Clarification

Editor,

The attention of the State Government is drawn to the grievances of a pensioner expressed through the Letter to the Editor, (ST December 31, 2011) under the caption, “Undue harassment to pensioners”. The grievances relate mainly to the half yearly physical appearance before the Treasury Officer and the contention that the frequency for Gazetted officer is annually, and also to non-transfer of pension payment to the place of domicile of the pensioners.

This is to clarify that with effect from 4th May, 2009 Government has dispensed with the procedure of submission of monthly pension bill by pensioners and instead pension payment is automated and directly credited to the bank account of pensioners. However, with a view to safeguard the interests of the State Government against excess payment of pension to deceased pensioner(s), the frequency of physical appearance has been made half-yearly. The procedure for physical appearance is same for non-gazetted as well as for gazetted officers. Further, exemption of physical appearance continues to be permissible subject to production of Life Certificate issued by person authorized under Rule 259 of the Meghalaya Treasury Rules, 1985, namely, Magistrate, Gazetted Government Officer, Class I officer of RBI or Class II Officer of State Bank of India, Registrar or Sub-registrar under the Indian Registration Act, Postmaster/Departmental Sub-postmaster/Inspector of Post office, Munsif, Tehsildar, Head of Village Panchayat/Gram Panchayat and Headman of a village.

Besides, pensioners are drawing their pension from the treasury which they opted at the time of submission of pension papers. In case they want to draw pension in their place of domicile, they may apply to the Treasury Officer for transfer to the concerned treasury.

Yours etc.,

S. Kharmawphlang,

Deputy Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya,

Finance (Pension Cell) Department.

Wide spread adulteration of milk in Meghalaya

Editor,

I was taken aback to read the recent report presented by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on its first ever national survey on milk adulteration in India; this survey has found that there has been rampant milk adulteration in the country primarily through the clandestine devices of diluting milk with suspect water or, far worse, by blending noxious detergents with milk and the terminal consequences being the unleashing of fatal diseases.

However, what is more unnerving is that the survey report has revealed that Meghalaya occupies the dubious distinction of being top – ranked among the states of India where 96% of milk samples were far from conforming to the acceptable standards.

Following this country- wide report on milk adulteration the Delhi High Court has swung into action by taking a suo moto cognizance thereby constraining the authorities concerned under its legal jurisdiction to swiftly evolve pro-active measures to control this adulteration menace, notwithstanding the fact that Delhi reported only 79% in milk adulteration; thus far less than Meghalaya.

In the backdrop of the pragmatic and expedient action adopted by the Delhi High Court, I hope that in Meghalaya too, the powers that will emulate the example and get after those who play around with the lives of innocent consumers. And if this expectation materializes the same will be a God sent blessing especially to the children, the aged and the invalid who solely depend on milk as a vital source of nutrient for the upkeep of their health regime.

Yours etc.,

Jerome Diengdoh,

Shillong 1

Priestly affairs

Editor,

There has been too much talk about a certain priest in some locality of Laban who is a womaniser and there have been many reactions which have come out in your paper on the same. Now there are some people who are moving away from the issue whether this individual is guilty as charged and are instead trying to crucify the entire Brahmin community. Some have even questioned as to why a priest should be from the Brahmin community only. Despite being a Brahmin I don’t have qualms about who is a priest and don’t think there are any hard laws that prevent anyone from being a priest and performing rituals. So why don’t the people who are preaching such ideas through your paper take up the responsibilities themselves? It is easy to sit somewhere and take pot-shots at a certain group and quite another story to become a reformist. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Vivekananda aren’t born every day!

Yours etc.,

 Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Shillong – 6

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