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DA: Commitment thereon

“The Punjab government is committed to granting dearness allowance to its employees on the pattern adopted by the Government of India from time to time.” This assertion forms a part of a letter issued by the Department of Finance dated January 15, 1974. The Fifth Punjab Pay Commission constituted by the state government took note of the fact that “in Punjab, it is currently paid on the Government of India pattern” (para 6.2). It recommended: “The Commission would also recommend that as soon as an increase in DA is announced by the Central Government, the State Government should implement it within 3 months.” (Para 6.11). It appears that full facts based on the government record were not brought to the notice of the Finance Ministe, when he talked about no-commitment on this issue. The Punjab government is yet to pay full arrears of instalment of DA due from January 2013 at 8 per cent and to release the instalment of July 2013 at 10 per cent.

We, the retired employees and senior citizens, take more costly medicines (the prices of which increase day by day) than intake of food. We request the ruling class to have pity on us and pay our committed dues of DA, in our lifetime.

BS Punn, Mohali

Fit in pre-2006 retirees

The Government of India vide its letter dated January 28, 2013, gave some benefit to pensioners who had retired before 2006. It is a welcome stop. Along with the letter, a fitment table was annexed to facilitate calculations to disburse the amount accruing due to revision. But the government betrayed the pensioners by issuing a revised fitment table in the evening of their lives. The revised table limits the number of beneficiaries. This is a great injustice to the aged pensioners who face physical, social and mental problems. Their concerns can be met with by enhancing their financial position.

In the last lap of their lives, they have every right to lead a dignified life. The former fitment table should be restored to give benefit to the maximum number of pensioners. Will the government listen?

Brij Mohan Maini, New Delhi

Pension meagre

As per the Employees Provident Fund Act, a worker is entitled to get pension after retiring from his job. He gets approximately Rs 1,650 pension per month while the 8.33% share of his provident fund remains intact with the department. An interesting figure indicates that the government is only giving the interest amount on his 8.33% share of the fund: A private sector employee has worked for 20 years with a salary of Rs 6,500 per month. His provident fund amount comprises 12% his share and 12 % employer’s share (15.33% and 8.33%). His contribution of Rs 540 per month will become Rs 2.5 lakh with interest after 20 years of his services in the private sector. This means an interest of Rs 25,000 per year or Rs 2,000 per month. When Rs 2,000 come from his 8.33% fund share, what extra is the government giving by way of pension to the employee? On the other hand, it is giving Rs 500 pension to senior citizens from its pocket. Moreover, several crores of rupees of unclaimed provident fund are lying with the department. The government should give some funds from this amount to employees as pension. Their pension should be raised to at least Rs 5,000 so that a worker who has served the private sector for his life can live decently after retirement.

Parmodh Malhotra, Jalandhar

Back Kejriwal, Anna

Anna Hazare has announced that he would go on fast for the Lokpal Bill on December 10 at Ralegan Siddhi. It does not sound convincing at this time of elections. Anna and Kejriwal are both right in their own ways — one a social crusader and the other trying to do the same job through an elected body. But what is worrying is both parting the ways and Anna not supporting Kejriwal. It not only confuses the people about whom they should follow, but also hits at the nucleus which is the strength of this country. Anna should support Kejriwal so that we can improve the quality of politics and standard of our Parliament/state assemblies. Strength lies in unity of goodness.

Col R D Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt



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