We can achieve a higher growth rate

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s optimism on a higher growth rate of about 8 per cent is reasonable. But to achieve and sustain this, we have to create proper infrastructure. We have to take initiatives for reforms in a big way in the labour and energy sectors, rationalise the tax system, provide easy credit with low rates of interest and end the Inspector Raj. Growth of industry is necessary for the creation of more jobs.

The energy sector has to play a vital role in national development. We should go in for nuclear and gas-based units for cheaper electricity

— DEEPAK SARAF, Rampura Phul



Drug menace

The editorial ‘Drug menace’ (Aug 29) is timely. The drug peddlers have close ties with chemists and policemen. Reports that women in Ropar have come forward to check this menace is a healthy sign. Drug addiction is a curious habit. Young boys and girls fall into the trap just out of curiosity. And then, it becomes difficult for them to free themselves from this dangerous habit.

— Prof P.K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Though Himachal Pradesh has the credit of being a high literacy state, next to Kerala, many youths are falling prey to drug addiction. The state government’s measures like destroying the wild growth of cannabis, involving NGOs and opening counselling centres will help.


Costlier onions, potatoes

The retail price of onions in Haryana and Punjab markets has gone up to Rs 18 a kg. This is likely to rise further in the next few weeks. The reason: poor crop in Maharashtra following heavy rains. Potatoes are also becoming dearer; the retail price has gone up to Rs 15 a kg.

The government should take effective steps to check the rising prices. Otherwise, it will adversely affect the prospects of the ruling parties in the ensuing elections. Immediate steps are needed to check the rising prices in the interest of the common man.

— D.K. TALWAR, Panchkula

DA instalment due

Though the consumer price index has crossed 71.25 points on June 30, 2005, and two festivals — Dasara and Diwali — are fast approaching, the Central Government has not yet sanctioned the required 4 per cent hike in DA for the employees and pensioners from July 1. The Centre should do it immediately to help beneficiaries get the money along with their September salary (or pension) payable in October.

— SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

No relief to pensioners

The Punjab Government pensioners get relief at 65 and 75 years at the rate of 5 and 10 per cent respectively.

The Haryana Government should sanction this relief to those pensioners who were initially appointed in the erstwhile Punjab but allocated to Haryana after its formation on November 1, 1966.

Moreover, their service conditions are protected under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966. Denial of this benefit will be a gross injustice to the pensioners.

—  M.S. CHEEMA, Panchkula

Welcome decision

This has reference to the news-item “Pre-’47 soldiers get financial benefits” (Sept 8). Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has taken a timely decision by equating the gallantry of soldiers of pre-Independent India with those of post-Independent India and giving them the same financial benefits.

This should be welcomed by all. Other states should emulate it so that due credit is given to the soldiers of pre-Independent India.

— SATENDRA PHOGAT, Kamod (Bhiwani)

Awards for teachers

The present system of selection of good teachers for national awards is sickening. How ridiculous it is that a teacher is required to send his appraisal to the head of the department for the award? Today most talented teachers are not recognised. Any re-thinking on changing the system should be done in a truly democratic manner.

The selection process of a good teacher should be purely on merit and free from politics. It should be subject to closest scrutiny by eminent persons of the area, consultations with parents, guardians and also the students.

— KHUSHHAL THAKUR, Rampur Bushahr (HP)

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