Tuesday, April 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Bad debts of banks increasing

This refers to the editorial ďBankers have no choiceĒ (April 17). Do you think that efficiency of labour can be improved by paying the lowest wages, by giving them employment on a temporary basis, by creating an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding their employment? These are the essence of proposed labour reforms. Can these changes enhance the said Hindu growth rate of 2 or 3 per cent to 10 per cent?

According to the editorial, bank nationalisation was a monumental blunder. The opening of bank branches in remote villages, catering to the banking needs of the poor peasantry, the Green Revolution, the White Revolution, development of small-scale industries and creating a habit of banking among the poor and illiterate people of this vast country are the gifts of bank nationalisation to our nation. Before nationalisation big monopolistic houses used the public money for their own interests. There was only one per cent agriculture advance. Branches were concentrated in big cities. Private bank owners had earned enormous profits but the condition of the bank employees was pitiable. As a bank employee I can say with pride that it is the public sector banks which have created public faith in banking. From Dr Manmohan Singh (1991) to Mr Yashwant Sinha (2002) and by their reforms, an additional 11 crore people have been pushed below the poverty line. Bank loans of Rs 1 lakh crore have become bad debts. More than Rs 60,000 crore is due as taxes to the government. Profit of the public sector banks for the financial year 2000-2001 was Rs 4317 crore.


Public sector banks are accessible to the poor. After disbursing pensions to lakhs of old men, ex-servicemen, widows and fulfilling several social obligations and providing qualitative employment to the 10 lakh employees, public sector banks are in profit and expanding their business very fast.


Kept waiting

On April 5, 2002, we were summoned to be present in the courtroom of the Asstt. Registrar, Mandi, sharp at 2.30 p.m., which is the hour fixed by the court for entertaining of registry cases. We were in time there with an advocate. Some others were also sitting there. Most were senior citizens and some suffering from asthma and urinary problems. To our dismay, the Registrar kept on gossiping in his chamber with two other officers till 4.30 p.m. It was pathetic to watch the agony the aged. Will the Registrar and Deputy Commissioner ensure that the timings of registry and presence of the Sub and Asstt. Registrars are strictly observed. Strict orders be given to the other officers not to spend their times in the Registrarís Chamber during the public service hours because the public pays heavy stamp fees to these courts for the work.

B. R. SHARMA, Sundernagar

Education abroad

I am a postgraduate student in Curtin University, Perth (Australia). Here sex is open and departments are free of sexual and mental harassment. Every office and classroom has a camera installed. Teachers have friendly relations with students. They are made to work for what they are paid for. Every teacher has to check every studentís assignments and grade the studentís level of education, besides marking. A psychologist is always ready if any student faces any kind of harassment. If a student canít cope up with a teacher, a different teacher is arranged for him. Copying and cheating are an offence and courts handle it. Certain overseas students were deported for cheating.

Things need to be changed in India as well.


Medical aid

Medical facilities for ex-servicemen and their families are inadequate. The ex-servicemen of SAS Nagar have been urging the military authorities to open an MI Room at SAS Nagar.

Army group insurance can be provided to ex-servicemen and their spouses for the treatment of diseases for which facilities do not exist in military hospitals.

It is a pity that we cannot afford free treatment to ex-servicemen and their families. Unless the conscience of our leaders is awakened, there would be many ex-servicemen like Brig Heerjee (retd), who would die due to a wrong diagnosis and lack of medical facilities.

Lt Col ANGAD SINGH (retd), SAS Nagar


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