Wednesday, June 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Disinvestment panel report a bolt from the blue

The much-publicised and eagerly awaited Disinvestment Committee's report is at last out. By a single stroke, a large contingent of employees working in 29 so-called sick units, who toiled against heavy odds to strengthen these organisations, have become redundant and surplus all of a sudden. The Democle's sword is hanging over their future with their imminent exit any time after a simple nod of the government. This has become a nightmare not only to the innocent bread earners but also all dependent family members and their kith and kin.

Of the short-listed PSUs under the hammer, there are many corporations which helped a lot in the development and prosperity of the State and its people. The Punjab State T/well Corporation (PSTC) is one such corporation which has brought great fortune to the farming community of this State by way of achieving a vast network of creating additional and optimum irrigation potential in every nook and corner of the State. Ever since its inception in 1970, it has been striving to uplift the economic lot of the peasantry. This has resulted in the creation of some sister organisations like the Punjab Mandi Board, the Punjab Agro-Industry Corporation etc. which further helped farmers to reap rich harvest.



Because of the hard work of eminent engineers, field and administrative staff of the PSTC, the farmers have an easy access to this lifeline (water) of agriculture through lined water courses and deep T/wells sunk by the PSTC. Besides being physically viable, this organisation has full potential of financial viability. But due to friendly and populous policy decisions of successive governments during 1986 and 1997, the recoveries of expenditure incurred stood completely waived off. This proved a stumbling block in its survival. By and large, after the waiver of recovery from the shareholders, this organisation has become a department like irrigation, B&R and Public Health. Consequently, it cannot be termed as a commercial one.

Any action to wind up this corporation of hidden treasure would amount to axing a tree when it is at its full bloom. Ours is a democratic set-up where the government is of the people, by the people and for the people. This envisages that people's welfare is the only motto of the government. The slogans promising various sops to all sections of society including the employees of the State are still fresh in memory. But the plan to sack thousands of employees would amount to stabbing in the back. This would cause widespread resentment among the employees as also the unemployed youths. Empty slogans cannot fill empty stomachs.

We, therefore, enjoined by many other aggrieved employees, hope that better sense would prevail upon our worthy Chief Minister of Punjab while taking a decision over the ill-conceived report of the Disinvestment Committee. Instead, he should devise various other means and alternatives to resuscitate these so-called sick organisations for the sake of natural justice and avoiding a chaotic situation.



Observing Father’s Day on June 18

June 18 is Father's Day and I appeal to one and all to observe the same. The word ‘Father’is pure and great in itself. Just as Earth signifies Mother, water is Father. Mahatma Gandhi is the Father of the Nation. A child is the father of man.

Father is a very important figure in one's life. He is the real dharm and heaven for the children. He always acts as an umbrella, protecting us from sun and rain. He is the sincerest and selfless guide, always trying to see his children as fore-runners in every walk of life. During the lifetime of the father, the children feel fully secured.

In an answer by Udhishter to a life-saving question of Yaksh, he told that the father is higher than the sky and is next to God.

In the English translation of Athur Veda, there is this mention: “May the son follow the ideals of his father and his actions please the mother”.

According to the English translation of Rig Veda, a person who respects and serves his father well, he is the most fortunate one, enjoying worldly pleasures and respected by relatives, friends and society. Such a person would make for a more harmonious society. The lessons on human values also guide us to always show respect to parents.

It is said that a person's visits to any number of pilgrimage centres will be in vain if he does not care for his father and/or is unable to get his good wishes and blessings.

Celebrating Father's Day is a very good occasion for children to express their gratitude to their father for his love and affection and the protection provided to them to grow fearlessly. It provides a golden opportunity to those who, at any point of time, hurt the feelings of their fathers, to apologise.

The children should tell their father thus:

You are the breath that I take

And thought that I think

You are my everything and nothing compares with you.

Oh, my dear father.

R. K. JAIN, President, Senior Citizens Council (R), Jagadhri


Make the law stringent

Thanks to the exploits of Ravi Sidhu and the crusading spirit and missionary zeal of Sumedh Singh Saini and The Tribune (read Mr Hari Jaisingh), a new spirit has been injected into the large sections of society (Bar being the principle among them) to eradicate corruption. Newspaper reports confirm this.

However, if things should be pursued to their logical conclusion, the law should be made more stringent. At present, the punishment prescribed for various types of corrupt (mis) deeds is from six months imprisonment to the maximum of seven years, and fine. (The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988). This is woefully inadequate in view of the gravity of scandals that are coming to light. Some of these are so shocking that even if the guilty is hanged a dozen times, the sentence would be much too lenient.

We should take advantage of this new awakening and persuade our government to amend the law to raise the upper limit to ‘death or imprisonment for life’. (I hope our human rights friends will pardon me).

Forfeiture of the illegally begotten property should be mandatory. And it should be seized immediately on disclosure so that there can be no tinkering with it.

RAM SARAN BHATIA, Dist. & Sessions Judge (retd), Faridabad

Not a defaulter

Apropos of the report “Will Rs 100 crore fresh bond help PSDIC?” (June 2), I would like to point out that my name has been wrongly printed as defaulter of PSIDC for Rs 2 crore.

The PSIDC has since substituted my personal guarantee on February 3, 1999 vide letter No PSIDC/1F/10812. Mr Madhukar Monga will be liable for the dues payable by the company in respect of the term loan, bridge loan, direct subscription, etc. given by the Corporation to the company. Now I am not liable in any form or shape to the Corporation.

Your report has affected my reputation and business to a great extent, particularly with my bankers and financial institutions. I, therefore, request you to please put the record straight.

ARUN UMMAT, Chandigarh


Do you know why Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee proposed Professor A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s name for the post of President? The reason: Agar ek chara doosre chare ke bare mein nahin sochega to kaun sochega? (If a bachelor doesn’t take care of the interests of another bachelor, who else?)

H. S. DHALIWAL, Chandigarh

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