Loan waiver won’t help farmers

In the article “Loan-waiver scheme” (March 14) S. S. Johl has raised pertinent questions about the implementation of the scheme. For example, how will one or two hectare land-holding be defined? Is it irrigated or unirrigated? Is it one-crop or two-crop land? In my opinion the government’s indulgence will produce more willing defaulters among farmers, thereby putting the financial health of the banks and other agencies at risk.

The peasantry is already a pampered lot and more concessions will alienate it from the rest of society. Last year the government raised the wheat price from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 a quintal and even this substantial raise has not appeased the farmers. A political party in Punjab is clamouring for a still higher price without bothering what effect it will have on the poor. Needs can be met, greed cannot be.

The waiving of loans will not bring any cheer to farmers as the symptoms of the disease lie elsewhere. In Punjab these lie in the ostentatious social customs and traditions. If free power supply has not brought any change in the economic status of farmers, the loan-waiver scheme too cannot.

What about the labourers and other have-nots? They rot in poverty without the basic amenities of life. Why? Because they do not have any lobby to fight for their rights.

LAKHA SINGH, Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College,Sarhali (Amritsar)



Vijay Malhotra, in his article “Farm waivers will harm development” (March 13), has adopted an unrealistic approach. The farming community’s debt burden is rising and profit margin declining. Small and marginal farmers are unable to make both ends meet. They are not in a situation to pay back the loans.


Laungewala battle

It is my moral duty as a veteran to advise other veterans to stop washing their dirty linen in public. I might have been anywhere on December 5, 1971, but my military knowledge tells me that an unarmed AOP is a sitting duck for the enemy.

I may be wrong but in the “process of stealing thunder” out of the “Laungewala battle” by highlighting actions of the AOP, more harm has been done. We all know no war movie is ever a true representation of an actual war. Why talk about it?

To leave an aircraft in the no-man’s-land is not as per military teaching and certainly not an act of bravery, especially when at 3.30 pm, another Hunter mission was guided towards the enemy tanks from the same aircraft. Had there been any enemy in the tank gun range of his aircraft, the enemy would have destroyed it as a prize target.

It is common military knowledge that “a brave act in the face of the enemy” makes an individual eligible for a gallantry award. The fact that the aircraft was retrieved after the last light shows that the enemy had not re-grouped by then and the snag didn’t need any technician.

It is none of the business of the veterans to dig old graves now by highlighting what was done or not done then or somebody got more prominence than others. The government has recognised the act of the AOP more than adequately.

Brig (retd) H S GHUMAN, Mohali

White paper

On a petition by an advocate the Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought a status paper on education in Punjab but this is being delayed. A white paper on rural education will help in taking right steps to revamp the education system.

T. R. SHARMA, Patiala


Only bureaucrats are competent!

Before announcing the paper plans of building a new museum for Chandigarh, the Museum of Knowledge, the administration should have applied for the inclusion of the existing Chandigarh Museum and Art Gallery in the Guinness Book of Records. For it is the only museum in the world being run “efficiently” without professionals!

The administration has envisaged a simple but potent theory to run various departments efficiently: it thinks that if a bureaucrat is competent enough to control civil jail inmates comprising not-so-straight officials, imported milch cows and tough convicts, he can manage any other department ranging from a museum to a college to a hospital equally well. When I joined Government College, Chandigarh, in 1968 as a lecturer, my then Principal, Mr Bakshi, was also the DPI (colleges and schools) like his Punjab counterpart. In fact, he was holding an additional charge of the Deputy Secretary, Finance, as well.

While a senior college principal still is entrusted with the job of a DPI in Punjab, whose rules the Chandigarh Administration supposedly follows, the local situation has come to such a pass that soon PCS/HCS officers would be holding the posts of college principal.

Why has no local college a regular principal now for years? Why no process has ever got started for the appointment of a regular Museum Director before the last one retired? Why no lecturer has been promoted, as is being done in Punjab, to the Principal’s post now for years?

Is there no body to listen to the high handedness of local bureaucrats who remain contented with the easily manipulative ad hoc arrangements in almost all departments?

BALVINDER, former Principal, Government College, Chandigarh



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