L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Multi-pronged action to control inflation

Inflation has been persistent since 2008 and the government’s focus must be on bringing it down, even if it is at the cost of economic growth. The government needs to take multi-pronged action both at fiscal and monetary levels simultaneously. Food inflation must be brought down to respectable levels, besides other steps suggested in Jayshree Sengupta’s article “Warnings from rating agencies” (October17). Wasteful expenditure which is not contributing directly to productive investments both at the Centre and states must be cut down. Secondly, QE/ loose monetary policy by Central Banks of the US, EU and Japan must restrict monetisation at current volumes and speed. This is resulting in price hike of bonds, stocks and gold alright, but also increasing oil and food prices globally. The Indian government needs to highlight this issue at world forums. China and Brazil have already started working on this aspect. As a prominent economist like Stiglitz has brought out that due to globalisation, money intended for one nation may show impact on some other nation.

RBI should maintain rates at current levels till the end of the financial year. It will of course harm the interests of our domestic investors as it is difficult to raise loans. They are left with no option but to borrow externally. This is not desirable when we are allowing FDIs on one side to bring in dollars at near zero interest rates from their parent country, while our domestic investors are reeling under high interest rates. There should be a level playing field.

Circulation of fake currency notes needs to be checked both across the border and in the domestic market. Demand supply curves need to be monitored and matched for all essential commodities. Focus should be on key sectors like manufacture and agriculture. Warnings from rating agencies must not worry us unduly. Put the house in order and we have inherent growth potential to surmount any crisis.

Col PRITPAL SINGH DHILLON (retd), via e-mail

Tap power resources

The basic cause for dismal performance in power has been inadequate generation capacity (editorial “Curbing theft not enough”, Oct 31). Post-independence, there was vast scope of improving the economy at a higher and faster rate by increasing industrial and agricultural production. Had enough power been utilised for increasing the produce in factories and farms, the number of people living without jobs and below the poverty line today would have been much less, but this did not happen just because our political masters lacked vision in understanding the importance of power.

Power development happened in a casual way, though Pt Nehru said as early as 1963 while inaugurating the Bhakra power plant that such projects are “temples of resurgent India”. Since per capita consumption of power is an index of the development of a country, to bring our country in the category of developed nations is a long haul. At present, our per capita consumption is nearly one-third of China and one-fifth of UK.

Supplying nearly one-third of power produced and procured free of cost as a populist measure is another hindrance in power sector development. It can lead to bankruptcy of power companies as well as of governments who partially compensate the companies with subsidies worked out at rates much below the cost of supply.

The other woes are excessive technical and commercial losses in the distribution network and lack of accountability on the part of those who manage the system.

RL MAHAJAN, Ludhiana

Better late

Talent, from wherever it comes, should be encouraged but the Sunday reshuffle has neither recognised public outcry nor does it seem concerned about the endless drift in the country’s polity (editorial ‘Too much, too late’, October 30).

Manmohan Singh government has lost even the last excuse to remain indecisive and is in the ‘pause’ mode. Not much time is left for the 2014 elections and if the Congress party does not wish to be almost wiped out, it must clean up the system, eradicate widespread and brazen corruption, implement reforms on FDI, diesel subsidies, qualitative functioning of higher education administration and an effective infrastructure.

Let us for once rid ourselves of a cynical, rotting, naïve and ineffective working order and stop the endless drift that has swept the whole nation.


Maintain the uniform’s dignity

The editorial “An ugly spat in public” (October 29) has rightly condemned politicisation of the police, citing the example of Punjab, and has drawn the government’s attention towards the Supreme Court’s recommendations on implementation of police reforms. It has been noticed, be it any state, the first thing the CM does is to appoint the police chief of his choice, and thereafter use the state police to further his political agenda. The police also toes the line, as it helps them make money and wield undue authority.

The common man may have to run from pillar to post to file an FIR, but a large police force remains at the beck and call of the MPs and MLAs. It makes the police force not only corrupt, but also results in neglect of their basic policing duties. 

The police is meant for the public and not politicians. A common man has no faith in the police and is scared of approaching a policeman because he is rude, unpredictable and demands bribe. The IPS officers have to awaken their conscience and stop being stooges of political leaders. Once they set a personal example of professional honesty, their colleagues and others down the hierarchy will follow. The police chiefs on the other hand must lay stress on improving law and order, providing better training facilities and keeping them physically fit. Police reforms should begin with their own actions of propriety. A police officer in uniform must maintain its dignity.

Col R D SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantt



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