Need to check influx of migrants

I do not agree with the views expressed in your editorial “Influx of migrants” (Dec 30). First, though the law permits Indian citizens to work anywhere in the country, it does not mean that lakhs of persons (about 22 lakh according to a survey by Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana) come to a small state like Punjab endlessly and cause social, economic and housing problems in the state. Clearly, there should be a statutory limit to the influx of migrants.

Secondly, it is said that local youths are reluctant to take up jobs because of low pay. Before the migrants’ menace, the employees were able to get handsome pay.

Thirdly, before and after the arrival of migrants, there is no significant boom in Punjab’s economy. So, it is ridiculous to say that they serve the cause of economic growth.

The issue in question is: why do states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, instead of concentrating on their economic development, push their people to states like Punjab in search of jobs?






Ludhiana has the largest number of migrant labourers in Punjab — 30 per cent locals and 70 per cent migrants. After 10 years, Punjab will be like Australia where original Australians have been reduced to just 15 per cent of the population. The remaining comprise English, Irish and others.

Punjabis shall have little say in the affairs of the state if restrictions are not imposed on the migrants as regards their voting rights, their contesting for an elected post and their becoming owners of landed property.

Like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab should also enact laws for non-Punjabis. Punjabis do not mind outsiders living in Punjab. In fact, Himachal Pradesh would not have remained as such had there been no enactment of property-holding and tenancy laws.

To protect the originality, dominance and security of all Punjabis, there should be restrictions on land holding and purchase of properties — residential and commercial — by migrants.

S.K. HANS, Jalandhar


It is true that many people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have shifted to Punjab. This has totally changed the demographic scenario in the state. These migrants symbolically represent population explosion which no one, including the government, has taken note of.

Migrants are coming to Punjab and settling here permanently. I have yet to come across a migrant family with less than four children. On an average, a migrant family has six children contrary to the locals, who have adopted either the one-child or two-child norm. It is time the influx of migrants was checked.


Wanted: Blueprint for growth

In his article “Export of talent from Punjab” (Dec 16), Prof Amrik Singh has highlighted a pertinent aspect of the alarming situation emerging in Punjab. There is export of talent and expertise from Punjab, particularly to the US, the UK and Canada.

This situation is multi-dimensional as it is causing serious harm to the socio-economic fabric of Punjab. If positive and creative solutions are not evolved, it would lead to a serious economic and social crisis.

Therefore, the need of the hour is a road-map for economic growth, primarily focusing on diversification of agriculture and revamping the small-scale agro-based industrial sector. A blueprint of industrial growth should be prepared in which outside settlers (NRIs) of Punjab are encouraged to join in investment ventures to develop the state. NRIs could contribute a lot to Punjab’s economic growth and prosperity.

Economic rollback in Punjab could be possible only by removing administrative bottlenecks and gearing it up by initiating the privatisation of public services and liberalisation of the economy.

The target of greater productivity could be achieved and unemployment removed only through the process of liberalisation.

Dr AMAR NATH, Amritsar

BJP’s steady rise

The rise of the BJP from a peripheral entity to a central force in Indian politics has to be ascribed to the steady growth of anti-Congressism. The quantum jump of the BJP from two seats in 1984 to 86 in 1989, may be attributed to the decision of the National Front to have an alliance with the BJP in the 1989 parliamentary elections for ousting the Congress from power.

The short-sightedness of the Left Front caused by its anti-Congressism was also responsible for the emergence of the BJP as a powerful force in these elections. These factors enabled the BJP in capturing power after the 1998 and 1999 parliamentary elections. This may once again enable the BJP-led NDA to capture power in the next parliamentary elections as well. However, the Congress’ Big Brother attitude is also responsible for its present plight.

PROF RANBIR SINGH, Nilokheri (Karnal)

Make it foolproof

After the Supreme Court made it compulsory for those contesting elections to legislatures to declare their assets and income particulars to the Election Commission while filing their nomination papers, elections to five state assemblies have been held. All the contestants gave the necessary financial data.

In many cases, the data made its way to the Press. A cursory perusal of the details reveals that the size of the assets does not match the income.

Such declarations would not amount to more than ritualistic compliance unless they are forwarded to the Income-Tax Department for verification and cross-verification with their records.

For this purpose, a separate wing should be set up in the Directorate of Investigations where competent officers with proven track record of integrity should be posted. If anything is found amiss in the statements furnished by the candidates, the officers should take corrective and punitive action.

This wing in the Income-Tax Department should be put in place before the coming elections. It would go a long way towards improving the political health of the country.

R.C. KHANNA, Amritsar


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