Wednesday, May 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Purchase of wheat: why?

Foodgrains worth crores are going waste every year because the FCI is not in a position to manage the storage of such huge quantity. Under this situation it is not wrong to presume that the wheat which is being currently procured by the government with the tax-payers' money will not find the end use for which the FCI was created. There are a number of issues which need to be addressed.

(a) The FCI had its relevance when there was scarcity of foodgrains. Now when the country has moved from the situation of scarcity to surplus in the matter of staple food items like wheat and rice, the FCI has lost its relevance. The government is wasting thousands of crores on running the FCI and carrying foodgrains which ultimately become useless for consumption and have to be dumped.

(b) Now when the world market is opened up for all manufacturing items, why give protection to agricultural items? And if protection has to be given, let it be to farmers having small holdings. But the fact remains that 80 per cent of the holdings are with rich farmers like Mr P.S. Badal and ultimate beneficiaries are they at the cost of tax-payers. It is desired that the government agencies make purchases only from small farmers having a holding up to two acres.


(c) It is also a fact that in the name of helping farmers the government purchases substandard wheat and rice and if government agencies put resistance, then our politicians, who are the ultimate gainers, use pressure tactics. Why purchase a substandard item when a good quality product is available?

(d) If good quality wheat from the international market is available at Rs 3 per kg, why the consumer should be forced to pay Rs 7 per kg for inferior quality wheat. If the government wants to protect the interests of the consumer when it comes to industrial products like refrigerators or T.V., then why not protect his interest in the matter of food items which are more important. The consumer has the right to get good quality foodgrains at the lowest possible price.

(e) When it comes to protecting the interest of agriculturists, most of whom are big landlords the government goes all out and out of the way at the cost of tax-payers. Why the same consideration does not merit in the case of industrialists? After all, the closure of an industry also affects thousands of low-paid workers who lose employment.

The government should stop the purchase of foodgrains and leave it to the private sector and market forces.



Funds for Nirankari eye camp

The dust raised over a Hindu Akali minister donating Rs 25,000 from his discretionary funds for a Nirankari eye camp at Bathinda (May 10) by the SHSAD and supported by Mr G. S. Tohra is uncalled for.

Are Nirankaris, Hindus, Muslims, Dalits etc not tax-payers and entitled to welfare funds?

Let us not be narrow minded and create artificial barriers. The Akalis can govern in Punjab only if they seek the cooperation of other communities and have equal respect for them.

P. L. GARG, Bathinda


Multi-disciplinary courses

This refers to a news item “Lecturers allege harassment" (May 16). A number of multi-disciplinary courses such as research methodology in social sciences, gender issues and environmental studies are being run by the academic staff colleges with the approval of the UGC.

Various disciplines no longer exist in water-light compartments. Many issues and trends cut across various disciplines and life in general calls for a holistic thinking. Therefore, these courses should be considered as valid as subject courses.

Also, lecturers working in colleges of education who otherwise are specific subject-teachers be allowed to attend courses in the discipline of education. Multi-disciplinary courses should be considered equivalent to subject courses.


Sikh MPs’ group

The report “Sikh MPs group on the cards” by T. R. Ramachandran (May 12) has frightening implications. There is already no dearth of para-political elites in our country who have divided the country more than the colonial Britishers could do along lines of caste, class, region, religion, language etc. The situation is , indeed, alarming, to say the least.

Mr Tarlochan Singh’s intentions may be honourable and pious, but his assertion that the group is apolitical can’t be swallowed by any alert observer of the Indian political scene. Even non-political people forming a group very soon become political. How can politicians forming a “ginger group” remain apolitical?

I do hope that all those interested in the country’s integration will raise their voice against this almost sinister move in the present context when the ISI is already creating fissures everywhere.

M. L. VERMA, Ludhiana

No security refund

This is in reference to the news item “Institutions asked to return security” (Feb 21). We, the students of M. M. Engineering College, Mullana, inform you that there has been no refund of money taken in the form of security from the students under the payment seat category admitted in 1998.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the private engineering institutions to refund the money taken in the form of security within two months of the order dated Feb 19, 2001.

The college authorities have also not adjusted the fees for the next academic year 2001-02 against the security amount. Instead, they have demanded next year’s fees of about Rs 48,000.

M. M. Engg. College, Mullana

UGC test for lecturers

This is with reference to Yogindra Gupta’s report “Chandigarh, Panchkula quake prone” (May 15). Even after being selected as a lecturer by the Gujarat Public Service Commission and completing his Ph.D from M.S. University, Baroda, in 1998, Dr Javed Malik is not fit for a university job only because he has not cleared the “NIT” made compulsory by the UGC.

My plea to the UGC Chairman is: why cannot all second division post graduates appear in the NET exam for college lecturership and prove their worth?


Why no draw?

HUDA had invited applications for the allotment of residential plots at Panchkula, Panipat etc on November 17 last year and collected crores of rupees. Till date it has not announced the date for a draw of lots. It is misusing the public money.


Petrol rate

The rate of petrol in Bathinda is Rs 29.53 a litre. The government should enhance the rate to Rs 29.55 without any loss to consumers.


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