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Demand for debt relief unjustified

The Punjab Government has  no right to claim debt relief from the Centre when its own record on governance is dismal (editorial, “Why the debt relief?: Akalis can’t have easy way out”, Sep 17). Entrapped in a whopping debt, it is indeed headed towards a deeper financial crisis.

There may be some truth in the assertion that the previous governments and Central rule during the militancy-affected period have added to the debt. But it is equally true that the Akali Dal had also indulged in petty politics and one-upmanship at the cost of Punjab’s long-term economic interests and progress.

It does not behove the Akali Dal to blame the Union Government ad-nauseam for the present financial crunch. Instead, it should put its own house in order and pull all stops to put the economy back on the track.

To begin with, it should do away with populist policies like free power for the agricultural sector. Economic recovery must take precedence over partisan interests.



The editorial has exposed the selfish and self-serving politicians who seek debt relief and higher share from Central tax collections instead of taking tough financial decisions to tide over the state’s financial crisis.

What really hurts the common man is that our power-and-status-hungry politicians concentrate their energies on preserving the colonial legacy and live life king-size. They waste public money and neglect its welfare with the result that there are understaffed public hospitals, potholed roads, poor public transport and frequent power failures.

Will the political leadership in Punjab wake up before it is too late? Or will Punjab continue its downhill journey?

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Years of bad governance and profligacy will push the state’s debt to Rs 63,216 crore this fiscal. Earlier, it was reported that the Punjab Government had taken loans every month to pay salaries.

It is correct to say that future generations of Punjabis will pay for the follies of present-day leaders. The government has not reduced subsidies to farmers and the state is heading towards a financial crisis. The state government should explore new sources of revenue.

SAHIL GARG, Chandigarh

‘Vichar baithak’

Unfortunately, all political parties (editorial, “Limited exercise: Akali Dal avoids hard decisions”, Sep 14) without exception continue to indulge in vote bank politics and put some sections of society in an advantageous position compared with others. The Akali Dal is no exception.

It is time political parties showed some maturity and performed for the welfare of all. Public is supreme in a democratic system of governance.

Brig H S GHUMAN (retd),  SAS Nagar


Akali Dal’s “Vichar baithak” at Shimla was meant to provide a platform to SAD legislators from where they could express their views on how to implement party’s policies so that it benefits masses. Yet, the Finance Minister, Mr Manpreet Badal, was barred from airing his well-known views on subsidies.

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali, Gurdaspur

Change in UT

It is good (news report, “Punjab Guv to lose UT charge” by Ajay Banerjee, Sep 12) that finally better sense has prevailed over the Union government and they have decided to honour the sentiments of citizens of the Union Territory of Chandigarh by reintroducing the post of the Chief Commissioner for the city.

It is a long-awaited step and in the right direction. This would result in better governance and issues related to the city would be redressed faster.

 A K SHARMA, Chandigarh

Security threat

The editorial “Threats to security” (Sep 17) has given a timely warning to the nation. India must come out of its slumber. The increasing influence of Maoists is a matter of grave concern for the nation.

There is an urgent need to improve the lot of people. Only development approach will play a significant role in tackling Maoists.

Infiltrations and intrusions have been growing from all sides and it can be disastrous for the nation. As China and Pakistan appear to be hand in glove, India must step up its defence preparedness.

Capt S K DATTA, Abohar

Fake currency

The editorial “Counterfeit damage” (Aug 31) was an eye-opener. Seizure of counterfeit currency from various parts of the country has become a routine affair. Despite various claims of a breakthrough, the influx of fake currency into the Indian economy continues unabated.

Every 500 -rupee and 1000-rupee note is viewed with suspicion. Counterfeit currency appears so genuine that even trained bankers fail to detect it. Sensing the severity of the matter, the government must rise to the occasion and leave no stone unturned to foil the nefarious designs of the enemies of the nation, who want to destabilise the Indian economy.

Note sorting machines must be installed at all bank branches with greater urgency. No leniency should be shown to those found involved in fake currency scams. Only stringent punishment can prove to be a deterrent.




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