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Punjab govt must get its act together

The article “Victim of delays” (Dec 17) by Sarbjit Dhaliwal is an apt commentary on the precarious situation prevailing in Punjab. The SAD-BJP government has divided the state on narrow lines. The pro-rural attitude of the SAD and the pro-urban approach of the BJP has created conflict of interests.

Free power should only be given to the marginal and small farmers. The Chief Minister is also doling out huge grants to get votes. The government hospitals are ill equipped. Health and sanitation situation in the state is far from satisfactory. There is no effective control over the polluting industrial units, especially in Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Every now and then, agitators burn buses and damage public and private property. The government allows all this to happen for narrow and selfish interests. The state police is ineffective in protecting the public.

The state has excellent manpower and if it is managed properly, it can generate enough income. The government must come up with rational policies and programmes. Freebies are no solution.



The article is a timely call to the Punjab Government to shed procrastination and decisively take care of the ailing economy of the state. The people of Punjab gave an opportunity to the SAD- BJP alliance to rule the state to fulfil their regional aspirations. But the parties are divided on rural and urban lines. In fact, the alliance partners are worried about their own vote segments only.

The need of the hour is to formulate objective, progressive and inclusive socio-economic policies and programmes for the state. Subsidies should only be for the needy and deprived sections.

Our health and educational services are in shambles. Immediate corrective measures need to be taken. Farmers having small land holdings are in debt. The government should help them grow commercial crops in place of paddy which depletes the water table.

In order to develop human resources, the government should provide free education. Social conflicts have to be resolved in a rationale manner because social harmony is essential for the state’s economy. Will the state government prove itself to be a government of substance remains to be seen?



Mr Dhaliwal has rightly stated that two governments are running Punjab. One is led by the BJP for the urbanites and the other led by the SAD is for the rural populace. The mobilisation of financial resources is not on their agenda.

The Sukhbir Badal-Manoranjan Kalia committee supposed to generate more revenue has failed to take any positive decision. The SAD is not interested in withdrawing free power scheme for the farmers and the BJP has rejected moves to impose taxes in the urban areas.

The government has no money to implement central schemes and the development process has been paralysed. The government is facing a financial crunch. Besides, schools and colleges are without adequate teachers and the hospitals are without doctors. Where is the government?

KARAN, Chandigarh


The Punjab government has failed to maintain law and order in the state. The educational institutions lack adequate teachers and basic infrastructure. The civil hospitals are ill-equipped and are unable to attend to emergency cases.

The need of the hour is to overhaul the entire system. Hard decisions have to be taken if the government wants to regain people’s faith. Subsidies and grants should be given only to the needy.


Environmental issues

No doubt, environmental issues are being deliberated comprehensively. However, only a select section of society is aware of environmental degradation. The hoi polloi are not aware of environmental threats.

The Tribune has been doing a yeoman’s service in making the people aware of environmental concerns. It must start a Forum, exclusively dedicated to environment in which environmental issues can be discussed threadbare.


Curtail consumerism

Rising consumerism has taken a heavy toll on environment (article, “Copenhagen and beyond: Environmental imperative for India” by Arun Kumar, Dec 16).

Consumerism, both in the developed and developing countries, has polluted the environment. Rich nations and the elite class of the relatively poorer nations consume products at a mind-boggling rate. This leads to excessive production that in turn causes pollution at the production stage and also creates unwanted waste. Moreover, excessive consumerism leads to depletion of scarce energy resources as well.


Increase medical allowance 

The Sixth Central Pay Commission has recommended that the fixed medical allowance to the Central government pensioners should be enhanced. But the Central government has not considered the genuine demand till date and they are still paying Rs 100 per month as fixed medical allowance. This is not appreciable. Some state governments are paying the increased allowance varying between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 to their pensioners.

Today doctors charge Rs 200 as consultation fee for a single visit. Add to it the cost of medicines and conveyance charges. Keeping in mind the health problems of pensioners as well as their long service to the nation and steep hike in the cost of living and medicines and medical treatment, the government must increase their fixed medical allowance to Rs 1,000 per month at the earliest.




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