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Centre must hold the price line

India is facing unprecedented price rise. If prices rise once, they rarely come down. The extent of the hike is in the range of 20 to 25 per cent. In India, 3 per cent of people earn about Rs 20 a day; 40 per cent eat once a day; and the remaining 40 per cent eat whatever is available. Only 20 per cent eat according to their choice. But due to this oppressive price rise, the common man’s life has become miserable.

Now the UPA’s strategists claim that the prices of edible oils are coming down and the rupee is becoming stronger. This will encourage exports and the balance of trade shall tilt in the farmers’ favour. But producers, exporters, brokers and wholesalers will corner such advantages and the benefits won’t trickle down to poor consumers.

As for the global character of inflation, India is no different from other countries. It is also a big producer of essential commodities with a large consumption market. Fiscal measures taken of late may yield negligible benefits, but cannot change the basic character of price rise.

Inflation spreads like cancer. If controlled at the initial stage, it can yield some results. The current crisis should not lead to hyper inflation as in China during the post-Second World War period when the commodities’ rates increased so swiftly that the prices of meals in hotels rose soon after one finished one’s lunch or dinner. We cannot afford to have such a scenario. Can we?

Prof Y.L. CHOPRA, Bathinda


Cement and steel industries have been forming cartels which, in turn, are leading to price hike. Such collusion is cause for worry. Oil price hike adds to the concerns that inflation could edge higher. Adequate steps must be taken to curb inflation.

The recent hike in CRR by 0.5 per cent could help reduce inflation only in the long run. However, if this leads to the rupee appreciation, it could reduce inflation in the short run too. The unavoidable step to break cartels is to empower the Competition Commission and make it functional. The need of the hour is to seek details of capacity utilisation, raw material cost, profit margins and other details of the companies and take stringent action against them.

KANUPRIYA BARIA, Apeejay Institute of Management, Jalandhar


Inflation is a threat to our economy. The government must intensify its drive against hoarding of food items and capital goods. The monetary efforts should help control excessive black money. Also, the balance of payments has to be favourable by boosting the export prospects.

Inflation is a global phenomenon. Yet in India, it is mainly hoarding and black money that are responsible for rising inflation. Printing more currency would lead to an uncontrollable price equilibrium situation. Efforts are needed in the public and private sectors to boost production in the domestic and international markets.



The Tribune report “Inflation leaps to 7 per cent” is disturbing. No doubt, the run-away inflation has made the life of the hapless common man nightmarishly miserable. What a pity! Can’t the powers that be take some concrete remedial steps to check price rise rather than viewing the gloomy development like a helpless spectator?

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Case for energy efficiency

I read Virinder Singh’s report, “Punjab can do more to use energy efficiently” (April 10). Andhra Pradesh has not raised its electricity tariff every year. In case the energy efficient steps as mentioned in the article are implemented, the Punjab State Electricity Board can save more than Rs 2000 crore annually.

Through these steps, the PSEB can reduce the tariff and contribute to improve the lot of the harassed consumers and help control inflation in the country.



Enabling provision

In his article, “Creamless quota: SC ruling throws up many questions” (April 14), V. Eshwar Anand has mentioned about the judgement’s silence on whether the new quota under Article 15 (5) of the Constitution would also cover unaided or private institutions. The 93rd Constitution Amendment Act was enacted to incorporate Article 15 (5) as an enabling provision for ensuring quota for the SCs/STs and the socially and educationally backward classes in educational institutions including private ones.

The genesis for the move was the ruling of the seven-judge Supreme Court Bench of August 12, 2005 (P.A. Inamdar vs State of Maharashtra) which held against the state quota in unaided or private institutions. In this verdict, the Supreme Court ruled that imposition of government quota policy on these institutes was a clear encroachment on their right and autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.

To nullify the possible fallout of this verdict, Article 15 (5) was enacted for bringing private institutes under the umbrella of reservation. Otherwise, Article 15 (4) had been there since 1951 as an enabling provision for providing reservation in educational institutions established, managed or under the control of the state.

HEMANT KUMAR, Advocate, Ambala City

In Pakistan jails

It is a matter of grave concern that the Centre has not taken adequate steps to secure the release of Indian intelligence personnel incarcerated in Pakistani jails. The mother of one such Indian prisoner languishing in a Pakistani jail since 1994 was rather lucky in that she moved the Gujarat High Court demanding action for his release and compensation. The court has asked the Centre to pay Rs 5 lakh to her.

However, there are many more dependents who have been running from pillar to post without any outcome. The government must realise that such neglect tells upon the morale of the serving personnel and discourages prospective recruits.


Woes of retirees

The Punjab government had decided in principle to provide pensionary benefit to panchayat samiti and zila parishd employees of the state on May 11, 1995. But the pension scheme was implemented from July 1, 1999. This discriminatory and unjustified decision of the government has hit hard those who retired between May 11, 1995 and June 39, 1999.

The Punjab government should implement the decision with retrospective effect to help all those who retired between May 1995 and June 1999.

Old age brings with it many problems including financial, physical weakness, ailments etc. Also, some senior citizens have gone to the court for justice. The Punjab government should implement the decision with a positive attitude.




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