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Corruption, poor governance hit industry

The prosperity of a state, the integrity of its politics, the stability of its society and the development of its economy all hinge upon providing good governance and having a running industry. Today, however, we see that the solid foundation of industry in Punjab has shattered due to poor governance and lacking of a genuine industrial policy. It is amazing that there has been no solid industrial development policy in the state for the last four years. Rather the on-going power cuts have jeopardised the industrial and economic growth in Punjab. On the one side, there has been a hike in power tariff and on the other; free power is being given to farmers. It is rightly stated in the editorial “Punjab’s industrial sickness: Poor governance is to blame” (April 26), that the authorities have failed to provide and cope up with the ever-growing demand in the industrial sector. Moreover, facing the rigid and non-cooperative attitude of Punjab bureaucracy and certain political big wigs, a number of leading industrial units have been shut down in Punjab and are setting up their units in other nearby states.



You have made candid and pertinent remarks in your editorial when you say that an industrial policy makes no sense on paper when political leadership is bent upon destroying the state power utilities by giving free power to farmers, adjusting its dues against loans and raising the cost of power for industry. You are also right in saying that the state government is heavily relying on private sector’s coal-run power plants disregarding the cost, which can become prohibitive if global oil prices keep on rising. Many of these coal based projects are coming via MOU route, in contravention to the postulates of National Tariff Policy which states that power purchase agreements can only be signed following competitive bidding routes. I fully endorse your views that lack of quality and competitively priced power will continue to ail industry in Punjab. The suggestion that like Gujarat, the Punjab leadership must aim at offering “minimum government, maximum governance” must be meticulously followed.

S C CHABBA, Chief-Engineer/Civil, PSPCL (retired), Panchkula


Thanks to you for raising concerns of industry in your editorial. A visit to Mandi Gobindgarh industrial area will show the actual conditions in which industry is working. There is no government support, except bribe-demanding officers. They need taxes and bribes on time, but do not take responsibility of approach roads, poor labour conditions, high pollution, old technology, costly power, etc. The industry here gives employment to approx 25,000 workers and generates considerable revenue, but the lack of government support is pushing it towards pre-mature death.

PANKAJ AGGARWAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

Gender bias

The editorial “All in honour’s name” (April 26) is a forceful attempt to stir up the collective conscience of Haryana, a state which has become notorious due to the inhuman attitude of certain dogmatic sections of the society towards their own womenfolk. In name of “honour” they go to the extent of killing their daughters and sons without any mercy. It is high time that political parties, media, intelligentsia, social organisations, activists and other right-thinking people come to the fore and take a strong stand against these socially regressive forces. The editorial narrates horrifying instances which explicitly tell the highly gender-biased mindset of some people. The statistics released by the Home Ministry’s NCRB are appalling. I think two-pronged strategy can be adopted to overcome this dangerous social evil.

The state government, without indulging into any “vote-politics” should never hesitate to take stern action against the culprits. The civil and police administrations should be properly sensitised and humanised. Both administrations must get feedback from the prone areas. Establish a “helpline” and advertise it. The teachers both male and female should do their best to inculcate scientific temper among the students. Religious leaders should cleanse religions of outdated rituals and superstitions. Empower the women through free quality education and proper job opportunities. Help them to become doctors, engineers, advocates, teachers, police officers, players and other professionals. How will a parent kill his doctor- daughter who provides life to others? PRIs can do wonders to foil the outdated designs of the Khaps. The task is not impossible. Only a sustained and planned programme with a strong political and popular will is needed to be followed.


Anna’s crusade

S Nihal Singh’s article “The Hazare phenomenon” (Apr 20) should serve as a piece of advice to Anna Hazare if he wants to take his movement against corruption to a logical conclusion. The mammoth support which has come to Anna from the public, has unnerved corrupt politicians of different hues and shades. So, with a view to scuttling Anna’s efforts, all the corrupt forces of the country have got together. They are making fallacious statements and spreading false information to confuse the public and divert their attention from the real issue.

IQBAL SINGH, Jalandhar City

Teach English without books

Ms Geetanjali Bhagat has presented a factual analysis of the existing English language teaching (ELT) scenario vis-à-vis our rural youth and on the same page (Oped April 25). Mr M L Tickoo, has commented on the need of spoken English and soft skills for all jobs that are filled up in interview merit.

It is true that much of the content of our text books in English is still loaded in favour of an old and alien culture, and is a bit too hard for our young boys and girls. For instance English Reader (Book VI) for Class XII (PSEB) has been in use since 1970 without a single alteration. However, no one buys or reads it. They usually mug up ‘comprehensive questions’ and get through the examination. No doubt the spoken aspect becomes a nightmare for most of them when they join college.

I appreciate the writer’s suggestion that English should not be taught as a subject or a book with a particular ‘syllabus’ to be covered. Language has to be taken up in totality. Nor should a single text book be prescribed for intensive reading for the entire state. On the other hand, a set of small books may be suggested for reading at home and classroom time, limited that it is at the college level, utilised for to discuss some current issue, some hot topic or some good piece of contemporary writing. The fact remains that English has to become a part and parcel of a youth’s being if they want enter the workforce.

 Prof. MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar 



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