Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Curbing corruption through tribunals

Mr Dharam Vir's article "Institution of government audit" makes one ponder: "Enforcing accountability can curb corruption.” The writer talks of curbing corruption by creating some tribunals to enforce accountability. Our exchequer is already overburdened with a huge government machinery. To highlight that creating a few tribunals will not solve the problem, I would like to share a short story with the readers.

Once there lived a seth (rich man). He used to drink 1 kg of milk daily at bed time. He had a servant who used to prepare and serve him the milk. One day the servant thought that he daily served 1 kg of milk to the seth, why he could not take one quarter himself. So he started drinking one quarter of milk daily and added water to make the rest as 1 kg. The seth felt that the milk had got diluted and he got suspicious. He engaged another servant and explained, "I suspect that the fellow steals some milk daily. So I employ you to keep watch on him." The new servant asked the older one to tell the whole story. The older one very honestly told him about his trick. Then the new one said, "OK, now you take out half a kg daily, one quarter for you and one for me and mix half a kg of water." Then he kept on informing the seth that everything was alright. Then the seth realised that things had worsened. So he employed an in-charge to watch them.

The in-charge inquired from the servants, who told him the truth. He ordered them to take out three quarters of milk, one for him, and to mix three quarters of water. The seth was surprised at what was happening. Then he employed a supervisor and explained him the whole thing and told him to catch the thieves.


The supervisor called all three and asked for an explanation. They told him the whole truth. He was impressed. He asked one to heat the milk and take out some cream from it. Then he said, "Let all four of us have one quarter of milk each and wait for my next orders." They all took the milk and the seth kept on waiting and ultimately went to sleep. Then the supervisor ordered one of them to apply cream to the seth's mustaches. When the seth got up in the morning, he was happy to feel the thick cream on his moustaches. He thought he must have taken thick and tasty milk at night. Our state is like the seth.

Dr TIRATH GARG, Ferozepur

Baseless fertiliser report

We are pained to come across a report in The Tribune of December 11, “Substandard fertiliser may hit wheat crop”. The report is devoid of facts and is clearly an attempt to malign our good name for unknown reasons. No attempt was made to get in touch with our offices at New Delhi or Chandigarh to obtain our version before the decision to publish the report was taken. Since we are currently in the midst of the rabi season, substantial harm is likely to be caused to our business.

The report quoting sources in the Department of Agriculture states that our plant was flooded, causing deterioration of the fertiliser. Nothing can be farther from the truth as the plant was not even commissioned at the time when the super cyclone hit the east coast of India in October, 1999. The production at the plant commenced only in April, 2000, and the question of us having any damaged material does not arise.

We have sold till November, 2001, a total quantity of 15.50 lakh MT DAP all over the country. Sales in Punjab through private trade as well as institutions have been 4.50 lakh MT.

Anyone well versed in the fertiliser business can vouch for the fact that it is not possible to sustain this volume of sale on substandard material. The fact is that our material has been well accepted all over the country. The Tribune’s own report states that only six out of the 400-odd samples taken by the government failed in Punjab. It may also be pertinent to note that our sales in Punjab have actually registered an increase this year as compared to the previous year, and this speaks volumes about our quality.

It is now clear that the baseless report serves only some vested interests attempting to malign our good image.

RANJAN SHARMA, Finance Director, Oswal Chemicals & Fertilisers Limited, New Delhi

TV serials and women

Why do TV serial makers/producers think that all that women have to do is to fall in love and get married to live happily (in a joint family)? Is it realistic?

Where are TV serials dealing with the day-to-day life of a normal working woman? When will our media project a true picture of the ordinary woman? She is not a Madhuri Dixit, a Parvati or a Tulsi. A normal career woman is still struggling to make her presence felt. I wish the serials could help young girls control their lives, instead of becoming a Parvati or a Tulsi.

SEEMA, Karnal

A matter of AID(S)

The Punjab government says "Beware of AID(S) otherwise face the consequences”. The government aided privately managed Thapar Polytechnic, Mehar Chand Polytechnic and Ramgarhia Polytechnic staff appeal to the Punjab government: "Give us AID (grant), otherwise we are sure to face the consequences".

R. C. KOHLI, Patiala

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