Tuesday, April 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Interest on small savings

SOME persons have praised Mr Yashwant Sinha for presenting a balanced budget. Some have said that it will strengthen the sagging economy of the country. Others maintain that it is a one-sided budget. Some captains of industry have given him eight marks out of 10 and, of course, a few have criticised it as a proxy budget, prepared on the dictates of the World Bank and the IMF.

In any case, this budget is not at all good for senior citizens, particularly retired non-pensioners. Within three years, the NDA Government has reduced the rate of interest on small savings from 13 per cent to 9.5 per cent. The slashing of interest on small savings has affected the only source of income of retired non-pensioners. A person who deposited Rs 4.8 lakh in 1995 after his retirement (maximum limit for a joint account. Now it is Rs 6 lakh) in the post office under the monthly income scheme (MIS) gets a monthly return of Rs 4420. Now, if he redeposits this amount after maturity, he will get only Rs 3230.

Can a senior citizen survive with this meager income when he has no other source? Every third day there is an announcement about increasing some tariff or imposing a fresh tax without caring for its impact on the common man.


The Finance Minister is following the pattern of the USA and other developed countries with regard to the rate of interest. But he forgets that the developed countries provide social security which includes all basic facilities.

The economic condition of the country can be improved by reducing the number of ministers and their perks and not by slashing the rate of interest on small savings. The Finance Minister should review this decision keeping in view the hardship it imposes on retired non-pensioners.

T. D. KUMAR, Panchkula

No connection

It is very upsetting to read the article entitled “Tehelka, the Chandigarh Connection”, published by you on the editorial page dated March 26, 2001, written by Mr M.G. Devasahayam. He has only made a statement of lies and it looks very disgraceful on the face of a person who has written the article.

I want to clarify that during the Janata Party regime I neither purchased nor gave any bid for any property in Chandigarh. All the properties purchased by me along with my relatives and friends were during the emergency period when none of the respectable persons mentioned by Mr Devasahayam was in power. It is just a figment of imagination of a frustrated person who wants to take undue advantage of the Tehelka episode. The fact is that I never went to his office even once as I had no work with him whatsoever. The very fact that all the plots were bought in open auction during the emergency period or even before that is sufficient to contradict whatever he has written. Moreover, all the plots purchased by me or by my relatives were for investment purposes only and were not meant for any speculative resale.

To clarify further, I am giving below the complete details of the properties purchased by me in Chandigarh:

1. My own residential house No 26/Sector 8-A, Chandigarh

2. House No 143, Sector 8-A, Chandigarh (Purchased from broker on 14th August 1971).

3. Commercial property in Sector 17 named Plot No 1-2-3 (Purchased on 9.5.1971).

4. Plot No 156-157-158, Sector 17 (Purchased in an open auction during emergency period on 28.9.1975).

5. Plot No 200-201, Chandigarh (Purchased in an open auction during emergency period on 28.9.1975).

6. Plot No 54, Sector 26, Chandigarh (Purchased in an open auction during emergency period on 28.9.1975).

7. Plot No 103-104, Sector 17 (Purchased on 29.8.1976).

8. Plot No 107-112, Sector 17 (Purchased on 29.8.1976).

Myself and my relatives or my friends do not own any other property in Chandigarh for which I gave bid in the auction.

R. K. Gupta, e-mail

Mr M. G. Devasahayam writes: I stand by the story “Tehelka, the Chandigarh connection”, published on this page of The Tribune (March 26, 2001).


A suicide squad of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked a CRPF camp in Srinagar and killed four soldiers. This was supposed to be in retaliation to alleged Quran burning. In the past two years suicide squads of Pakistan-supported terrorists have attacked camps of our security forces for various reasons. The terrorist leaders in Pakistan openly threaten and carry out attacks on the Army, the families of soldiers, ministers in Srinagar and New Delhi, and the national infrastructure.

The Vajpayee Government tolerates all these attacks on the pretext of showing restraint. This is not restraint, but self-delusion. Our forces cannot stand such attacks indefinitely. Their morale will break. The government must hit at the root of the problem and finish the terrorist bases and bosses in Pakistan.




Improper reaction

Some perverted young men have tried to disturb the peace in some parts of Punjab. They are said to be the members of an organisation which calls itself Hindu Suraksha Samiti. These so-called protectors of Hinduism do not realise that Hinduism stands for universal brotherhood, compassion and love for all. History tells us that India had never been an aggressor and no sage or religious leader of India has ever tried to create hatred anywhere. These young men should not have been misled by what has been done in Afghanistan by the Taliban. If not in the near future, ultimately sanity will return to that area.

At some places like Malerkotla, Muslims have taken out rallies against the happenings at Amritsar and Patiala. They are welcome to disapprove of what has happened at these places. But they should also realise that when the Taliban smashed the Buddha statues, they did not do anything to express their disapproval of this foolish act.


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