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Pension disparity

The Seventh Pay Commission also decides the pension of retired government employees. Sadly, the Sixth Pay Commission of 2006 had played a game of discrimination while fixing the pension. The pre-2006 retired officers have been given the pension at the minimum of pay band for 33 years’ service. But the fact is they were drawing pay at the maximum of the pay scale at the time of retirement. The universal rule for a serving employee is to get half of his salary as pension. Similarly, a uniform yardstick is put in practice to all pre-2006 employees right from the lowest class IV employee to the chief secretary. But in the last fixation, the pensions was revised from 2.2, 3.1, and 3.4 times of last pension, giving a huge benefit to favoured categories of pensioners. Keeping in view natural justice, higher rank officers cannot be given better benefits while denying the same to the lower ranks. Pensionary disparity not only leads to monitory loss but also causes humiliation and heartburn when one finds persons who in the previous years were drawing lesser amounts collecting higher benefits of pension. The pensioners form a homogenous class and cannot be divided on the basis of pre- and post-2006 retirees. Therefore, pensionary benefits should be equitable, impartial and equivalent. The Seventh Pay Commission should end the discriminatory pension structures.

Dr BL Kapoor, Mandi

Changes in a certificate

In addition to the row created by the KBC programme regarding displaying of pro-abortion board (“Health Dept to lodge complaint against KBC”, August 25), the programme committed another blunder in the August 19 telecast when on the request of a participant (Mrs Khushbu Singh), Amitabh Bachchan wrote in his own hand the proposed name of a little girl in her birth certificate which was issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths. He should have known that he was not authorised to make any entry in a legal document of permanent value. The birth and death certificates are issued under a provision of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1969 and the name of the unnamed child can be added under Section 14 of the Act. The act in the telecast has sent a wrong signal to millions of viewers who would take the liberty of making alterations in such documents. There is an urgent need of corrective action in this matter.

RK Bhatia, New Delhi

Joke on jobless

In Ferozepur district, 150 jobless youths have been given eco-friendly rickshaws worth Rs 11,000 each. The amount has been given to the beneficiary by way of bank loan with at 4% interest per annum. This rickshaw will be rented out to the rickshawpuller who will pay Rs 30 daily to the owner and the owner will pay Rs 10 daily to the bank as loan repayment for three years and eventually, he would become the owner. This leaves him with Rs 20 daily or Rs 600 per month. Is it sufficient for a jobless youth to meet his his family expenses? It is a joke. Comparatively, the old age pension in Haryana is Rs 1,000.

Secondly, if the rickshawpuller defaults on payment, from how will the loan be returned? The scheme needs to be reframed.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Poor service

It is regrettable that some people make a mockery of the system. Some days back, a local gas agency started a helpline for senior citizen. Earlier, the agency used to deliver gas cylinders every Saturday in our colony, but for the last few months, the supply has been erratic, at times not supplying for three weeks. When I called the agency, I was assured that it would be supplied in a day or two, but it was not delivered. Then when I rang the helpline, I was told that the supply was not possible before the weekend. I donot understand for what the help number has been installed.

RS NEGI, Solan

Upgrade border

This is in reference to the article “Dialogue not an end in itself” by former diplomat G. Parthasarthy. A long-term strategy to ensure that we have a secure border, free from incursions and petty skirmishes needs to be prepared. The best possible way is to strengthen our own house first and make sure that the almost 2000-km long western-north western porous border is sealed with latest technical equipment and enough manpower. We must spend more on defence because we cannot let our forces suffer with ill-fitted equipments and obsolete weapons. The Modi government must re-look at defence spending. The morale of the soldier can be boosted when he has the best weapon in his hand.

Secondly, the border states of J& K and Punjab should be compensated for border losses with better infrastructure development, especially along the border. And, the government decision to stall talks with Pakistan is appreciable because we need to make it understand that it cannot have a dual policy of soft talks and hard stance on ground.

Maj Pardeep K Shinh (retd), via email

Death of a dream

Apropos the editorial “Death of a dream”, how will the future shape for a state where women are either killed in the womb or they give up on life in their youth, before they could get wings to fly? Rajwinder Kaur’s story of shattered dreams show the plight of the parents who couldn't fulfil her dreams due to poverty. The state government which spends lavishly on charter plans of celebrities and crores on their performance at kabbadi world cup matches is not magnanimous to its own people living in penury. All one hears is empty speeches of making Punjab progressive.

Jaswinder Singh, Doraha

Bathinda-Delhi Shatabdi

The schedule for the bi-weekly Bathinda-Delhi Shatabdi has been announced. The train will be useful for the Bathinda residents only if they can make a to and fro trip to New Delhi in a day. The timing should be Bathinda-Delhi 5am-9.45am and Delhi-Bathinda 5pm-9:45pm to benefit the residents.

Dr Ajay Gupta, via email

Check ragging

It is shameful that we have failed to tackle ragging. Ragging is falsely celebrated as an introduction festival, sometimes leading to suicide. Official congregations should be organised for introduction of students including constructive jokes between seniors and freshers in the presence of principal, teachers and parents in the initial days of session.




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