Saturday, December 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Retired with falling interest income

Retired persons, pensioners and others who live on interest income are seriously concerned with the government policy of reducing interest rates. Caught between inflation and reduced interest income. They find it difficult to make both ends meet.

The ostensible reason for reducing bank deposit interest is to stimulate industrial growth by reducing cost of funds to industries. The real reason is that it helps the largest borrowers in the country.viz. the Government of India and state governments. Like all borrowers. They wish to borrow as cheap as possible.

In spite of a huge expenditure on bureaucracy, which suffers from a low work ethic and revels in holidays, there is no sign of greater productivity in the administration.

Financial intermediaries like banks also share the blame. Most of them lend at a low rate only to a few blue chip companies while the rest have still to pay high interest rates plus so-called service charges which is concealed interest. The big interest spread between the cost of funds for banks and lending rates is the result of low level of efficiency of banks.

Another factor is that in spite of talk of market economy, politicians and bureaucrats are loathe to part with their power and patronage.

The country needs a shift in economic policies which should reward long-term savers with higher interest rates. The government should be downsized and made more efficient, and politicians and bureaucrats should be compelled to wield their power in public interest instead of enlarging their own patronage.

M. R. PAI, Mumbai


Benazir’s visit

Apropos the editorial “Importance of being Bhutto”, I was flabbergasted by the wide media coverage to the visit of Ms Benazir Bhutto. It is understandable that media persons were fascinated by her beauty, but eulogising her now seemed to be mind boggling. Thanks to the brave expressions like “she is a hypocrite of the first order” cleared mist from my mind and I felt relieved that our media is so mature that it appreciates the realities and is not just gets carried away by the personality of a person.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Ferozepur

Then & now: Ms Bhutto, who used to be highly ferocious in her anti-India rhetoric, has come out with a new idea of making Indo-Pak borders open. The ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan uses different yardsticks when not in power.

Who can forget her utterances in 1989-90 when someone raised a point of Mr Jagmohan visiting PoK? She had said that Mr Jagmohan would become “Jag Jag Mo Mo Han Han” if he ever dared to visit PoK.

No, Ms Bhutto there are no takers for your noble ideas. Better go home and give some better sense to General Musharraf as he is just immitating what you did during your tenure.


Foreign policy: Ms Benazir Bhutto, who is in self-imposed exile now in the United Arab Emirates, has received tremendous love and dignity in this country both from the leaders of the Treasury and the Opposition.

The foreign police of President Musharraf, running with the hare and hunting with the hounds, has been exposed in Afghanistan. He may learn from Ms Bhutto instead of following his own egoism on Kashmir of his dreams.


A humble scholar

Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, is an eminent scholar of international repute and yet so humble and honest. It was very refreshing to read about him in the excellent write-up by Reeta Sharma (Nov 14). Such honest and simple individuals are difficult to find nowadays, especially in such high positions. He must be a great source of inspiration to his students, research scholars, colleagues and staff.

Reading between the lines one cannot help noticing the sycophancy and corruption of the health authorities of this university. First, they refused to reimburse Dr Pathak’s heart bypass medical expenditure bills when he was a Professor. But when he became the Vice-Chancellor, they cleared his medical bills.

By refusing to accept the reimbursement, Dr Pathak showed exemplary honesty, and that he doesn’t succumb to sycophancy. However, instead of directing them to file his bills, he could have helped the other less fortunate heart patients of the university by instituting an inquiry to find out why their bills did not get passed as quickly as his were.

The sycophants, the corrupt and the guilty should be punished to meet the ends of justice. It is the silence of the lambs which encourages wolves in sheep’s clothing to perpetuate sycophancy and corruption. All heart patients who have been denied payments because they were ordinary people should be paid their dues right with interest by the university. If the interest is recovered from the corrupt officials, it would serve as a deterrent.

Prof. O. P. MOHINDRU, Chandigarh


After MA (Sociology)

I thank you for enlightening your readers on the career options open to students after a master’s degree in sociology (Education Tribune) and the institutes offering the course through the distance education mode. However, Panjab University finds no mention in the list given by your consultant. Since the subject has been introduced from the current session only, it seems to have escaped her attention.

The career options listed were from new and upcoming fields. There are some traditional career opportunities available through the UPSC and the state service commissions for a wide ranging jobs in various government departments.

Dr S. KAMRA, PU, Chandigarh

Primary teachers

We have been denied the benefits under the Fifth Pay Commission. Right from a peon to a teacher in the high classes wing have been given the benefits of the revised pay scales, but the primary wing has been ignored for the reason best known to the Chairman & DG of BSF School, Jalandhar cantt.

Whenever some Inspector from the CBSE visits this school for checking, records pertaining to Class VI onwards are shown to avoid complications in financial matters. The school fees of the primary classes have often been revised, yet no benefits are given to the primary teachers on the plea that funds are not there. This plea is, therefore, not tenable.

Teachers, BSF School, Jalandhar

Jobs on sale

The asking price for the post of DSP is Rs 60-70 lakh, for SI Rs 20 lakh, for ASI Rs 12 lakh and the like amount for other vacancies which are being filled en masse at the moment in Punjab. As a candidate belonging to the general category and having no capacity to pay or any godfather in the government, where do I go? Don't you think the media has a responsibility to root out this evil of corruption from society and project our grievances to the right authorities?

An unemployed student

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