CAG’s concern for Himachal spending

The news item “CAG pulls up HP Government” is an eloquent though worrisome commentary on the extremely grave fiscal health of the Himachal government. Yet, the lawmakers are helping themselves with another hike in their salaries, allowances and perks!

As the report indicates, the fiscal liabilities of the state have almost doubled, the interest liability on the loans have shot up with the increase in interest payment having reached 175 per cent!

Sadly, there is no let up in the government’s indulgent ways. When political expediency and voter appeasement become the guiding principles of the politicians, good governance, financial discipline and accountability are bound to go for a big six. For instance, can the government justify doling out NPAs to a section of its employees while ignoring others? This is discriminatory, undemocratic and arbitrary.

It is time the government did some soul-searching, stopped its wasteful expenditure and refrained from populist doles. Instead, it should consult experts and pull back the state from the financial morass.


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



Promise and performance

The Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Union Finance Ministry, in an advertisement, called upon the people to pay taxes as the money so collected is used for public health services, promoting literacy, education and so on. However, there is a big gap between promise and performance.

Let me cite my own experience. When I took my wife to the Emergency ward of Chandigarh’s Govt. Medical College Hospital (she suffered a severe arterial cut), before giving prompt aid, we were told to arrange things like cotton roll, sterilised cotton, ATS injection, syringes, medicines, etc. We had no alternative but to arrange them.

Meanwhile, the Director-Principal, GMCH, Dr H.M. Swami, is yet to reply to me letter of March 29, 2006. In this letter, I had asked him why even a profusely bleeding patient had to first arrange first aid items before being treated.

Two questions arise in this context. One, how do the CBDT and the Finance Ministry justify the ad? And two, what is the use of the Right to Information Act when the Director-Principal, GMCH, does not reply to my letter?

S.P. SINGH, Chandigarh

Learn from the past

We should learn from the colonial past instead of living in it. In 1903, the British laid the Kalka-Shimla railway line. It has been declared a world heritage site today. However, we have not been able to extend or improve upon the line even by 1 km till date.

Similarly, the British had carefully compiled gazettes of all districts. We have preserved them with no plans to update most of them. British history is being taught in schools and colleges. However, what is not taught is the Britons’ positive, cheerful and  adventurous spirit.

SONJAI KARIR, Military School, Chail (Solan)

Crazy for publicity

I do not know why politicians are so crazy for publicity these days. This is in sharp contrast to the leaders’ attitude in the past. Earlier, the leaders were shy of publicity and self-aggrandisement, but not anymore.

These days, huge advertisements are flashed in newspapers and on television regarding the governments’ so-called achievements. Is it all necessary at the taxpayers’ expense? Leaders are so crazy everyone wants to see his photo and name in the advertisements.

This exercise is followed even for routine advertisements inviting tenders for execution of repair works of municipal corporations. In one such instance, I was surprised to see the names of some top state leaders!

TEJ RAM GOYAL, Chandigarh

Fleecing must stop

Ordinary buses of Haryana Roadways from Chandigarh to Delhi stop at Ganaur. Passengers, after over three hours of tiring journey, find the toilets of the bus stand in a shameful condition. Ladies toilets emit foul smell and it is not possible to use them.

There is one canteen, but no rate list is displayed. As a result, the contractor cheats the passengers. Unauthorised vendors, in collusion with the bus stand staff, openly loot the passengers by selling spurious eatables. The bus drivers and the conductors enjoy free hospitality at the cost of the passengers. It appears no official does surprise inspection. Will the Haryana Transport Minister please help rectify this?


Another gimmick?

I have spent a long time of my life in the holy city of Tarn Taran. I have frequently travelled on the Tarn Taran- Amritsar Road. The bridge that was reported has been a faulty project ever since its construction. My engineering background prompted me to report the “wrong design” to the administration, but I was not only turned back but even made a mockery of myself in front of the “intelligent” Thekedars.

Now comes another political stunt that Tarn Taran will be accorded the district status. Will the ‘We are God’ attitude incorporated in the Punjab administration help us?

JASJEET SINGH, Graduate Business School, University of Aberdeen Scotland (UK)

No recognition

The British left the country almost on the brink of breakdown. To maintain the territorial integrity and oneness of the population as a nation against the onslaught of communal riots, destruction due to famine, floods, earthquakes, epidemics and other fissiparous tendencies, lakhs of defence service personnel rendered supreme sacrifice with their lives and consequent miseries to their families. The process continues unabated.

It is a pity that the Centre and the state do not recognise the sacrifices of the defence services personnel. The sooner our services are recognised, the better it would be for the country.

Air Marshal P.K. JAIN (retd), Chandigarh

Bank robbery

I refer to the recent bank robbery at Amritsar. The manner in which the keys of the strong room were lodged at the branch overnight is indeed surprising and considered an act of gross negligence on the part of the officials concerned. Either they should have carried the keys on their person or should have kept these separately in the fire and burglary proof safe at the branch.

V.M. SETH, Sonepat


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