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Govt should discourage fuel import

The editorial (Nov 11) ‘Automobile Blues’ is very well placed and true. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), oil companies and the government are hand in glove to make fast buck. Automobiles and their fuel cost the nation 80 per cent in foreign exchange/imports. Registration/road tax are less on big and speedy cars with reference to road/passenger tax on the poor who travel by public transport. Parliament is making rules for the benefit of the “rich gangs” because they pay in lump sum.

The poor are taxed and the rich are given tax exceptions/subsidies in one form or the other. In India, aviation fuel is cheaper than simple petrol for a bike or car. Why do manufacturers not make affordable small cars/diesel cars? Manufacturing cost of diesel car and petrol car is almost the same, but manufacturers with the backing of oil companies fix price of cars at their sweet will. Governments allow the manufacturers 200 per cent to 300 per cent profit on cars by taxing imported automobiles. The government’s policies are increasing the fuel import bill. There can be at least 100 ways and rules which discourage unnecessary fuel import. In my view, the fuel import bill can be reduced by almost 50 per cent without any negative effect.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula


This is with reference to the editorial ‘King-sized trouble’ (Nov 17). Business baron Vijay Mallya has said that Kingfisher was bleeding because of high fuel cost and interest burden, and also emphasised that other airlines were also in the same boat. It is being argued that the high rate of aviation fuel, servicing loans, ill-timed decisions and some government rules have all come in the way of profitability for these airlines. It is for individual companies to negotiate loan terms with their banks.



This refers to the article by Alistair Darling (November 14). The euro-zone crisis is similar to the problem of the aviation sector in India. The debt crisis of Greece is akin to the debt crisis of Kingfisher Airlines and that of Italy and Spain to Jet and SpiceJet airlines. The debt of Greece, Italy and Spain is more than $ 7 trillion. The debt of Kingfisher is Rs 8,000 crore. The European Central Bank (ECB) is not ready for debt restructuring because of non-security of repayment in the present circumstances of depressed economy. The basic problem with Europe is of slow economic growth because of little scope for further infrastructure and dwindling exports. In view of the US itself being in financial doldrums, hope lies in creating a special fund by the G-20 nations to end the debt crisis.

Likewise, Indian banks are reluctant to allow debt restructuring because Kingfisher does not have a sound business plan. So only FDI from foreign airlines backed by reforms in the aviation industry can save Kingfisher. Other airlines can be taken care of by Indian banks because the total debt is not more than Rs 1,000 crore.


Be war ready

Successful test of Agni-IV on November 15 and the announcement of testing Agni-V in February 2012 is good news for India. It will be more beneficial if India starts mass production of Agni-IV immediately (not to wait until 2014) to catch up with the neighbours who have been preparing for many years. Pakistan has been holding joint military exercises to prepare for ‘two step forward and one step back’ long-term plan in Sindh area (next to Rajasthan). India must be war-ready all the time.


Police needs polish

In the article ‘Time to reinvent the police’ by Rohit Choudhary (November 18), it has been very rightly mentioned that worldwide, there is a ‘new police order’ aimed at bringing in more professionalism and accountability for a result-oriented functioning. In our country there is urgent need for reinvention of the police department which means a transformation from being a traditional bureaucracy to an effective and efficient organisation that habitually innovates and continually improves the quality of service without having to be pushed from outside. Politicians use the police force as a tool to settle personal scores. A corrupt and undisciplined force suits the political system, so it is now foolhardy to expect cops to be honest and sincere.

Moreover, most police personnel are deputed as personal security guards of VIPs, even if the latter face no security threat. As a starting point, the police have to acknowledge shift and embrace reinforcing strategies in line with the emerging world dynamics. For this, radical changes are required to make the force people friendly.

Dr SK AGGARWAL, Amritsar

Fight drug menace

At a public rally PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh declared that after coming to power he would take stern action against the drug mafia (news report, “Capt vows to wean away youth from drugs”). When he was Chief Minister, the then PPCC president, Shamsher Singh Dullo, said that drugs worth Rs 5,000 crore were annually smuggled into Punjab and that there was a drug sale centre in every sub-division.

He admitted that at times even some politicians come to the rescue of the drug peddlers when caught by the police. Evidently, Capt Amarinder Singh did not take heed. The present Akali-BJP government too does not seem to take the matter seriously. About 75 per cent of the youth are drug-addicts. It is high time the government took concrete steps to check this menace and earn the goodwill of the people by rescuing their sons from the grip of drugs.


Think of aam admi

Expenses incurred by senior leader L K Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra could have been utilised for the welfare of the common man, who in return might have thought of bringing the party in power. People are already aware of corruption but want its eradication, not messages and speeches. The editorial, “An Inveterate Yatri” (Nov 18) has rightly said that he could have checked corruption during his tenure as Union Home Minister. I request all political leaders (ruling or in Opposition) to kindly think a little for the common man instead of wasting money and resources.

KK CHAWLA, Kurukshetra



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