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Mallya bubble bursts, govt still comfortable

Kingfisher Airlines, promoted by Vijay Mallya of the UB Group, may have earned a name in the aviation industry for two reasons: one, for having model-like air hostesses and, two, for having a big fleet of aircraft. Kingfisher Airlines started its flight operations in 2005 and seven years down the line it is on the verge of bankruptcy.

In 2012, we get to know that all the useless expenditure was on bank loans. All nationalised banks funding the airlines stepped back and discontinued the funds. When Kingfisher Airlines failed to deposit service tax, fuel charges, airport charges, ATC charges and even IATA charges, the banks sealed Kingfisher's bank accounts. Kingfisher Airlines suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and a debt of Rs 7,057 crore.

Mallya feels sorry for his employees as he has not been able to clear their salaries for months together. Whose fault is it, Mr Mallya? What was the need to take over the dead Air-Deccan airline? Where was the need to employ surplus staff? Where was the need to add more aircraft to its fleet? Where was the need to splurge and spend a handsome amount on the landing of the world's biggest aircraft in India just for fun?

Ignoring the plight of passengers, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has ruled out cancellation of the licence to Kingfisher Airlines, stating that the airline must submit its new flying schedule and keep flying. Even the DGCA (Directorate-General of Civil Aviation) has not taken any stringent action against Kingfisher Airlines. Had it been some other small airlines, its licence would have been cancelled long ago. There are many instances when the DGCA cancelled licences of airlines for their lapses. Why favour Kingfisher Airlines?


Silent killers

The most important reason for Hepatitis B & C is the rampant quackery which the government has failed to curb in spite of the Supreme Court judgments and failure of vaccination programme for hepatitis B (‘Add life to your liver’, March 22).

The incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is increasing because of glamour associated with unhealthy food habits and a lavish lifestyle. Alcoholic liver disease is spreading like wild fire because of increased consumption of alcohol which is promoted by the government to earn revenue.

In Punjab especially, all these factors have combined to take monstrous proportions silently killing thousands. Most of the social and medical organisations fail to set an example for discouraging alcohol consumption.

Sometimes, liquor is served in academic meets and conferences. It is really laughable and sets a wrong example. Punjab is heading towards a health disaster with modern lifestyle changes, and alcohol and tobacco consumption.


Poverty line debate

Once again, the Planning Commission has started a nationwide debate by presenting controversial data regarding the people who live below the poverty line (BPL). It has lowered the poverty line bar to Rs 28 in the urban areas and Rs 22 in the rural areas per person per day. It means that members of the Planning Commission are not aware of the ground realities. At present, almost 35 crore people come below the poverty line. According to international standards, over 80 crore people fall below the poverty line in India (the global limit fixed by the World Bank is $ 1.25 per person per day). Reports of the Planning Commission directly affect the BPL families as more than two dozen welfare schemes to eradicate poverty are currently in progress. Members of the Planning Commission should re-examine their report.


Prisoners’ exchange

The proposal put forth by Pakistan's noted human rights activist and renowned lawyer Asma Jehangir regarding an Indo-Pak treaty for repatriation of prisoners is a welcome step and should be considered seriously by both the countries.

Only in serious criminal cases like espionage, waging a war against the other country, murder, spying etc. the convict should undergo sentence in the country where the crime has been committed.

Apart from exchange of prisoners who have completed their prison terms, a provision should also be made in the treaty for sending the convicts in a jail of their own country for serving jail terms in minor offence like trespassing.

After completion of the sentence, a formal approval from the country awarding the sentence may be obtained before release.

Wg Cdr S S SAVANT (retd), Zirakpur

Spiritual gurus go overboard

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s statement that government schools breed Naxals is unfortunate, unpatriotic and offensive (news item ‘Sri Sri says govt schools breed Naxals, Sibal furious’, March 22).

Sri Sri later withdrew his statement and said he was referring to government schools in Naxal-infested areas. This is an after-thought and uncalled for.

Spiritual gurus should confine themselves to spiritualism only. The majority of the followers of Sri Sri are rich people and probably Sri Sri is propagating corporate culture in the country. Instead, he should suggest ways and means to improve the functioning of government schools and his ‘rich’ followers should donate generously for the cause of education. Poor people depend on government schools, hospitals and the public transport system only.

Dr AJAY BAGGA, Hoshiarpur



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