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Deficit states should store food grains

The article "The grain drain" (Sept 13) by Nirmal Sandhu was illuminating but left some questions unanswered. Besides, the Prime Minister should not have said that the Supreme Court should not meddle in the policy matters and that a free distribution of rotting food grains is not possible. Instead he should have said that a free distribution will not be possible but the government will see that the food grains likely to rot will either be saved or brought in the market or distributed through the PDS.

The job of the FCI is to procure food grains as a buffer stock to tide over any food shortage caused by natural calamities or some unforeseen circumstances. If by the end of the harvesting year no such exigency arises and the stocks remain intact, then the FCI should either keep that stock for the next year or sell it to the deficit states.

The state agencies of the surplus states should obtain indents for the procurement of food grains from the deficit/client states and procure food grains in the required quantity and transport the same to the client states before the onset of the monsoon. Further stocking and scientific storage of food grains should be the responsibility of the deficit states.

If the Centre adopts this mechanism then the problem of food grains would be reduced to the minimum. The market forces will adjust the food prices themselves and farmers will learn to sow only those crops in future which bring them maximum returns.


Gill's snub

The editorial "Graceless Gill: Silence scores over the snub" (Sept 16) has brought to the fore the lack of clarity of procedure during a photo session with the minister on the occasion of felicitation of a world champion by the ministry. Whether it was a snub or not is contextual, but how the coach felt in the situation is clear. The unadulterated joy of the occasion was spoiled for lack of clear protocol.



Though Sports Minister M S Gill was graceless, Sushi Kumar's revered guru, Satpal Singh, was sober. He gracefully remarked that it was a happy occasion and one should only talk about Sushil's achievement. However, it is doubtful that Mr Gill will apologise for his rude behaviour.


Political insight

I am pleased to learn that Raj Chengappa's column "Ground Zero" will henceforth be regularly giving an insight into political issues facing the nation and the world. The article "Will Manmohan in his bold new avatar deliver?" (Sept 7) under the series was interesting and incisive.

Dr Manmohan Singh no longer seems diffident. His stand on various national issues seems bold and decisive. His advice to the apex court not to get into policy formulations compels appreciation and his views on Naxalism, Kashmir and Pakistan seem realistic.


Fight corruption

The editorial "Flight of corruption" (Sept 16) aptly highlighted the problem of massive illegal transfer of funds to foreign countries by corrupt people. Indeed, it is only when the nation as a whole exhibits an unequivocal conviction to weed out corruption that the true gains of growth and development will come to India. It is sad that despite a vigilant media, corruption continues to rule the roost in the country.

People are still electing criminals and unscrupulous people. While corrupt officials no longer have a conscience, many honest and sincere officers are sidelined. So, where does the buck stop? It stops with each one of us.

Corruption and criminalisation of politics are closely interlinked. It is the common man who has to fight corruption in the system. Yes, the whistleblowers will have to suffer. But this suffering can be reduced if all honest people fight corruption as a team.

We have Ms Sonia Gandhi as an honest Congress president with a vision and a will. We have the most upright man in Dr Manmohan Singh as our Prime Minister. The common man must rise against corruption and the honest Prime Minister and his team should provide institutional support.

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Quota stir

The Haryana government's handling of the agitation by the dominant community in Haryana for quota reservation leaves much to be desired. The Chief Minister has emerged as an astute political leader and an able administrator but should have acted more responsibly.

It is right to order an enquiry into the unfortunate events at Hisar in which a young man lost his life. But allowing a murder case to be registered against the district Superintendent of Police, without waiting for a report of his criminal intent, shows haste and immaturity. It is bound to have a demoralising effect on the police force in particular and the government machinery in general.

Public servants enjoy constitutional protection while performing their duty and should only be hauled up in this manner if there is a prima facie evidence against them. RAM VARMA, Panchkula




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