HP units don’t bother about labour laws

This has reference to Jagmeet Ghuman’s report “Workers exploited in HP industrial belt” (April 14). Solan is not only the industrial centre but also the educational hub of the state. However, the manner in which these important assets are exploited by industries raises questions on managerial ethics.

Most educated unemployed are always in a dilemma to decide between unemployment and employment and once employed through recommendations, job satisfaction and pay rise become an impossible dream.

The so-called professional industries, in spite of earning huge profits, fail to apply labour laws and recognise its employees as human beings. Today’s industrial worker is only a component to perform multi-purpose obligations for 10-12 hours a day and the tasks performed are beyond job description.

Though obligatory, the companies deliberately avoid employing Himachalis and if ever employed, the jobs comprise unskilled and semi-skilled categories. The state’s three universities and numerous institutes provide adequate professional candidates, but as industries dodge the criteria of 65 per cent enrolment of bona fide Himachalis, the state is forced to suffer brain drain. This along with immigration brings cultural shift and adds to many other problems.

The industries don’t bother about training and development needs of the employees. Thus, even after putting their golden period of life, employees rarely find themselves synchronised with pace of time. The concepts of climate and culture of companies have long been forgotten.

Diligent enforcement of the labour laws would help companies fulfill their social responsibility and build up a good corporate image. It would also help retain talent and curb educated unemployment in the state.

KULDEEP CHAND ROJHE, Lecturer, M.S. Panwar Institute of Communications & Management, Solan



Consumer interest

The other day I was shocked to get a pouch of one litre of refined oil for Rs 54 as against the printed price of Rs 67 on it. Shopkeepers usually sell things at the printed rates and consumers are also satisfied. But of late, the prices are written much above the actual sale price and the price one gets an item depends on one’s bargaining capacity. There must be some device to check the cost of the product and its printed price.

Further, gifts of various kinds are being offered with each item. The consumer doesn’t know how the businessman is paying for it out of his profit. What are the consumer fora doing? These fora should explore ways and means to protect the interests of the consumers on their own, without waiting for the formal complaints.

V. K. SHARMA, Shimla

HUDA allotment

The system followed by the Haryana Urban Planning and Development Authority (HUDA) for the allotment of plots in Haryana is not efficient as it takes a very long time to refund the earnest money to the unsuccessful applicants. The date of draw is generally fixed within six months of completion after the last date of submission of the application. They should follow the same system followed by the share companies for the allotment of shares as in the case of Biocon public issue. I got the refund within one month of deposit of application.

HUDA should also refund the money to unsuccessful applicants within two months. Alternatively, they should hire a financial consultant to collect the earnest money and refund the same to unsuccessful applicants well in time. Then, HUDA can focus on holding the draw and allotment. I received the earnest money Rs 89,996 which I deposited with the Estate Officer, HUDA, Panchkula in November, 2003, for the alotment of a 10-marla plot in Sector 21, Part III of Panchkula till date.


Unjust criticism

Apropos of Nirupama Dutt’s article “Women for peace all around” (April 3), Shipra Handa in her letter (April 13) has rightly appreciated the constructive role played by women writers in furthering the cause of peace and unity in the sub-continent. However, she is unduly critical of men, being aggressive and violent wielding the sword.

While talking of and working for peace and unity in the Indian sub-continent, we need to keep the global perspective in mind. We must realise that we belong to one community, cultivate one virtue and are of one gender i.e. humanity. It is only by being a part and parcel of the humanity that we can serve all and spread love, peace and goodwill. Only then, we can fulfil our mission not only in the sub-continent but also at the global level.

PANKAJ KHURANA, Barwala, Hisar

Democracy, Bush style

Celebrity reporter Bob Woodward’s new book, “Plan of attack” details some crucial moments of decision making in the White House, where going to war in Iraq appears like going to picnic in the Rose Garden. A full 72 days before 9/11, Bush was gunning CIA Director George Tenet, not for intelligence on Osama, but for something more substantial than some vague satellite shots that he and his deputy brought in on cue from the President to find some dope on Saddam. Bush commented that “Joe public” would not buy that. Tenet assured Bush it is a dank slam-sure case.

Next, Rumsfeld wants up to a billion dollar budget to plan the preliminaries. Bush wants the planning to be secret and it is decided that money will be transferred from Afghanistan funding, without any prior sanction from the Congress. Another illegal operation.

Only after more or less finalising the private adventure of going to war, Bush thinks of his Secretary of State Colin Powell and informs him that the war is on. A surprised Powell could only ask if the President has thought of all the consequences?

This is how President Bush wants to bring democracy to the “uncivilised” Middle East and clips the democratic rights of his people. Will a fascist regime behave any different? Can he be trusted by the rest of the world when he sermonises in the name of democracy, freedom and peace?



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