FDI in retail must help small business

THE ceiling on the FDI limit generally has two purposes, namely, national interest and the interest of small businesses. The FDI limit in retail is not being hiked to cater to the latter.

The big players of the Indian retail like Reliance, Pantaloon, Big Bazaar etc. have already started frantic efforts in expansions and takeovers to counter the FDI threat. But the small businesses are still in no comfortable position as Reliance, according to them, is as good a threat as Walmart. Hence any delay in the hike of the FDI limit is only nurturing some big players to establish themselves that they can compete with those of the world. It is making the problems of the smaller players worse.

Even Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath’s statement in support of L.N. Mittal’s Arcelor bid to the European Union that the investment has no colour of nationality should support this argument. The government has already decided to open up the retail sector. Thus, it should make the picture clear for the small players and also the ordinary customers who will derive benefit from the lifting up of the FDI limit.


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


Hold the price line

In recent months, the prices of pulses and cereals have gone up considerably. These are going to be out of the common man’s reach. It is time the authorities concerned imported these items to stabilise the prices in the domestic market. If the government does not hold the price line, it would lead to social interest.


Verdict of history

I refer to V. Krishna Ananth’s article “Containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions” (Feb 11). Developing and possessing nuclear weapons may be the sovereign right of sovereign nations, but in too many hands it is anarchy, the potential catastrophe. Peace under “Panch Parmeshwars” is the vedict of history. The Almighty has already provided “Panch Parmeshwars” in the US, Russia, China, India and European Union for this globe.

Peace is man’s birthright, besides being the scripture of humanity.


CM and his statistics

“Whenever I see a statistician”, wrote Goebbels in his dairy, “my hands reach for the revolver”. Punjab is reeling under unprecedented power cuts. Farmers are committing suicide. Prices are rising. And owning a house now remains a distant dream for Aam aadmi.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh continues to feed us with statistics of his government’s “achievements” through front-page advertisements in the newspapers. Clearly, this exercise is intended to woo the voters in the ensuring elections to the State Assembly.

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)

Donation of human organs

WHILE we are very liberal in donating funds for religious purposes like langars, temple beautification programmes including marble or gold laying works, we do not appreciate the need to donate our organs for a just cause.

I intend to donate my body to needy persons as well as for medical professionals and students. I don’t know whether I can take independent action for donation without my family’s knowledge or I will have to take them into confidence well before my soul flees forever.

I am now 61 with a good fauji physique and am free from any disease. I would be grateful to anyone who can throw some light on this issue and educate people.

Lt-Col M.S. GURU (retd), Khanna (Ludhiana)


Tax on housing

The Punjab State Electricity Board has provided free accommodation to its employees working in the thermal plant. The accounts wing takes 15 per cent of the gross salary in lieu of rent-free housing for calculating the Income-tax, treating the Board as a private company. The tax deducted on this account is more than the market rent of the housing provided by the Board.

Since the PSEB is a statutory body, Income-tax in lieu of rent-free housing should be based on standard rent of accommodation/ assessed value as is being done in other government departments. The income-tax department should clarify.

V.K. GUPTA, Ropar

Modernise forces

Lt-Gen Rajinder Nath’s article on modernisation of armed forces (Feb 14) is thought provoking. Chinese military aid to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal does not augur well for our security. This coupled with Pak-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India, Maoist violence in Nepal and neighbouring Indian states are matters of great concern for concerned Indians.

The writer’s valuable suggestions regarding development of latest weapon systems, reorganisation of the Defence Ministry and introduction of the Chief of Defence Staff system should be examined at the highest level and implemented in national interest.

Lt-Col H.S. CHEEMA (retd), Amritsar

Rangers victimised

The Himachal Pradesh government should pay attention to the sad plight of qualified and competent workers in the Forest Development. Some months ago, qualified Forest Rangers were ignored for promotion to the posts of Assistant Conservator of Forest. Suffice it to mention that one has to pass the requisite departmental examination for promotion to all the gazetted posts.

The government should pay due regard to qualified employees to protect the forest wealth of the state. The parents and guardians of serving Rangers as also the Senior Citizens’ Forum have been appealing to the Chief Minister to promote the victimised Rangers. A favourable response brooks no delay.


Forest guards

The Himachal Pradesh government is in the process of recruiting forest guards in the Class IV category on an all-India basis. There is no all-India recruitment for the said posts in other states except in armed and paramilitary forces. I do not see any hope of local youth getting recruited to these posts if the recruitment is done on an all-India basis.

I.S. TOMAR, Nahan

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