Saturday, December 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



SSIs need urgent attention

After the annexation of Tibet and unprovoked conflict of 1962, the influx of very cheap consumer goods is another silent assault on the Indian economy by China.

It is a whole range of consumer goods such as toys, locks, tool kits, dry cells, shoes, watches, electronic goods such as pocket radios, calculators, car stereos, telephone sets, electric fans, juicers etc. The textile goods smuggled through Nepal have already damaged the centuries-old textile industry of Amritsar. Similarly import of vegetable ghee from Nepal prepared with vegetable oil from China has shaken the edible oils industry. Decorative lights and energy saving lamps have also flooded the market.

Besides China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia are the other countries whose export of cheap goods has threatened the very existence of Indian Industry.

It is reported that T-Series has shut down its Noida unit for the manufacture of ceiling fans. It is quite a popular brand having 5% market share in North India. Their sales have been steadily growing but the import of cheap Chinese fans has compelled them to down their shutters. The Chinese ceiling fan is not only cheaper but it has got in-built inverter to keep it moving for two hours without electricity. It is feared that other fan manufacturers may follow and start trading in Chinese fans or collaborate with Chinese manufacturers to assemble their fans here.

Recently, the Government took a number of anti-dumping measures to make the Chinese imports costlier. This action is only a temporary measure. The real remedy lies in reducing the cost of production of goods. To achieve this objective a thorough review of Excise and Sales Tax is necessary. The present policy is a major impediment for the smooth growth of the small scale industry.



Speed limit

It is indeed heartening to know that the Chandigarh Administration is feeling concerned about the ever-increasing traffic jams as also the security of citizens involved in the ever-growing number of road mishaps.

The proposal to reduce the speed limit on all major roads is surely a thoughtful step, a little hardship to the driving public notwithstanding. In fact, the step will go a long way in reducing the incidence of accidents, given an ungrudging cooperation by the drivers, young and not so young.

As for the other step to have traffic lights on roundabouts, I don’t think it will be particularly useful, especially as it is only likely to slow down and interrupt the movement of traffic and result in long queues of waiting vehicles. Moreover, roundabouts have ample space on all sides with enough room for all concerned. This not only keeps intact the healthy attitude of self-discipline, but will also save the administration a lot of its scarce resources which can go into providing other facilities for the citizens, particularly the repair and maintenance of roads. In these days of resource crunch, this is all the more important and will give the administration a little more elbow room.

j. n. narang



Definition of “Sikh”

The SGPC general house decision to amend the definition of “Sikh” in the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925 and the Delhi Gurdwara Act of 1971 requires careful consideration. The SGPC and the DGPC are not the sole representatives of the Sikhs. The Sikhs are now dispersed throughout the world and the American Sikhs have recently made their own association.

The question as to who is a Sikh has to be considered in the light of Gurbani and the tradition followed from the days of the Gurus. The faith in Sikhism of the Sindhis, Lubanas, Banjaras and Nanak Panthis cannot be ignored. Akal Takht, the supreme religious and temporal authority of the Sikhs, should handle the question with care and at global level.

Brig Hardit Singh Kapur (retd)

One rank, one pension

The demand of countless army personnel for “One rank, one pension” has been hanging fire for a very long time now.

Retired army men all over the country are waiting agonisingly for the demand to be met so that they get the much needed relief. These brave men of the army devoted the best part of their life to protecting the integrity of the nation.

Their genuine demand should be met without further delay.


Unwise step

The decision by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to include in the MBBS syllabus the Indian system of medicine and homeopathy is an unwise step, to say the least. It is bound to encourage misuse of these branches of medicine by MBBS graduates. Further, they will add to the bulky syllabus.

These branches need full and serious attention of students over a period of time to get some measure of mastery. Their study should not be trifled with as it is sought to be done by the new move by the government.


Challan drive

The drive by the Chandigarh police to challan rickshaw pullers without proper licence may be justified. The rickshaw pullers are illiterate and do not follow traffic rules, thereby causing accidents. But the real solution lies in the traffic police teaching the rickshaw pullers the traffic rules and make them follow them by giving them training in batches. The poor rickshaw pullers must also be provided licences free of cost.



Q: Do you know which train gets derailed every few days?

A: Mamta Express!



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