Drive against Swami may help MNCs

With so many political issues to be raised and with Assembly elections being round the corner, one really wonders why Ms. Brinda Karat should kick up a controversy over a totally non-political matter.

If she was really so concerned about the well-being of the masses, why has she not raised the issue of under-age and under-paid workers of hundreds of private organisations? And if she is really so enthusiastic about “vegetarianism” (mind, the Russian language has already thrown this word out of its dictionary), why has she not raised her voice against the slaughterhouses even in West Bengal?

One may wonder whether the political evil of cash-for-question or commission in the MPLAD scheme has spread across the party line. After all, Swami Ramdev has been an obstruction in the unchecked spread of many a food and drug MNCs.

One thing is very clear: Ms. Karat’s overenthusiastic and even uncalled for condemnation of Ramdev’s alleged unlawful mode of preparing drugs will not help her gain any vote. In any case, her protests could help, some MNCs to gain business. The next sting operation may throw some light on this controversy.

Ved Guliani, Hisar

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Overbridges are useless

The inflow of traffic has increased in Delhi and all other metropolitan cities to such an extent that it is next to impossible to walk comfortably on roads and in most markets. Pedestrians’ problems are ignored when flyovers are constructed.

To cross roads, it takes a much longer time than required — senior citizens, handicapped persons, children and women find very difficult to cross roads. Subways are not that comfortable and convenient for these people and overbridges are useless for them. In fact, overbridges to cross roads have failed to serve any purpose. But another overbridge has come up at Yusaf Sarai near AIIMS. Subways are much better than overbridges. Overbridges should not be constructed anywhere.

Mahesh Kumar New Delhi.

How to end corruption

Corruption cannot be stopped at the lower level. It can only be stopped at the law-maker’s level. All these years we have been following an ineffective approach to stopping corruption. In the past we were going after the little fish while the big fish swam freely.

In the sixties when I was at Government College in Chandigarh, there was an ongoing joke about a certain MP who will, on your behalf, call anybody for Rs 500.

I am glad better sense has prevailed. Corruption will stop only if we go after the big fish.

Nick Grewal, Columbus, Ohio (US)

Blow to Shiv Sena

With Raj Thackeray’s exit from the Shiv Sena, once a major political force in Maharashtra, the party has suffered the biggest blow. As he pointed out, he had to take this “painful” decision because of being politically sidelined and in the Sena for many years.

Though the Raj-Uddhav tussle has never been a secret, Bal Thackeray has prevailed over the cousins in the past and compelled them to sink their differences. But this time around Raj refused to budge. After days of dithering he bid goodbye to the Shiv Sena.


What’s VAT?

The Centre introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) to make customers aware of the minimum retail price (MRP) while purchasing basic things. However, till date the concept is not clear to the customers and traders. The latter are now happier because they add VAT in the basic amount as well as in the bill. They threaten customers not to demand for bills as it will cost them more by 4 per cent to 12.5 per cent. There is no check on the shopkeepers who do not issue bills to customers. The customers must insist on bills.

The government should ask the training firms to grove the price of the product instead of labelling it. It should also ask the traders to display prominently the point on tax evasion and the need to promote VAT.


Monitor development

Your editorial, ‘Design for New Year’ (Jan 4) provides a schematic layout plan for infrastructure development in India. With the arrival of the New Year, the Prime Minister has not only outlined his priorities but fortified them by providing funds for the same, a most common hurdle in effective implementation of plans. Even legal hassles have been erased through a legal framework. In a way, the stage is all set to intensify infrastructure development and label 2006 as the `Year of Infrastructure’ in India.

Our experience shows that close monitoring holds the key to effective implementation of infrastructure plans. As differences among the states are bound to arise, the Prime Minister should himself chair these meetings to resolve matters.

JAGVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh


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