‘Ghost’ pensioners -point to ponder



According to news reports, 22000 ‘ghost’ military pensioners have been detected by the National Accountability Bureau, at the Peshawar General Post office alone. The report says that the GPO officials kept on embezzling two billion rupees annually for a long time in this context, till they were eventually detected. The point to worry here is that if only one GPO can gobble down so much from the Govt exchequer, what would be the figure if all GPOs and other pension concerning departments and other Govt departments are put together. No wonder the country continues to remain poor and improvement in the condition of the masses remains a dream.

Our economic managers spin programs for economic development and dole out new hopes for betterment, but the situation refuses to move. Why is this so? Any body can answer this simple question.

The main reasons for this deplorable situation can be identified as (1) Degradation of the moral fiber of our society at large, (2) Incompetence of the Govt to cater for this overall moral degradation while formulating / implementing policies.

It is unfortunate that over the years the national traits have taken a negative turn where matters of morality and character are concerned. Telling lies, cheating, forgery, adulteration, giving/accepting bribes, hypocrisy etc which were once considered sins are now accepted norms in our society. No body takes ill of them any more. Parents don’t set the right examples for their children, no where in schools is ‘character building’ taught any longer. Politicians who talk about honesty in their election campaigns are advised by ‘well wishers’ to delete it from their manifesto lest they loose votes. It seems the whole nation is suffering from ‘fear of honesty’ syndrome. Even the religious preachers shy away from talking about honesty and character building in their speeches. The large and effective religious movement ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’ has put matters of character building on the back burner and only restrict their sermons to stressing the importance of offering prayers and nothing more. The result is that mosques are full of prayer goers but Muslims are becoming hollow from inside, exemplifying themselves in cases like the one under discussion.

Incompetence of the Govt in trying to curb corruption can well be understood. Somewhere, somehow, government functionaries are a party to one or the other kind of corruption and therefore cannot/would not take interest in curbing corruption altogether.

In the case of ghost pensioners at such a large scale being surfaced, it would be prudent for the Govt to consider paying total pension to the retiree on quitting service, thus eliminating the need for pension departments and the related corruption in this regard. – Editorial