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Punjab Budget: an eye on Assembly polls

The editorial Gender-sensitive budget (March 15) makes an objective appraisal of the Punjab Budget. It is a tax-free budget and carries substantial relaxations and sops for women, freedom fighters, sportspersons, and socio-economically weaker sections of society. In fact, substantial emphasis has been accorded to “education” and it is a welcome step. I agree that health, infrastructure, industry and agriculture should also have received the same attention in the budget.

No doubt, the budget has tried to please all the sections of society but no one can deny that the state is in a financial mess. Punjab’s debt will rise to Rs 77,585 crore by March, 2012. It is the need of the hour to take corrective steps to improve the financial conditions of the state. Unproductive expenditures must be avoided. Central schemes should be implemented with all efficiency to have additional financial resources.

On its part, the Centre should waive off the debt, which the state spent during the days of militancy. Corruption should be curbed through institutionalised mechanism. Small-scale industries should be encouraged to control unemployment. Problems of traders and industrialists should be resolved. Ways should be devised to stop suicidal tendencies developing among small debt-ridden farmers. Subsidies should go to the needy people only.

The government must keep in mind that the common people want an efficient and humane administration. Keep the “delivery system” free from wastage and corruption. Private investors should feel like investing in the state.



It appears that someone who doesn’t have any knowledge about financial management has prepared the Punjab budget. It appears that Dr Upinderjit Kaur, on becoming the first woman Finance Minister of Punjab, has cashed in on a God-sent opportunity to dole out favours to women, reduced the age limit for old age pension for women from 60 to 58 years. All this has been done with an eye on the state Assembly elections in 2012.

The enhancement of the Budget provision for the education sector can be justified. But by paying no attention to the extravagant ways of ministers and MLAs and also giving free power to the farmers, the minister has erred. The editorial rightly points out that if a government avoids fresh taxes, then ideally, it should cut unproductive expenditure also.

Health, infrastructure, industry and agriculture have been denied their due by not finding any enhancements in their allocation. This is certainly a  political blunder, the heat of which the SAD-BJP combine, will feel during  elections. Only free power to the farmers will not win them elections. Privatising power production will also be a burden on the state exchequer. It is disheartening to know that Punjab’s debt will mount to Rs 77,585 crore by March 2012. How will the state progress with such poor financial health? That funds routed through central schemes remain unspent, is a matter of grave concern and this aspect needs to be investigated. This shows that the rulers are only interested to line their pockets and deny the masses the benefits the Centre provides for them.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Help Japan

The editorial Fresh crisis grips Japan (March 15) has rightly advised that there is a need to locate radioactive reactors away from the seismic zones, especially away from the coastal areas vulnerable to havoc of tsunami. A combination of natural and man-made calamity has gripped Japan killing thousands and rendering many more homeless. I have no doubt that the brave heart Japanese will overcome this calamity too.

Our ancient scriptures teach us the lesson of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ meaning the whole universe is one big family. So, we Indians must stand by the side of Japanese in this hour of crisis. Our newspapers should raise funds through their columns to be handed over to the Japanese government to mitigate their suffering. Let the common people contribute their mite in addition to the help rendered by our government. This will not only be a noble deed but will also enhance our image in the international arena and further improve our relationship with the Japanese.


Fair sex

The editorial Missing girls: Punjab ought to be pro-active (March 2) was thought-provoking and timely. Thousands of women from Punjab are married to non-resident Indians and then abandoned. Punjab has a tradition of protecting the honour and safety of the fair sex.

Indeed, the state government must take notice of the problem and give responsibility to a senior office to take charge and consolidate and coordinate the efforts of the police force in finding the missing girls.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Palbhu, Kakkar,

Right selection

The middle Able or pliable (March 2) by J.L. Gupta was interesting. It rightly emphasised on the need to select the right man for the right post. For such positions as President/Governor the person should be of high integrity and should be beyond reproach. The selection should not be political.

S K MITTAL, Panchkula

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief

Advice on parenting

The middle,I’m glad my kids didn’t have a Tiger Mom!(March 15) by Punam Khaira Sidhu, gives good advice about parenting. Today’s parents go all out in making Einsteins or Newtons out of their little ones. Even before a child learns to walk or talk properly, he is sent to an expensive school. To worsen the situation, in some schools children are put to tough tests for admission to even nursery class, as if the kids are like “Abhimanyu”, having learnt the lessons while still in the womb.

With every class, a student’s bag becomes heavier and he is made to go through tough lessons, most of the time without knowing the meaning of it. Well-to-do working parents of today can spare money for the best education and extracurricular activities of their progeny while ignoring to spend quality time with their kids.

Smartly dressed parents turn out at parent teacher meetings, but may not be interacting with the children on a daily basis. Sometimes parents nurture ambitions and try to realise their own unfulfilled dreams through their children. In turn they put the child through unnecessary mental burden. A child is like a plant and needs its own time to grow, to enjoy the sunshine of life and to blossom into a good human being. Undue parental or peer pressure may cause hindered growth and a skewed personality.

In an effort to prepare our children to face the life ahead, we may be inadvertently robbing them of the precious moments life has to offer. We should remember that every child is special. We should let our kids enjoy the most wonderful time of their lives that is their childhood. 





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