Partnership for HP growth welcome

THE Himachal Pradesh government’s plan for public-private partnership (PPP) in infrastructural development is welcome. The private sector must help put the state on a fast track and make the project cost commensurate with innovation in design, construction and operation.

For PPP’s success, the projects selected should be well conceived, economically viable, attractive for private investment and suitably guarded against unforeseen risks of the investors through risk-sharing mechanisms.

Road projects of small stretches which can be completed early need to be given priority instead of going in for bigger projects like Bhanupali-Bilaspur BG rail link or Shimla-Kalka tunnel-cum- overbridge expressway. This will demonstrate the private sector’s capacity in the hilly state and build public confidence.

Er B.P. HANDA, Shimla

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

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— Editor-in-Chief



Power projects

I read the report “HP seeks Central help for share in power project” (April 25). As hydroelectric power is its main resource, the state government’s goal should be to develop it on its own. It should learn from the past mistakes and should not hand over these resources to outside agencies including Central PSUs for an indefinite period.

However, if required, licences for development of power projects can be given for a fixed time span, say 30 to 40 years, as per the international practice. After this period, the projects should be transferred to the state free of cost as the investors would have got the money back with sufficient profits. Making such a provision in the agreements would avoid a situation like the one faced by the Bhakra-Beas Management Board (BBMB).

Er C.L. GUPTA, Jaidevi (HP)

World Asthma Day

TODAY is World Asthma Day (May 3). The incidence of asthma has been increasing all over the world. Changes in the environment due to growing urbanisation, western lifestyle besides other factors are responsible for this.

Asthma treatment is costly. For control of persistent asthma, patients should inhale corticosteroids (the best available treatment) daily for some years. The cost of this therapy is at least Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per year, which is beyond the reach of most patients. To control asthma effectively, this treatment has to be made affordable.

National and international action is necessary to reduce the prices of essential drugs so that the patients can use them and lead a normal life. Pharmaceutical companies should produce cheaper generic inhalers.

Dr R.S. BEDI, Patiala


Teachers for teaching

The report “No non-academic duties for Punjab teachers” (April 18), though belated, is welcome. With 28,000 posts lying vacant in government schools and the state government unwilling to fill them, this will make the existing staff available to the students.

Let the teachers utilise their time and energies in imparting good education to their students. Owing to shortage of staff, their deputation on non-academic duties like elections, census, surveys etc affected teaching in schools.

Teachers and students are treated as standby staff by the district authorities for official functions or VIP visits. They should not be forced to leave schools and asked to wave flags to visiting VIPs and listen to political speeches which are of no interest to students.

Prof N.K. GOSAIN, Dept of English, DAV College, Bathinda


The report “No non-academic duties for Punjab teachers” (April 18) is welcome. This will help students very much as the teachers can hereafter concentrate on teaching. Generally poor students study in government schools and their education was getting affected due to the long absence of teachers deployed on non-academic duties.

The Himachal government should emulate Punjab. Teaching days are needed to be increased. Teachers should be relieved of various school-funded building and construction works under the Sarv Shikshya Abhiyan. This work should be handed over to agencies like PWD.

SURENDER KABIR, Khabbal (Kangra)

Defer VAT

The USA has not introduced VAT for the last 25 years. It is not worthwhile to impose VAT on unwary, illiterate, small trade and small-scale industry people in India. VAT introduced by some states is complicated and troublesome.

Most industries are enjoying exemption from sales tax. Goods bought from exempted units is allowed notional (imaginary) input credit of VAT which the trade and industry are unable to understand. The Government of India should defer VAT till the people are able understand the concept and its merits.

CHANAN SINGH AHUJA, Vice-President, Federation of Yarn Trade & Industries, Ludhiana

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