Sunday, December 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India






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POTO must to check militancy
Abolish pension, Advani tells states
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
Union Home Minister, L.K. Advani today said the lack of a political consensus would not stop the government from introducing an anti-terrorism law to counter the menace of militancy in the country.

“If a consensus eludes us on a certain issue, that should not be an alibi for inaction on our part”, Mr Advani said while speaking at the 96 the annual general meeting of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) here.

Stating that the government was committed to giving security to the citizens, he said “we are trying to accommodate all effective suggestions”.

“However, if there is no unanimity we cannot abdicate our responsibility”, Mr Advani said.

Pointing out that Pakistan had adopted a new non-combatant strategy of “ infiltration, sabotage and selection of soft targets”, the Home Minister said India required an appropriate legal infrastructure to counter the move.

On the swadeshi brand of industrialisation, he clarified that “Swadeshi should not be identified with an anti-MNC attitude”.

“I would like our companies to become MNCs”, he added.

Speaking specifically on trade and industry, Mr Advani lamented the fact that “it is the rich businessmen and shopkeepers and residents of posh colonies who are the biggest culprits. This shows the enormous responsibility that business associations have to check malpractices committed by members of their own fraternity”.

Expressing concern that north India was lagging behind south India, he said that poor educational system was one of the reasons for this disparity.

He also pointed out that India had time till 2005 to “clean up our collective acts and become more competitive”.

“Already, cheaper foreign goods are entering our markets. I would like businessmen to closely study how our competitors can provide good quality products at lower prices”, he said.

Mr Advani also asked state governments to abolish fixed pensions for their employees, taking a cue from a similar decision recently taken by the Centre.

“Himachal Pradesh has estimated that the life time cost of every government employee, including pension, is nearly Rs 1 crore. The Union Government has taken the first step by removing a fixed pension to all those who join government after October 1. States too need to do the same,” Mr Advani said meeting of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) here.Back

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