Tuesday, April 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Public sector banks vs private banks

Apropos of the editorial “Bankers have no choice” (April 17), employees of PSUs are not afraid of privatisation, but of exploitation and retrenchment. Recruitment in private sector banks is influenced by either bureaucrats or politicians and is far from fair. What makes private banks profitable is the exploitation of staff (employees are made to sit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and non-interference of politicians in sanctioning of loans.

Let private banks lower their minimum balance requirement to Rs 100 for rural customers and see what sort of profitability they come up with. Have they ever entertained pension a/cs of retd employees, widows or old-age pensioners? No, they don’t even like such people to enter their premises. If privatisation is everything, then I would request you to plead our case with the government as well as the general public to first do away with these compulsions of public sector banks.

Today policies are made keeping in mind Reliance Industries Ltd., which, despite having the highest sales turnover and profits, doesn’t pay even a single paisa of corporate tax. Can you imagine the plight of exporters and SSIs, if the public sector banks don’t provide them credit at concessional rates?

The most important issue of NPAs still doesn’t find adequate attention of Parliament, the PM, the Finance Minister or the Governor of the RBI. 


Why don’t they bring a wilful loan defaulter under the criminal law? The most talked about law of forfeiture and foreclosure has not been passed for years and the DRTs have become even bigger failures. The NPAs created by big corporates, are the loans sanctioned by the Boards of Directors or senior functionaries like CMDs, EDs, GMs of these banks and not by an ordinary clerk or a junior officer.

Now when these institutions are in the red because of the acts of top managements, the axe of salary cuts or non-wage revision is borne by these employees, who are also sacrificing their salaries to fight for a just cause.


Race for VC’s post

Accuracy and reliability are the first casualties of sensational journalism. Sometimes the line between reporting and rumour-mongering is blurred. Such kite-flying is evident in the so-called news item about “Race for Punjabi varsity VC” (April 22).

As it is, the recent denigration of the office of Vice-Chancellor has been the concern of us all. To add to the denigration of the academia per se, now the senior academics have been made to line up as applicants for this position. The news-item in question presents “16 or 17” of them having actually sent applications to the Chief Minister. My name figures among them with the additional distinction of having been recommended by a former GND varsity Vice-Chancellor, also implying that I have no merit on my own.

Your correspondent obviously did not take the trouble of verifying the facts. He seems to assume that every academic on earth is interested in this position. I personally know of scholars who have refused the offer of Vice-Chancellorship.

At any rate, this facile assumption has been behind my name figuring from time to time earlier also in your pages. Allow me to say once for all that I never was and shall never be in the race for this august office.

Indu Banga, Chandigarh

Mann flouts ban

Mr Simaranjit Singh Mann, MP, entered Pakistan recently by flouting the ban. The behaviour of Mr Mann is deplorable and it is good that no other organisation such as the SGPC, Panthic Morcha and the Tohra-led AISAD supported him. The tension on the border very much justifies the government’s decision not to allow any jatha to Pakistan at this stage.

Maj Pritpal Singh Kahlon (retd), Ludhiana

Jains’ grouse

The Punjab Government has abolished Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti holiday. This year the holiday falls on April 25 and the government’s calendar shows no holiday on that occasion. The Jain community has only one holiday in a year to celebrate the birthday of its 24th Tirathankar Bhagwan Mahavir.

Amrit Lal Jain, Amritsar

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