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Punjab govt must do away with subsidies

The editorial “Lend me some money; Helpless Manpreet sounds alarm” (Jan 14) in a nutshell projects the true face of Punjab’s economy. Mr Manpreet Badal knows economics and that is why he is perturbed. He is indeed in a hot seat, but there are others in the government for whom “ignorance is bliss”.

The next two years are going to be the toughest ever. When the Badal government took office the cumulative debt of the state was Rs 48,000 crores. It has swelled to Rs 63,000 crores. That means a debt service of 30 per cent more. In spite of raising an additional loan of Rs 500 to 700 crores each month, the Punjab Government has not even been contributing its share of the federally funded development schemes.

Besides, the state has not been able to meet its plan expenditure. Under these circumstances only a windfall can rescue the economy of Punjab.

Due to the burgeoning subsidies, the Punjab Government is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. It is still not too late to do away with the unsustainable subsidies. These freebies account for half of the total debt of the state government.


Let teachers teach

Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme, the Government of India is trying to improve the education standards in schools. Desired results cannot be achieved until the vacant posts of principals, headmasters, teachers, etc, are not filled. Besides, there is need to provide adequate infrastructure.

Most of the teaching staff remains busy in unnecessary and avoidable paper work and in non-teaching duties assigned by the district administration.


Distasteful scenes

Though the message conveyed by the movie “3 Idiots” is reasonable, the director’s penchant for slapstick comedy is below par (middle, “Learning from 3 Idiots” by Rajnish Wattas, Jan 8). Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and director Rajkumar Hirani’s sincere effort to highlight the malaise which has afflicted our education system was diluted by the ragging scenes bordering on obscenity. The scenes are objectionable and cleverly camouflaged in the garb of a message.

The film propagates ragging. It is a shame that Aamir Khan, who is considered a thinking actor, is party to this outrageous rubbish. Surely, there are more dignified ways to send a strong message to reform education.

Capt MALVINDER SINGH, Chandigarh


My article, “India and NPT, CTBT”, carried in The Tribune on January 15, had a printing error of a notable date — the NPT deadline. It is not 1979, but 1969.


Cut judicial delays

The Chief Justice of India has rightly called for expediting justice by cutting down delays in the litigation cases (editorial, “CJI speaks: Need to cut delays to help litigants”, Jan 12). More than 25 million cases are pending in the courts of India.

There is an urgent need to deliver judgments expeditiously. Judges reserve rulings for years, keeping the litigants on tenterhooks. There is no valid reason for reserving rulings for long. There is need to reduce vacations and holidays. The daily working hours should be increased by at least half an hour.

Besides, vacancies in the district courts, high courts and the Supreme Court must be filled. The apex court has directed that the recruitments should be done after examining the judge-population ratio. The current ratio is 14 judges per 10 lakh people. There are more than 100 judges in the US for one million people, that is eight times more than in India. The developed countries of the world have a better judge-population ratio.

M L GARG, Chandigarh



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