Employment Act enacted in a hurry

The United Progressive Alliance Government enacted the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) Act in a hurry. Parliament did not examine the pros and cons of the Bill in greater detail before passing it.

In fact, the government itself is not clear about the scheme. So far it has only decided to invite suggestions for framing the rules, implying that it is putting the cart before the horse.

Moreover, people do not seem to feel secure as the scheme will remain operational only for 100 days per individual. The per diem remuneration under the scheme is too less. It may not be acceptable to the beneficiaries in the light of the rising prices of essential commodities.





The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act will help tackle unemployment and poverty in rural India. The jobs so created should mostly be in the field of infrastructure like roads, small irrigation schemes, agriculture marketing, dairy, poultry, fisheries, village sanitation and community welfare. The interest of women and children should receive priority.

However, care should be taken to ensure that unscrupulous politicians and employees do not siphon off these funds. Panchayats and NGOs should ensure proper implementation of the scheme. Every penny spent in each village should be notified in the area periodically. In the absence of such checks and balances, this scheme may also go down the drain like many poverty-alleviation schemes earlier.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula

Law on medical fee structure

This has reference to the news-item “Punjab to enact law on medical fee structure” (Sept 16). The state government’s decision to enact a law on the functioning, fee structure and admission process in private medical colleges and other institutions is a welcome step. This will stop exploitation of thousands of students seeking admission in private professional institutions every year and put a check on those institutions which are being opened with the sole purpose of minting money.

At the same time, it will also give a chance to brilliant students who wish to get admitted in reputed private institutions but cannot afford due to financial constraints.

Dr D.S. BHULLAR, Patiala

Sarabjit innocent

This is in response to the news-item “Sarabjit involved in blasts, says Musharraf” (Sept 11). Does it make any sense that Sarabjit Singh entered Pakistan and carried out several bomb blasts there all by himself and had no accomplice? From where did he get the bombs? Why did he want to kill innocent people there? Did he receive any legal help for his defense? The truth is that he is another victim of Pakistan’s anti-India propaganda. It is all cooked up. If Pakistan can keep our 54 Army personnel (captured in the 1971 war) in its jails for no reason, it can and will do anything to cause pain and sufferings to our people.



This has reference to the ongoing controversy regarding Sarabjit Singh. Indian officials should try to convince their Pakistani counterparts to take the help of technology to get the facts straight. DNA tests could be carried out on Sarabjit and his daughters to ascertain his identity. The onus is also on Pakistan’s liberals like Asma Jehangir and the media to speak out vociferously against the Pakistan Supreme Court judgement.

It is time we stopped his mindless butchery of innocent people at the altar of mistrust and hostility between the two countries.

Dr RANJIT SINGH MANN, Ferozepur Cantonment

EC shifts DC

The Election Commission has taken a commendable decision in nailing down the Rohtak Deputy Commissioner for his irregularities and for reportedly being partisan towards the interests of one particular political party in the forthcoming Lok Sabha by-election (Sept 19). The Election Commission, which is responsible for holding free and fair elections, has done its job well.

Major BALDEV SINGH, Ambala Cantonment

John Ruskin’s style

I was fascinated by the write-up on the warm friendship of Principal S.N. Bhardwaj and film director B.R. Chopra (Sept 9). It transported me also to my student days in 1954-56 at Punjab University College, Hoshiarpur, where Prof Bhardwaj taught us John Ruskin, whose style, according to him, was “rhythmic” with a measured flow of words.

While illustrating it, he devoted a full period to tell us the need and importance of “rhythm”— that we must maintain equilibrium, harmony and balanced approach in life. He seems to have practised what he preached, as he has attained the age of 93 now, despite the vicissitudes he faced.

Prof S.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Go beyond rituals

Every day, we have some celebration like Anti-tobacco Day or the other. Do these ritualistic one-day remembrances make any difference? Instead, we should change our mindsets to more significant social issues. Provision for moving the physically challenged or ailing persons at Chandigarh railway station platforms is one.

Why no one has ever considered, before approving the multi-storied flats in Chandigarh, that how, in the absence of lifts/ramps a handicapped person would go there. Independent bungalows are not within one’s reach and flats do not have the provision for letting handicapped persons in. Let’s do something concrete, something useful for society.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Congested bus stand

We thank the Himachal Pradesh government for sanctioning a bus stand at Joginder Nagar (Mandi). However, the space allotted for parking of buses is too less. As a result, it is causing inconvenience to both the drivers and the general public.

Joginder Nagar, on the National Highway, is a tourist spot. It attracts tourists from India and abroad. Therefore, the Transport Minister should get the shabby kiosks in front of the parking space removed, increase the area of the bus stand keeping in view the volume of traffic by extending it up to the Railway boundary, and get the PWD store shifted to some other place.



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