeated after paying taxes, specially if one falls in the 30 per cent slab. It could be acceptable if the state governments were to accept the central pattern. Many states have postponed the DA payment, perhaps for pre-election sops during the forthcoming elections.

Self-employed earners are high-ups like doctors, lawyers and big businessmen, who earn much beyond the minimum tax limit. This class can easily deceive the government. One can only say: “Hold the price line, it is the lifeline.”

Y L Chopra, Bathinda

Guide adolescents as friends

A few days ago, as a science teacher, I got an opportunity to attend a seminar on "Adolescent age and its problems" in DIET, Gurdaspur. It is an important matter and needs to be discuss ed not only in schools but also at homes

Teachers and parents are the closest ones to give support to teenagers and tackle them in this crucial age. Be friendly with them as we are best friends of our wards. We should guide them towards changing destructiveness to constructiveness. Attraction for opposite sex is common in teenage and should be handled by parents calmly.

Following the saying "Khali ghar shaitan ka ghar ", engage them either in sports or motivate them to read books. The use of Facebook has become a trend and parents, too, proclaim proudly that their son or daughter has so many Facebook friends . We have to be friends with them and tell them how to face the social evils and child abuse.

Rajeev Singh Salaria, Pathankot



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