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Vote-on-account budget in Punjab

The article “Manpreet Badal joins issue with The Tribune”(Feb 21) in response to the editorial Punjab budget: Casualty of pre-poll politics (Feb 20) was praiseworthy. The clarifications given by Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab, as to why he decided to go in for a vote-on-account instead of a regular budget were creditable.

Obviously, for presenting the regular budget, he could not ignore the Annual Plan, the recommendations of the pay panel, the stimulus package, and the regular Union Budget for taking benefits from Central schemes. I think Punjab is justified in going in for a vote-on-account budget rather than presenting a populist budget.

Further, the editorial rightly mentioned that the fiscal mess in Punjab is not the creation of a single political party. Mr Manpreet Badal is known for his position against populism and extravagant spending. It is thanks to his foresight that the VAT compliance in Punjab is almost 99 per cent. The Punjab model of sharing of VAT collections with the municipal and other local bodies in lieu of octroi is being appreciated all over the country.


Improving education

If we want to improve the standards of education then the first thing to be done is to keep politics away from education. Politicians must not be allowed to interfere in the education process, especially in the appointment of teachers. Favouritism affects merit and right candidates are invariably ignored.

I also suggest the establishment of libraries at the village level so that the village people also gain knowledge. The private organisations can play an important role in the setting up of libraries, which would guide the students and village community towards a better future.  

SARITA, Patiala

Condoning corruption

Law Minister H R Bhardwaj’s statement “sitting judge can’t be booked” has made a mockery of law-enforcing agencies which are trying to nab the corrupt.

According to him, the founders of the Constitution had not thought of any proposal to involve the police against the judges. Agreed. So what prevented his government to come out with a deterrent measure?

He cites the case of corrupt judges who have refused to resign. He claims that impeachment requires the signatures of 100 Lok Sabha and 50 Rajya Sabha members. The ruling party members are more than the needed figure. So, why can’t the government impeach the corrupt judges? His statement has only encouraged the corrupt. His government will be answerable to the nation for its policy on corruption.

CAPT AVTAR SINGH (retd), Dehradun

Jallianwala repeat

To the news-report Jallianwala afire over lathi charge (Feb 13) I want to add and remind that a public meeting was organised on April 13, 1919, at Jallianwala Bagh. After people assembled there in thousands, General O’ Dyer marched there and without warning ordered firing on the unarmed people. There were heavy causalities. General Dyer’s purpose in doing so was to produce a feeling of terror and awe. This massacre of innocent people in thousands put Mahatma Gandhi on the path of non-cooperation.

History has repeated itself after 90 years. Again the targets were un-armed agitators, protesting against the tampering of the original structure and design of a national memorial. Only the Punjab police personnel replaced General Dyer’s troops.


Woes of allottees

This is to draw attention of HUDA towards its latest notice issued for giving possession of plots within three months.This will definitely smoothen its work as it will make the allotment scene very clear. But it can prove a big burden for the plot holders who still have to pay their instalments. They will get possession only when they clear the entire pending amount.

During these days of recession some people have to pay their dues in lakhs of rupees or they will risk their property being forfeited. Under the circumstances, it may be a major problem for the plot holders to arrange the needed amount within the stipulated time. HUDA should, therefore, extend the period of making the total payment by a few more months.


Harmful foods

Dangerous foods must be avoided but cannot be banned since for whatever reasons we have not been unable to ban by legislation the use of alcohol and tobacco, both of which affect public health far more seriously than trans fats.

In order to achieve any positive result in this direction what is needed is proper education and awareness, which, sadly enough, is currently at its lowest ebb.

BALVINDER , Chandigarh 

Camouflaging low pass percentage

The decision of the Punjab Government that it is not mandatory for the students appearing in the Punjab School Education Board matriculation examination to pass in mathematics and science subjects is not appreciable. It seems to be a political move, meant to camouflage the abysmal low pass percentage. 

These subjects are very important for competing in the information technology-related professional courses and medicine. The future of students of Punjab will not be secure if they do not have a strong base in these subjects. If the official stance that the standard of mathematics and science taught in India is very difficult is taken into account, then the board should have considered revising the syllabus instead.

On the other hand, if the pass percentage is dropping, the teachers should be made accountable. The annual grade increment should be linked with the result of the individual teacher. The Punjab Government should seriously re-think and de-link the serious academic issue from personal political motives.

  HARISH K MONGA, Ferozepur City



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