Thursday, May 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Carelessness at vet dispensaries

THE alleged thoughtless purchase of equipment not necessarily required in various veterinary institutions is a flagrant misuse of government funds ("Vets seek probe into equipment's purchase", April 28, page 3).

Such goings-on do not salvage the image of the department. The ulterior motive in such huge purchases deserve a thorough probe to clear any doubt. The voice of the State Veterinary Officers Association should not get lost in the wilderness of unending politicking.

Having served the Animal Husbandry Department for more than three decades, I am in a position to recall that there used to be a set system of purchase of medicines and equipment. The purchase used to be made on the basis of the indent from each veterinary institution.

In the prescribed indent form the officer in charge of the institution used to mention the medicine/equipment already in hand, and clearly specified the demand for the ensuing year. It was within the purview of the purchasing officer/committee to assess the genuineness of the demand, and the purchase used to be effected as per the availability of the budget. Law of the jungle never prevailed then.

  These days, perhaps, the purchases are finalised in airconditioned rooms without consultations at lower levels. It is flabbergasting that certain drugs about which warnings have been issued, are injudiciously supplied to veterinary dispensaries headed by pharmacists, who are not competent to use these formulations.

Vaccination of animals at subsidised rates hardly needs any change, but the much-lacking interest at all levels to maintain the efficacy of the vaccine by proper storage deserves improvement. Huge funds being spent on the purchase or the vaccine are liable to go waste if the proper equipment for storage is not provided at each institution.


Case for pension adalat

The Punjab government, in accordance with the recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission, issued a notification in July, 1998, regarding the revision of pensions and other retirement benefits effective from 1.1.1996. However, around 15000 cases are still pending disposal in various offices.

Apart from official apathy and red-tapism, lack of coordination between the Punjab government and the Accountant-General's office is also responsible for this sorry state of affairs. The Punjab government is the main culprit in this regard. Its departments are not furnishing the relevant information to the Accountant-General's Office. Hence the pensioners a disappointed lot.

With a view to expediting the finalisation of pension cases, the Accountant-General, Punjab should hold a pension adalat as it was done in 1992 and 1994.

It was a novel idea of Mr P.N. Murty, the then Accountant-General, Punjab. The unique effort made by him was widely appreciated. It was for the first time in the country that pension adalats were held.


Problems of small depositors

The declaration of the first six-monthly monetary and credit policy, 2000-2001, by RBI Governor Vimal Jalan is not a policy at all but a set of ad hoc measures leading to the erosion of faith and confidence in the banking industry. There is need for a long-term policy based on strong fundamentals. The entry of banks in the insurance sector may provide opportunities of competition in this sector on the one hand and may improve economic viability of the banks on the other.

I support the contention of the RBI Governor for asking the Government of India to control its expenditure for reducing fiscal deficit in the country and avoiding excessive market borrowing which will prove to be challenging, if not disastrous, for the economy in the long run.

To create a banking culture in the country the RBI should also think of a suitable interest rate for small depositors. Otherwise, people will go back to the traditional moneylenders for depositing their money.


The basic issues

This has reference to "Promising Panchayati Raj" (April 28) regarding Mr Chautala's "Jind Declaration" for reviving the panchayati raj institutions. I agree that this move of the Chief Minister need not necessarily be viewed as a political gimmick.

But there arises a question: can the raising of the limit on spending really ensure the success of the panchayati raj institutions towards the achievement of rural development goals? The answer, perhaps, shall be in the negative because the bait-giving approach has failed in almost all the quarters in the country due to the lack of people's initiative, cooperation and participation.

Therefore, the stress is to be shifted from giving to enabling people. In states like Haryana there is no dearth of resources. There is no political will to mobilise politicians with sincerity. The basic issues to be addressed are ignorance, illiteracy and inter-group rivalries among the rural masses.


Education & the police

In his article, "Human rights and the police", Mr H.L. Kapoor (The Tribune, April 25) has taken strong exception to the recently delivered judgement of the Calcutta High Court wherein the judge went to the extent of calling the police force as "mad dogs".

As a matter of fact, there is great need for making our police force to act in a genuinely graceful manner, and it is only possible if the force is composed of reasonably educated people.



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |