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Transparency Is The Casualty

IT is emphasised that every citizen has a right to vote, but every time there is such an occasion, many citizens cannot vote as they find their names not on/removed from the list in spite of holding an EPIC card. A programme on television discussing this issue had a lawyer advising the action of exercising a ‘challenge vote’ or ‘tender vote’ – if your name is not there or someone has already voted in your name.  I read a purported clarification from the Election Commission, which disallows the practice. Will the EC officially publically advise? I also note that when people specifically ask under RTI the details of Goa Governor’s official travels or Prime Minister’s travels in the country and abroad, no answers or wishy-washy answers are given. Same is the case for expenditure on poll campaigns. We live in a democracy with laws and rules which seem not to apply to our elected representatives who are in fact our employees! We have a right to vote and a right to transparency and accountability from those we vote and pay for to serve us in office.


Don’t Withhold Pensioners’ Dues

THE state government seems to be against the government pensioners. Otherwise it is difficult to understand why the pension dues of those who retired prior to 2016 have been denied. The 7th Pay Commission had recommended that the pay of such pensioners be fixed notionally in the new pay matrix and only the difference in pension, revised on its basis, be paid to them. The central government approved the benefit in May 2017 and the state government, which follows central rules, had to follow suit; but it has shelved the case. State government pensioners are part of the disciplined and peaceful Goan society. You never see them agitating on the streets or organising a bandh. It seems this is not appreciated by the government which acts only when there is disturbance and disorder. It is not late even now for the government to release the legitimate dues of this peaceful lot of retired senior citizens and show that government does not consider them as second-class citizens.



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