Thursday, January 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Financial system allows loot of public money

The recent JPC report on the 2001 stock market scam and the UTI fiasco is a farce and mere eyewash. Since the infamous Bofors gum scandal of 1986, financial scams in India have become the order of the day. There is an all-round, broad-day loot of public money by a nexus of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and bankers. The RBI, SEBI and the DCA under the Finance Ministry, who are supposed to be the watchdogs of the Indian financial system, have become helpless spectators to the loot and only do fire-fighting after scams have taken place.

Thousand s of crores of public money gobbled up by these sharks has been siphoned off to secret Swiss bank accounts and deposited in other countries through a foreign exchange racket nicknamed as “Ultra Hawala”. During the period 1990-95, thousands of finance companies, the so-called NBFCs promoted by wayward thugs, right under the nose of the RBI and the DCA, lured the general public by high rates of interest and disappeared after collecting about Rs 40,000 crore. After the 1992 Harshad Mehta stock market scam, unscrupulous promoters floated IPOs in the stock market. After collecting more than 25,000 crore rupees from a gullible public, they vanished and The Finance Ministry could do nothing to punish the culprits.

In the greatest Indian bank robbery till date, more than Rs 1,10,000 crore of public money deposited in banks has become bad debts, popularly called as NPAs. This huge public money has been swallowed up by corrupt industrialists. Though the government has now passed the Securitisation Act, there is hardly any hope of the banks recovering more than 10 per cent of the NPAs.


The government and the RBI have been constantly lowering rates of interest on public deposits to cover up the huge bad debts. The Central Government itself has an internal debt of more than one lakh crore rupees, leaving aside the external debt, which has already crossed $100 billion. Today the Indian financial system is at stake and if immediate and concerted action is not taken by the government, it would break down soon, which ultimately would lead to the disintegration of India as it happened in the erstwhile U.S.S.R.

Wg. Cdr. GURMAIL SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Misinformed on Malaysia

This refers to the piece on Malaysia written by M.S.N. Menon.

The author does not seem to know the real Malaysia.

If you want a true perspective, let a Malaysian like me explain to you. It is a very moderate Muslim country where all other religions are allowed to be practised without obstruction or intimidation. There have been so-called racial riots only twice in Malaysia’s history once in 1969 (mainly between the Chinese and the Malays over some election wins) and, secondly, more recently in an isolated area of KL called Kampung Medan. This was between two rival groups (Indian and Indonesian Malays). The first riot saw a couple of hundred people being killed and in the second not more than a couple. We have more people die in a day in road accidents!

No Indian feels intimidated or is fearful even travelling in the wee hours of the morning in Malaysia. If they are fearful, then it is of other Indians.

The issue of positive discrimination by the government was a wise move (in India you have reservation of the lower income groups. In Malaysia the government provided opportunities through jobs, scholarships and business ventures to uplift the economic well-being of the Malays, which has seen a more integrated community in business and in professional positions.

When our neighbour Indonesia, was burning in racial riots due to the economic downturn, you would not find one incident of that nature in Malaysia.

Being an Indian, I only had to wait for two weeks to get a job after graduation. Is that unacceptable?

We have a unique concept of open house where during the various cultural and religious festivals, people from all walks of life visit the other communities to wish them well and also join the celebrations.

We hold elections freely every five years and these are open and fair. No incidents of burning, looting or killing unlike India, where politicians use every tool (religion, caste, race, social standing, professions, sex) to win — always at a cost to the commoner.

Come to Malaysia, look at the GDP, balance of payment, infrastructure development, business climate etc. The country is progressing full steam ahead.



Dates clash

We, the students of +2 request Panjab University to change the date (May 18, 2003) fixed for the entrance examination for the PMT/CET because Banaras Hindu University has already notified this date for an admission test for its MBBS and BAMS courses. Many students will not be able to appear in the BHU exams.

NEHA VAID, ANKIT and others, Chandigarh


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