High time to check price rise

The editorial “Price rise is worrying” (Feb 12) sends a warning signal to the Centre and the states. The price rise is the product of the World Trade Organisation’s policies which are full of entrapments and were never discussed in an open and transparent manner.

The money-making mafia in the market chain has no scruples and the consumer is forced to shell out 200 per cent more than the wholesale price. In this fraudulent and cheating game, the administration is hand in gloves with the mafia. Unfortunately, farm products lack outlets nearer to their sites and farmers perforce have to haul the products to the mandis where greed for more and more money, hoarding and monopoly rule the roost.

The agricultural universities have also slipped into a state of inertia because of constraints in funding and understaffing which impinges on the research and development programmes of the scientists.

The situation on the agriculture front is alarming. Corrective measures should be put in place to correct the fault lines. Otherwise, the inherent greed for money and hoarding will prove the adage that the greedy do not brook to be disloyal but also have no qualms in selling the “faith”.

Lt-Col CHANAN SINGH DHILLON (retd), Ludhiana



The Centre hardly took any effective steps to contain price rise. Besides vegetables and dals, the price of wheat flour is quite prohibitive - Rs 15 a kg! This is beyond the reach of a BPL family. When the government and private agencies procured wheat for less than Rs 750 a quintal from the farmers, what is the justification to double the price of wheat flour?

India has enough buffer stock of food grains including wheat. The import-export of some quantity cannot oscillate the scales go violently. In fact, the government is dancing to the tune of hoarders and stockholders who feed the bigwigs lavishly. National food grain policies are tailored or tampered with to give benefit to a particular clan of favoured merchants.

The common man is worst affected due to unprecedented price rise. Every consumer is feeling disillusioned with the performance of the UPA government at the Centre.



The RBI has half-heartedly ventured to control inflation by increasing the CRR and the banks by raising RLR. Inflation cannot be checked until the loans are stopped for non-productive assets.

The main cause of inflation is the easy availability of bank loans on low rate of interest, particularly for housing. More than 80 per cent of housing loans are for addition of a room or renovation and only 20 per cent of the advances are to provide a house to the have-nots. Such cheap loans should be given only to the families who don’t have a roof over their head.

Those desirous of adding to their housing real estate should be charged commercial rates of interest. The RBI and the government should evolve methods to ensure that cheap loans for housing to the poor are not misappropriated by the well off to increase their real estate wealth. Cheap funds in the name of housing loans have increased the price of land manifold resulting in the decrease of land for food production.

T.C. CHOPRA, Nabha


The harmful effect of the steep rise in inflation-induced prices of essential commodities is cause for concern. The prices of wheat, rice, mustard oil, vegetable oil, rajma, chana, besan, arhar dal, etc. have been rising. These coupled with the steep rise in inflation, which was promised to be checked by the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister with no result will affect the micro-finance of the middle class, the fixed income and the poorer sections of society.

The government should take urgent steps to contain inflation and make available essential food items at reasonable prices.

R.N. LAKHOTIA, New Delhi


Even though prices of fruits, wheat, pulses, meat, milk, fish are touching sky high, there is no austerity drive by the Centre and the states. Ministers, MPs, MLAs and political bosses are leading a luxurious life with little concern for the common people.

The main reasons for inflation are globalisation, the WTOs’ policies, and the government’s craze for earning foreign exchange. Why can the government not export only those items which are surplus at home?

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


Direct rail link with Delhi

Even after 59 years of Independence, there is no direct train linking Delhi with Amritsar and Ludhiana via Rohtak, Jakhal and Dhuri. A large number of passengers travel daily in both directions for business purposes, to fulfill family/ social obligations and pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, Amritsar and Dera Beas.

Additionally, thousands of Sikh devotees between Ludhiana and Jakhal travel throughout the year to Patna and Nanded Sahib. Yet, they have been deprived of a direct train to the two destinations.

The absence of a direct day train from Delhi to Ludhiana and of an afternoon train in the reverse direction is another peculiar feature of this most neglected railway route. The Railway Minister, his two Ministers of State and the Railway Board Chairman should redress the long-standing grievance of the people of this region.

S. L. SHARMA, Sangrur 

Make it cheaper

The telecom department can afford to make the system cheaper. One aspect is the monthly rentals. At present a fixed rental is charged every month. Care should be taken of small users who make very few calls a month, but have to pay the same monthly rental.

It would be better if this rental is charged in proportion to the calls made every month. This would encourage users to make fewer calls, reducing load over department lines.

Prof P.K. GUPTA,Bathinda


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