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Take hands off procurement agencies

The role of commission agents in government procurement operations is not just exploitative but also skeptical (Unwanted middlemen, February 11). The government should not meddle with the procurement agencies and let them procure as per the requisite standards. Good-quality stocks should be purchased leaving no scope of exploitation at the hands of FCI officials who act as super bosses.

The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act should be amended to remove the commission agents from the scene, who fleece both the farmers and the government in one way or the other.

The 2.5 per cent commission the ‘ahartiyas’ demand is an unnecessary burden on the farmers. The representatives of procurement agencies check the stocks and insist on removing deficiencies to bring the stocks to the specifications of the FCI. If not adhered to, they reject the stocks, lodge a complaint with the concerned authorities and get the issue politicised. Sometimes, honest officials are shown the door which obviously results in poor quality procurement, thus, causing loss to the procurement agencies. The stocks, which get downgraded in the due course of time, are not accepted by the FCI later. Perhaps, this is the reason why FCI makes meager procurement leaving the bulk for state agencies. The ‘ahartiyas’ are reluctant to bear the interference of FCI officials as they enjoy the power to reject stocks.



The Union government is trying hard to press Punjab and Haryana to help make direct payment to farmers for cereals procured for the central pool. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal under pressure from ‘arhatiya’ lobby has himself gone to Delhi a number of times to plead with the PM to stop payment directly to the farmers which is really shocking. He is a farmer himself and can empathise with them. The ‘aharatiyas’ misuse their position. Farmers always need their help.

The editorial rightly suggests that the concerned governments should amend the APMC Act to allow direct purchases and do away with middlemen who needlessly escalate costs for buyers and sellers. Both prosperous states should help farmers as much as possible.


NCTC necessary

The protest being lodged by some chief ministers against establishment of National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by the Central government is surprising. India is one of the worst affected countries facing the agony of terrorism. We have lost thousands of precious lives in terrorist attacks. The Samjhauta blast at Panipat was not an attack against Haryana nor did Mumbai blasts target Maharashtra. Such terrorist acts are crime against the nation. Though the concerns raised by the chief ministers should be redressed by the central government. Without the cooperation of the state governments, the proposed move may be meaningless. Such a sensitive issue should not be made a matter of petty politics.

HARDESH GOSWAMI, Advocate, Bhiwani

Fighting corruption

The proposal of introducing lessons in honesty in schools is a frivolous idea (Lessons in honesty, February 15). It sounds like presenting a white rose to a roaring, devouring lion to calm him down.  There is no dearth of moral learning in our societal and religious institutions. Let the school curriculum be totally insulated from the very infectious word ‘corruption’. Anna’s anti-corruption struggle regrettably failed without giving fruitful results.

Let persons at the top, our rulers and administrators, themselves start practicing lessons of honesty. Yatha Raaja, tatha prajaa. Everything else will start falling in line. Introduce maximum transparency, minimum discretion and simplify day-to-day procedures to get things done. Facilitate people getting things done in a fair manner.



The menace of corruption is so deeply rooted in our social set-up that even the Anna movement failed to make a dent. Corruption is a reflection of not only social and political values but weak institutions also. Teaching good values at school alone are not sufficient. The habit of truthfulness must be inculcated in children.

The Central Vigilance Commission has taken a step in the right direction. The Ministry of Human Resources Development has approved to its implementation in the CBSE curriculum.


 Song mania

Youth and teenagers have always looked up to Bhagat Singh as their idol. Today’s youth is caught in a song mania which idolises gun culture, not for patriotism but for petty issues.

Teenagers are fighting and shooting at each other for show-off or revenge, under peer pressure, in wrong company or under influence of drugs. The onus lies not only on one but all of us, including teachers and parents. This is a drawback which depicts teachers’ and parents’ carelessness towards teenagers. Immediate steps should be taken to check students’ frustration.



The firing incident in an Amritsar school is a horrible depiction of show of strength. It shows our defective education system, lack of moral education, lack of respect to the teachers and parents. There is no fear of corporal punishment among students. Parents would have to repent in the long run.


Good Samaritans

Our corrupt political and economic system is terminating human values away from our society. We interpret it as modernity and advanced lifestyle. If this downfall in society continues, our next generation would be a senseless and shameless bunch of crooks. If we want to save this generation, we should create a better environment in which they can learn and realise human values. Then we can see Dr Gupta in every human being (Rationalist with humanist core, February 18).


Fooling senior citizens 

Marketing of financially attractive plans to senior citizens through personal telephone calls is the latest technique being adopted by leading business houses. I fell a prey to such a telephonic call and landed investing Rs 1 lakh in a DLF life insurance policy. After discovering the fraud, I approached the Chandigarh DLF agent and also the head office at Gurgaon to get the deal cancelled and get my amount back.

They took refuge in the alibi that the mandatory period of two weeks for invoking cancellation had expired. They asked me to continue the yearly investment of Rs 1 lakh for three continuous years in order to qualify for discontinuing the scheme.

I want to caution senior citizens to be on their guard against fraudulent telephonic investments.

HP ANAND, Panchkula



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