L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

With pay hiked, MLAs must work honestly

I fail to understand the criticism on the salary hike of Punjab legislators (“Marginal increase for pensioners as legislators fatten their purse”, November 13). When the prices of most commodities are increasing, what should the MLAs do? Just as any government or semi-government employee deserves an increase in his salary, so do the MLAs.

Moreover, the increase is not as extraordinary as it is made out to be. If the Chief Minister’s pay is Rs 1 lakh, it should not matter as we all know the salaries of doctors, engineers or professors in Punjab and how much they work.

However, our ministers and MLAs ought to realise that they have some responsibility towards society which they should not forget. They must work honestly because they are well paid. They should do everything at their command to make the people happy and not indulge in any malpractice.

Let us hope this increase in their salary will make them work honestly.

Dr Naresh Raj, Patiala

Raise unwarranted

It is a matter of concern that when Punjab is passing through a monetary crisis and seeking loans by mortgaging public property, the Assembly has passed a Bill for increasing the MLAs’ salary and allowances by 57 per cent. This increase must be kept pending till the crisis blows over, otherwise its effect would be seen by the ruling party in the coming election.

While the common man is straining hard for a livelihood, this increase for the elected representatives is shameful.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Pension woes persist

The 2012 SAD manifesto promised to double the pension from Rs 250 to Rs 500 in Punjab. But this has not been done. Comparativley, Haryana has taken the rising cost of living into account and augmented pensions. The pension for the elderly started as Rs 250 per month and after 10 years, it was raised to Rs 500 and now, from January 2014, it will be increased to Rs 1,000 for all categories.

In Haryana, pensioners in villages do not have not to go to any distant office to receive their pensions. The sarpanch and chowkidar sit together every month and distribute the amounts to the beneficiaries.

Recently, Punjab also adopted this practice. The difference is that while the Haryana pensions arrive every month on schedule, Punjab pensions are unpredictable will-o-the-wisps and not so regular.

Inderjit Singh Jaijee, Chandigarh

Selectors & integrity

The conviction of one of the members of the Haryana Public Service Commission again brings to the fore the inherent frailties in the selection procedure of members of State Public Service Commissions. The persons who are to be entrusted with the power of selecting candidates for the prestigious state services must have impeccable credentials.

The directions given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Salil Sablok vs State of Punjab in respect of the procedure to be followed while appointing members and chairperson of the public service commission should be implemented. Persons with unblemished records and impeccable integrity should be appointed if the state public service commissions are to fulfil their obligations as ordained by the Constitution.

Puneet Nagpal, Panchkula

Make over cops’ image

Sadly, the public image of our police is woefully poor. A law-abiding citizen, howsoever aggrieved, prefers to suffer in silence rather than seek police help in the matter. Anti-social elements, of course, have a merry time. The police must be "people-friendly", acting as a friend and guide of the public at large. Is the police performing that role? The station house officer (SHO) is the kingpin of the police set-up. He can make or mar the image of the police as he comes in direct public contact the most. Thus, utmost care and caution needs to be exercised while selecting police officers manning the key post. Also, a radical reorientation in the mental outlook of the police personnel seems imperative, failing which the desideratum would remain a far cry.

Tara Chand, Ambota (Una)



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