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SC order on babus to end ambiguity

This is with reference to the editorial Empowering Babus (November 2). The Supreme Court directions that ministers refrain from giving verbal orders to bureaucrats and that the officers are given a minimum tenure in their place of posting, is praiseworthy. The order rightly makes it imperative for the political bosses to issue written directions to the officers, making it possible to fix responsibility for decisions.

The order of the Supreme Court has also made the role of ministers and the bureaucracy unambiguous. Taking decisions will be the prerogative of the ministers and their execution the responsibility of the bureaucrats who are required only to guide and advise the ministers on each matter. The order is, therefore, apt and will remove the confusion created in governance by some self-seeking political bosses.

The editorial rightly says that the enforcement of the order of the court will get resistance from the executive. I feel that it is an opportune time for the bureaucrats to take a positive stand and to oppose any resistance from any quarter, upholding their constitutional obligation to discharge their duties in public interest and not to promote anybody's political interests.

It is a heaven sent opportunity for the proverbial ‘Indian steel frame’ to resurrect its basic role of e-governance in line with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution to administer the country diligently and honestly. Let the challenge be taken in its stride.

R.M. Ramaul, Paonta Sahib

Whither RTI Act?

I agree with the news that the RTI Act has failed to serve its purpose (October 8). I had sought information on August 13 regarding salary granted in lieu of leave travel concession by the Executive Engineer, Public Health Engineering, Yamunanagar, from the Superintending Engineer, PHE Circle, Ambala cantonment, to his subordinate staff. But, even after 62 days, the authorities concerned have failed to give a reply to my request. It is as if they are saying: “How dare you seek information from us?” The higher authorities should give some sense to such officers.

Madan Lal Bansal, Yamunanagar

Ban animal sacrifice

The news report, 31 animals sacrificed at Hidimba Temple (October 7), is shocking. How barbaric!

Isn’t it shameful that animal sacrifice at the altars of gods and goddesses is still rampant in the valley of gods, notwithstanding the advancement on the educational front? Can we justifiably call ourselves civilised with these practices going on?

A relentless campaign against the mindless ritual is imperative to stop this. And if need be, the queer practice, reminiscent of the dark ages, should be banned by law to remove the stigma from the bright face of Himachalis. It would be a horrendous sin to allow the repugnant ritual to continue unnoticed and uncurbed  any longer.

Tara Chand, Una

‘Smoky’ albums

The Himachal Pradesh government has banned smoking and drinking in public places and it is having an impact on the public. However, the implementation leaves much to be desired. The government is either unaware of the prevelance of Pahari song video albums in which song and dance sequences are depicted along with scenes of wine-drinking and smoking or it does not want to ban them. The government should not allow such albums to be screened to prevent young minds from being influenced taking to into smoking and drinking.

Roop Singh Negi, Tanda (Kinnaur)

Costly guards

None of the cabinet ministers in Himachal Pradesh has any security paraphernalia. The ministers travel in official vehicles along with their personal staff. No security guard is posted at the official residence of any minister in Himachal Pardesh.

It is a different story in Chandigarh. Punjab ministers get vehicles and other luxuries and that’s why they feel that they are not aam adami. How much money and manpower the Punjab government is wasting on providing security to its ministers and others! It must runs in crores of rupees per year. Even CPSes, CMDs and chairpersons of various boards and corporations are seen moving with securitymen. Punjab is going through its worst period due to its ill financial health. The need of the hour is to curtail wasteful expenditure. There is absolutely no need of any security to anyone in Punjab, may it be the CM or Deputy CM or cabinet minister or anybody.

If politicians in HP are safe in their state, why do the politicians and bureaucrats in Punjab feel unsafe in their own state?


Change PPF rule, give pension

The PPF (Public Provident Fund) is a good option to save tax. The minimum contribution per year is Rs 500 and the maximum Rs 1 lakh . The lock-in period is 15 years and the account can be extended for five years at a time for any number of years. As much as 50 per cent of the amount can be withdrawn after a period of six years.

A very large percentage of India’s population comprises non-pensioners, like housewives, small businessmen and others who cease to earn after a certain age. If the PPF scheme is modified in such a way that after 15 years (at its maturity), the assured annual interest is allowed to be withdrawn every year even as the PPF account is extended for five years, this annual accrued interest can serve as monthly income/pension. The government will not be a loser. Only the rules need to be modified for this.

Dr LK Manuja, Nahan



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