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FDI in insurance spells doom for native companies

Paving the way for multinational insurance companies into the Indian market cannot be called a good gesture from the economic growth point of view (news report ‘FinMin clears 49% FDI cap in insurance sector’, August 23). It can spell doom for indigenous insurers.

The MNCs in developed countries failed to extract much insurance business from people’s pockets there. They are now eying Indian market to fulfill their profit motives. Their entry into Indian market is only to fetch huge investments for squaring up losses incurred. The MNCs won’t come here for funding social welfare schemes which are being implemented by the State-owned insurer i.e. LIC of India.

Keeping in view the long term vested interests, the governments of developed countries are mounting pressure on UPA government by diplomatic means. The pros and cons of raising FDI cap in insurance sector have been analysed not only by major political parties (especially Leftist parties) but also by affiliated trade unions in insurance corporations.  


Attack poverty

The crux of the grave problem of child labour is attributed to poverty in rural and sub-urban areas (editorial “Child labour”, September 7). There is no dearth of laws in India but the laws die down for want of implementation in letter and spirit. This problem is peculiar in nature and it need special attention of the government which should take appropriate steps to alleviate poverty, resulting which child labour would automatically be checked to some extent. This law cannot be applied to all the children and families in India because older children do double as bread-earners in cases of extreme poverty and bigger families.


Not trivial

Most men consider sexual harassment as a trivial matter (editorial “Sexual harassment”, September 7). This crudity is entrenched as acceptable and considered macho behaviour in the minds of most men. When women do not report acts of sexual harassment, it only encourages men to risk doing it again and again. Due to the perceived lower gender status of women, rape too is considered merely an act of ‘sexual harassment’. Rape is a barbaric and violent physical attack perpetrated against a helpless and vulnerable woman or child. It destroys the mind and life of the victim forever. Such an attack is identical to an attempted murder. The only way to put an end to rape is to change the law where punishment is on par with the crime perpetrated.  


Satire on polity

The BJP is rejoicing the report describing our PM as a “dithering, ineffectual, bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government” in an article “India’s Prime Minister becomes a tragic figure” published in a US daily.

The Washington Post analysis is infact a satire more on our polity, people and politicians, less on Dr Manmohan Singh individually.

The official repudiation of The Washington Post’s report from the PMO has termed it as a piece of ‘yellow journalism’ and ‘baseless’, but it is a reminder of the fact that corruption has entered the DNA of our socio-political system. No political party can claim to be bereft of this menace. Time and again, it has been proved that bureaucracy, business corporates, media and even judiciary all have a price.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali

Tip of iceberg

It was shocking to read the news report “5 VB officials booked, victim to approach HC” (August 25) in which an innocent patwari was harassed by VB officials. This is not the first case of high handedness by VB officials but only the tip of the iceberg. This department has been the den of corruption in Punjab as VB officials usually demand bribes from innocent government employees and threaten to implicate them in false cases. Vigilance officials have amassed hug wealth and properties by such corrupt and immoral means.


How cheap is human life!

The Sivakasi tragedy has brought to light how little attention is paid to safety measures in our country. In such circumstances, it is not appalling to note that a factory whose licence had already been cancelled was still in operation? It is strange that despite frequent fires, basic precautions are never taken.

Fire safety norms are invariably neglected. Safety norms need proper planning, implementation and adequate resources. Certainly, frequent tragedies at Sivakasi are due to poor governance and the administration’s failure to ensure implementation of safety norms. The responsibility of large-scale violations of safety norms should be fixed, strict action must be taken against the defaulters and victims be compensated adequately.

Capt SK DATTA (retd), Abohar



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