L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Farm loans must be recovered

The editorial “Loans have to be paid” (May 5) aptly made a strong case for the recovery of farm loans by the banks. Thanks to frequent loan waivers announced by the government from time to time, the number of wilful defaulters has multiplied resulting in drastic reduction in the recovery of loans.

Poor loan recovery not only affects the viability of banks but also impairs their capacity to lend in future. With the drying up of the flow of rural credit, the farmers will be forced to depend on exploitative non-institutional sources.

In the long-term interest of the farmers as well as for the sake of financial health of the banks, it is important to keep the banking operations free from political interference. Loan write-offs, which tend to give a wrong signal to the borrowers, should not be allowed as a matter of policy. Rather the farmers should be encouraged to make timely repayment of loans.

RAMA KASHYAP, Chandigarh


The editorial has rightly observed that banks cannot stay in business if loans are not repaid. Banks are there to help the needy farmers and save them from the clutches of arhtiyas, who charge an exorbitant rate of interest. Loan-waiver schemes announced by the government from time to time do more harm than good to the interests of the farming community as the recipients of loans often squander the money so raised on unproductive uses, hoping that loans would ultimately be waived off.


Literary touch

I have read The Tribune Editor-in-Chief Raj Chengappa’s reports from Washington, his interview with Mr Omar Abdullah and the journey to Amritsar. I must say, these are not just journalistic reports, there is a literary touch in these writings, which reflects his personality, emotions, sentiments, purity of heart and clarity of vision and thoughts.

I myself have gone to these places. I have been visiting G.N.D. University quite frequently and on almost all those occasions visited the Golden Temple and also travelled to the Wagah border. Mr Chengappa’s descriptions and narratives are so vivid and captivating that it refreshed my memories.

Dr JB GOYAL, Kurukshetra

Opposition’s role

B G Verghese’s article, “Cut motions, privacy, corruption” (May 4) motivated me to comment on the role of the Opposition as conceptualised by Dr B R Ambedkar when he talked of faithfulness to the intentions of the people who have given them the mandate to sit in the Opposition for watching their interests to the best of their wisdom and abilities.

The Opposition leaders need to discuss and debate the issues relevant to the electorate and have no right to walk out of Parliament and disturb the proceedings. They should accept their responsibility. The Opposition leaders should seriously do some soul-searching and learn the principles of faithfulness and wisdom.

Dr M M GOEL, Kurukshetra

Sports bodies

The editorial “Sports & politics” (May 4) has aptly analysed the Sports Ministry’s decision and its probable impact on sports administration in India. I fully agree with the observation that fixing tenures alone is not going to work, but certainly if implemented strongly it will prove to be the first step forward in reforming sports administration in India.

There is a need to sensitise the public and make them aware of the benefits politicians extract from sports bodies. Now that a beginning has been initiated, I strongly feel that the Sports Ministry should make the working of all sports bodies accountable, transparent and efficient. Action should be initiated for poor performances.


Breeding tigers

Assuming that there are about 300 tigresses in the cub-productive age (among the thousand odd surviving tigers) and allowing for the average survival of one cub per litter to adulthood and also factoring in 20 old age deaths every two years, there is every chance that our tiger population will reach the 2000 to 2500 mark 10 years hence (news report, “Explore options to breed tigers in the wild, ministry told”, May 3).

Most tiger biologists would agree that 2500 to 3500 tigers is the optimum figure to look for given the size of our protected-areas network and the tiger prey base availability.

But for this natural reproductive cycle to fructify, we would need to close all our tiger-reserves to tourism for a short span of 10 years and also put in place a fail-safe watch-and-ward, tiger-reserve protection squads made up of our best motivated forest guards.

Captive-bred tigers will lack the hunting skills imparted by the mother between the age of 16 and 24 months. Captive-bred tigers released in the wild will most likely turn to domestic cattle lifting and at times even become man-eaters.

Lt-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh



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