Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Economic development and national security

THIS refers to Gen V.P. Malik’s article “India’s economic development: an essential aspect of national security” (Sept 13). We agree with General Malik that a sustained economic development is an essential aspect of national security. However, he has gone wrong in some of the projections of the economic growth figures, which we would like to put across to the readers lest they go with a wrong idea.

General Malik says, “The emergence of China as a major trading power, with a close to 4 per cent share of the world trade, constitutes a big challenge for India, whose share is only 0.6 per cent”.

In actual fact the global share of exports with respect to China is only 3.5 per cent, which has increased from 2 per cent in 1998-99, and 2.8 per cent in 1999-2001. China’s foreign trade volume touched a record of $ 509.77 billion in 2001, an increase of 7.5 per cent from 2000.

India’s global export share is only 0.67 per cent, which is likely to increase to 1 per cent by 2007 as projected in the Exim Policy 2002-2007. The Indian economy registered an overall growth rate of 5.4 per cent in 2001-02 compared to 4% in 2001-01. This reflects 5.7% growth in agriculture and allied sectors, 3% in industry and 6.5% in services.


General Malik’s view that sustained economic growth of 7-8 per cent will help national security seems utopian and only a wishful thinking. Even 6 per cent economic growth can see India among the first five countries of the world if there are no communal riots, sustained terrorism, earthquakes, cyclones and if the rain gods continue to shower their blessings. Almost all experts are of the opinion that 7-8% annual growth for the next 10 years is feasible technically, but cannot be achieved through “a business as usual” approach.

KHARAITI LAL, MALLAWA RAM, Sasoli (Hoshiarpur)

Badal and loan

This refers to Dueep Jyot Singh letter “Loan to Badal” (Sept 9). Mr Singh says that being a banker he knows that there is no provision in the banking industry to give a loan for filing a defamation suit. I may add that Mr Badal, and for that matter anybody, can take a loan up to 75 per cent of the fixed deposit receipt. This is fully within the RBI guidelines.

S.P.S. CHAHAL, Amritsar

Catch and sell parrots

THIS refers to the news item “Parrots being sent to Gulf rescued” (Sept 9). It is blithsome that wildlife officials acted in time and foiled a bid to smuggle the parrots. While some constituents of wildlife are eco-friendly whereas others create havoc for the farming community such as wild pigs, beers, monkeys and parrots.

The abundance of vegetation and shrubs in the hill areas has increased the menace of these species to growing maize, wheat & potatoes. Trapping wild-pigs is quit an uphill task. While controlling the monkey population is religiously prohibited, parrots are worse than mice. They waste most of the fruits, ripe or unripe. They can be caught and can fetch a good deal of foreign currency. Keeping in view the worsening condition of fruit growers in the advent of the W.T.O, the Wildlife Preservation Act, 1972, be amended suitably.

P.C. MISHRA, Rora (Palampur)



Bathinda Shatabdi

This refers to the letter regarding poor occupancy of the newly introduced Shatabdi Express on the New Delhi-Bathinda route. This service is mainly used by Patiala passengers and its occupancy on the Patiala-Bathinda section is almost nil mainly due to its early departure time (5 am) and late arrival (11.35 pm) at Bathinda. Moreover, this route is longer for Bathinda passengers, taking more than six hours in Shatabdi whereas an ordinary express train via Jind-Jakhal takes less than five hours.

In order to make the present Shatabdi service viable it is suggested that its route should be diverted to Ludhiana via-Patiala - Malerkotla; leaving Ludhiana at 5.30 am and arriving New Delhi around 10.30 am (before Amritsar Shatabdi) and in its return journey leaving New Delhi around 6 p.m and arriving Ludhiana at 11 pm. This would attract Ludhiana business community which would improve its occupancy. Alternatively, the Railways may think over to upgrade the existing Bathinda-New Delhi Intercity express to a Jan Shatabdi express or even extend the same up to Ferozepore as announced by the Railway Minister

R.K. SHARMA, Patiala

Bungling in PF refund

There is a large-scale bungling in the refund of provident fund to labour contractors by procurement agencies in connivance with provident fund Inspectors. An agency deducts provident fund @ 25.61 per cent on the actual amount of the bill of a contractor. Whereas the contractor just deposits 2 per cent only by way of a challan in a bank and submits to the agency a fake inspection report of a provident fund Inspector.

Can you imagine half of the amount is pocketed by officers of the agencies and the other half by labour contractors. Poor labourers are deprived of their legitimate dues and crores of rupees are being siphoned off every year. I request the Chief Minister of Punjab to order a CBI probe into this bungling.


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