Foreign trade policy: Old wine in new bottle

The new foreign trade policy announced by Union Commerce Minster Kamal Nath is old wine in new bottle in terms of focus market and focus product replacing the target plus scheme not sufficient to achieve 20 per cent targeted growth rate of exports.

To fully utilise the potential of Indian economy and generate jobs, convert the Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) into a multinational corporation. The 10 per cent cut in the FOB value of exports by restaurants will not help internationalisation of Indian vegetarian food. As this sector has enough potential, it should be monitored properly for achieving the targets.

The new package and schemes for agriculture under the renamed Vishesh Krishi Upaj and GramYojana appears to be rosy for ushering in rainbow revolution in tune with the National Agriculture Policy 2000.It remains to be seen whether the incentives of duty free scrip at the rate of 5 per cent of FOB value of exports of village and cottage industry will actually help or not.

Prof M.M. GOEL, Dept of Economics, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

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Centre must hold the price line

After the Union Budget for 2006-07 was tabled in Parliament, there has been a spurt in the prices of essential commodities. Milkfed took the lead by increasing the milk price by one rupee a litre. The prices of cement and steel have been increasing by leaps and bounds. Gold has been hovering around Rs 8,000 per 10 gm; it is expected to touch Rs 10,000 per 10 gm during the Diwali season. With the increase in service tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, prices of essential commodities such as pulses, edible oils, wheat, sugar etc are increasing day by day. After the elections to four states and one Union Territory, prices of petrol, diesel and LPG are expected to rise following the recommendation of the Rangarajan Committee.

Is this the UPA Government’s way of helping Aam admi? The Centre must hold the price line if it cares for the common man.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Why blame system?

Why are teachers failing in their duty? It is not a question of institutional failure. Blaming the institution for their own failure is bad. The truth is that most Indians are congenital shirkers.

Democracy has empowered the people to ventilate their grievances at appropriate levels and seek their redressal. But why should teachers fall prey to victims of forces which have devoured others?

Can we identify and segregate the present-day teachers from the general rush of humanity in terms of character, conduct and behaviour? This may be difficult, but the builders of the nation should stop moral posturing and learn to behave.

AKHILESH, Birampur (Hoshiapur)

Setback to education

This has reference to the news-item “Vacant posts plague college” (March 25). The college education system in Himachal Pradesh is devoid of quality and excellence. Not only Nurpur, many colleges have no teachers for past many years.

At present 16 colleges in the state are without principals. The government has announced opening eight new colleges in the next academic session (obliviously without principals and staff). Prompt payment of incentives and dues to workers will promote efficiency and a new work ethic. However, those promoted as Principals in June 2004, are yet to get their biennial increment in both old and new grades.


Interest and bonus

The NDA government had reduced the interest rates of PPF, EPF, GPF and small saving schemes in post offices. The banks reduced interest rates from 14 to 5 per cent per annum. Recently, the UPA government has scrapped bonus (10 per cent) on MIS accounts in the post offices.

The families of most depositors are poor, some of them being retirees and widows. In the absence of any income, they virtually have no purchasing power. The government should restore the old interest rates of 14 per cent and full bonus on MIS accounts in the interest of the suffering people.


Wrong venue

The Punjab Excise and Taxation Department recently announced the schedule and venues for the allocation of vends of Punjab Medium Liquor, Indian Mode Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and wholesale vends of Bhang. In Amritsar, the venue is Guru Nanak Bhavan, a centre of socio-cultural activities built in the sacred and pious memory of the First Sikh Guru. By using such a place for allocation of liquor and Bhang vends, the department has shown disrespect to Guru Nanak Dev’s memory.


Tackling corruption

I was overwhelmed to read the news-item “Nawanshahr takes lead in tackling corruption” (March 25). The reforms brought about by the Deputy Commissioner of Nawanshahr are praiseworthy. To eliminate corruption in the present set up seems impossible. This man has done it. Not only corruption has been minimised but also the people are able to get their works done easily.

Deputy Commissioner Krishan Kumar has show the way to the rest of the country. May his tribe increase!

HARNEK SINGH, Sarpanch, Aloona Pallah (Ludhiana)


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