Banks should encourage micro finance

This has reference to Manoj Kumar’s report “Low bank penetration hits common man” (Dec 11). He has rightly taken up the issue of  banking not reaching 87 per cent of country’s population. Owing to this, most villagers and poor people are always stuck in the trap of moneylenders.

The government will have to encourage micro finance in the country on a big scale. To set up a small tea shop in a roadside corner, one needs a loan of Rs 200. Similarly, a poor boy needs almost the same amount to do the job of a cobbler. Even for this, our banks are not coming forward to extend liberal assistance to the needy.

Our national banks have a duty and responsibility to enter the area of micro finance in a big way to help the poor and downtrodden sections of society. The banks must help them eke out a living and make them self-reliant.


Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief



Mentally deranged

I refer to the news-items “Doosri Radha”, “Another UP official on divine path” and “Boy Parvati marries Lord Shiva” (Nov 28). Persons holding top official posts require medical counselling first before facing departmental or judicial inquiry. They are mentally sick, suffering from a type of schizophrenia or split personality in which they experience various types of illusion, delusion and hallucination, which overpower their normal mental faculties, and they become attention seekers.

Mr Panda, who was Inspector-General of Police (Rules) of Uttar Pradesh, has now retired voluntarily. But he and another official in the same state should have been sent on psychiatric treatment till their recovery. Their wives too should be patient enough to know the basic reason of their strange behaviour which a common man finds funny or illogical.


Improve Kalka-Shimla highway

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has rightly called upon his Haryana counterpart, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, to construct the bypass to Kalka and Pinjore towns and delink their construction from the National Highway projects.

The Kalka-Shimla highway is the gateway to Himachal Pradesh. However, due to the poor condition of the road and extensive encroachment by traders in Kalka and Pinjore, there are frequent traffic jams resulting in huge loss of time, fuel and damage to environment. The centre of Pinjore town and the area in front of Kali Mata Mandir in Kalka Bazar are major bottlenecks where there are no traffic police.

Meanwhile, all encroachments should be removed to facilitate maximum utilisation of the road. The traffic police should constantly regulate the traffic. Dharampur deserves a taxi-cum-bus stand to ease congestion.

Lt-Col JIWAN SHAROTRI (retd), Kasauli

Politicising relief

Pakistan’s intransigence in internationalising the Kashmir issue is sickening. It does not let go of any opportunity whether the occasion is appropriate or not. The recent international conference in Pakistan to raise funds for the quake-hit victims is a case in point.

Diplomatic niceties apart, General Musharraf has reportedly appealed to solve the Kashmir problem “once and for all”. This implied that India was not being sincere about the whole thing, whereas the reality is just the opposite. It is Pakistan that has failed to honour its commitment to keep terrorists at bay.

Pakistan has put terrorist outfits in charge of aid distribution so that they improve their image in the eyes of the Pakistani people. The world community must take due note of it.


Follow the CMP

The editorial “Policy bargains” rightly says that the Left and the UPA should devote their energies to governance as stipulated in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

Neither the UPA nor the Left can ignore it. In the CMP, it has been mentioned that India shall follow an independent foreign policy. To vote against Iran following the US pressure is against the independent foreign policy of our nation.

The CMP also mentions that there shall be no disinvestment in profit-making PSUs and Navratnas. No one can blame the Left for confrontation if the UPA disregards the CMP.

C.R. PATTAR, Tohana (Fatehabad)

Scrap the Act

The state governments are not ready to implement the Electricity Act, 2003. Experts say, if implemented, this Act would push the country to economic slavery.

For the last over two years, the Punjab State Electricity Board has shown a remarkable improvement in its functioning. Its fiscal health has improved because of the significant contributions made by its staff.

When the state governments and their engineers, who are the backbone to run the existing boards in the country on economic lines, have opposed this Act tooth and nail, why is the Centre forcing its implementation on the states?

In the national interest, this Act should be scrapped instead of the Centre giving frequent extensions to the states for its implementation.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Focus on corruption

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development should direct the state governments to introduce a new subject on corruption in the schools and colleges. This should be included in the syllabi of graduation and post-graduate courses also. Specialisation on corruption for doctorate is also welcome.

Those discarded from their services after proven charges of corruption may act as guest faculty for giving lectures. The most corrupt person in the country should reward the student scoring the highest marks. The jury may find it difficult to select such a person. Later, private institutions too should chip in.

The new subject on corruption will give an opportunity to the tainted ministers to earn a bread for themselves as they may become the authors of books and publications on corruption.



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