Saturday, May 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Breach of trust by UTI

After retirement, I invested Rs 2 lakh in UTI monthly income scheme (MIP-96 IV) in 1996 at the interest rate of 14 per cent a year.

I was shocked when I received the new income distribution warrant for the year 2001-2002 on 11.5.2001 and found that I am being paid @ 5 per cent only.

The same day I read a news report that when all technology stocks were being battered in March this year, UTI was buying heavily into K-10 stocks. It purchased 1,46,000 shares of HFCL at Rs 439, 1,70,000 shares of Global Tele at Rs 259, 13,30,000 shares of DSQ Software at Rs 250 during that month. These shares sell sharply soon after.

It is not difficult to understand the reason for such low returns on my investments with UTI.

During the Budget session of Parliament, a knowledgeable MP had disclosed that the total holdings of UTI have come down by about Rs 18,000 crore in a year and he wanted to know the reasons for this loss. The Finance Minister in his evasive reply had stated that accounts for profits and losses of UTI would be assessed in June.

People responsible for this mess should have been brought to book by now. They have committed a fraud with investors.

Big business houses and managers of industry are praising of the Finance Minister for his laudable Budget and economic reforms. And why not? They have been given many benefits and concessions in the name of economic growth.

Dr J.B. GOYAL, New Delhi

It’s unfair: The UTI is sending dividend warrants for the current financial year for the scheme MIP 1996 IV monthly income, with interest calculated at 5 per cent, a sudden drop from 12.5 per cent which was advertised when the scheme was launched. Is it fair?

Similarly, the government has dropped interest on other small saving schemes, particularly the PPF. Changes, whatsoever, should be done only when a scheme is launched. If it is unavoidable, then the subscribers should be given an option of withdrawal without any strings attached to it.

Dr. HARISH KHANNA, Panchkula


Without water

A few days back the Prime Minister announced a “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojna” and liberal funds are being made available by the Centre to states to implement this scheme. It would be proper, if the Prime Minister also announces a “Pradhan Mantri Gram Jal Yojna” to provide every village proper drinking water.

Recently Rs 60 crore was released by the Central Himachal Pradesh for the Gram Sarak Yojna and many crores have already been spent on laying the sewerage for a few unplanned urban towns in Himachal. But in most of the rural areas, in spite of sufficient natural water resources, gramins are still deprived of drinking water, which can be made available easily with minimum construction cost.

N.K. SOOD, Ruwadee (Kulu)


Lt Ajmer Singh

This is regarding the news item (May 7) about the pay and allowances of Lt Ajmer Singh, who made a supreme sacrifice during freedom struggle. This fact came to light only last month when his son-in-law managed to trace out the details from records available with the National Archives.

Lt Ajmer Singh had confessed to having fought against the British troops. This was revealed during the interrogation of captives held at The Singapore base (by a Board of European Officers). He was, therefore, classified as a “black” category of POW. All PsOW (whether in Japan and or Germany) were classified into four categories — ordinary, white, green and black depending upon their activities and involvement during operations.

The pay and allowances of “black PsOW” were forfeited for the period of captivity. On the contrary, the pay and allowances of other categories were regularised and paid in full (for the ranks they would have otherwise held).

It is also believed that a few black PsOW were also executed for heinous crimes like espionage and mutiny. According to the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry held and also records available in respect of Lt Singh, it was established beyond doubt that he was killed with a “gun-shot” in the head, for having been declared a ‘dangerous spy’.

In accordance with the latest orders issued by the Government of India, all INA personnel were entitled to full pay and emoluments for the duration of captivity as PsOW, (including “black PsOW”), since they were all declared “freedom fighters”. Hence, the daughter of the late Lt Ajmer Singh is justifiably entitled to all dues and payments for the period of captivity.

It would only be in fitness of things to give full justice to the ward (a destitute) of a “freedom fighter” — the least our nation can do for a brave soldier, who gave his “yesterday” for our freedom “today”.

M.L. BATURA, Karnal

New Amritsar city

There is resentment among the allottees of plots of the 340 acre development scheme which is known as “New Amritsar city”. There are so many drawbacks in the plot allotment agreement. The possession of a plot is shown as given on the date of the agreement. This is a blatant lie. Generally, demarcation of plots is not there. Then how can physical possession be given? One has to apply to the Improvement Trust for demarcation and location of the plot at the time of construction.

The Trust does not provide the basic amenities within 36 months as per the agreement. Then the Trust, while passing the building plans, demands penalty for the non-construction period of more than 36 months and charges huge amounts for the delay for which the allottees are not responsible. Disputes and unwanted litigation follow.

The Secretary of the Local Body Department should issue instructions to all Chairmen of the Improvement Trusts not to impose any penalties in cases where they failed to develop the schemes in time. Sufficient time be given to the plot holders to construct their buildings after providing all the basic amenities.

B.S. SHARMA, Amritsar


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