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FDI: Debate, referendum can be helpful

The editorial Over to Parliament (November 20) has viewed only one side of the story. FDI in retail will ultimately benefit the developed world. The comment regarding the Opposition supporting ‘middlemen’ is deriding the existence of common people like ahartiyas, transporters, thellawallahs, retailers, who are one amongst us only. They have a right to a decent living and earning, they depend on a system which might need improvement to benefit consumers but not wiping out.

What about the high class middlemen, like celebrities endorsing a product, say Indian Captain MS Dhoni eating up to Rs 210 crore. The price of the product that we commoners buy in the market includes the cost of advertisement that is paid by consumers?

The farmers are being misguided. Once middlemen are wiped out, the rates paid to these farmers will drop. This brings us to questioning FDI retail —are we actually reforming? Any decision which hurts more than 10 % of the population should be put to a referendum.



If the winter session of Parliament too is allowed to be wasted, it would be disastrous not only for the long term economic downslide but will also account for total loss of foreign-investor confidence in our country which the nation can ill-afford at this critical juncture (editorial Over to Parliament, November 20).

The quintessence of democratic functioning is to arrive at long-term solutions to serious national issues through informed debate. Our Constitution and parliamentary procedures allow adequate leeway for dissent. There should, therefore, never be any occasion for the elected representatives to stall proceedings of the House in an unruly manner that lowers the dignity of Parliament.



The PGI MD entrance test has been cancelled with the unearthing of the paper leak scam by the CBI. High-end technological tools readily available in the market have come in handy for the cheats.

The racket was operated much like a military contingency plan with as many as seven girls being planted at four different centres to ensure 100 per cent success, incase girls at one or two centres were caught or their paper scanning system failed to work. The cheats were indeed smart but the CBI turned out to be smarter.

The actual beneficiaries were sadly the genuine MBBS doctors who reportedly paid hefty sums, like Rs 30-40 lakh to clear the MD entrance test. It is these doctors who are to be blamed more than their facilitators in the cheating game. They should be identified and punished swiftly to act as a deterrent for others.

The cheat doctors have brought a bad name to the medical profession but it should not come as a surprise. The profession, in fact, has already degenerated to a very low position in the ladder of ethics. All doctors, especially the few ethical and noble ones left among them, should introspect and do something tangible to bring back the lost glory and esteem of the profession.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


It is a shameful incident in one of the biggest medical institutes in our country. The PGI admissions racket has made the common man, parents and wards to rethink the authenticity of the medical education and aid they receive here.

In our country, treatment in PGIMER or AIIMS is considered cheap and precious. Considered an ultimate destination in medical profession, people’s faith in PGI doctors is like believing in God.

The need of the hour is to give stringent punishment to the persons involved in this racket to give a lesson to the others. PGI needs to be more vigilant in such matters.


Prevention is better

The Chatth Puja stampede in Patna raises a question over the sincerity of the administration towards public welfare and the government’s commitment towards common people and their valuable lives. It seems they do not take lessons from the past, because such incidents have happened earlier as well. As of now both the ruling government and opposition parties like RJD and LJP in Bihar are more interested in heated exchanges for political benefit.


Forcing decisions

The debacle of the Congress government had taken place on the issue of ‘family planning’ when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister. Although the decision was very much in national interest, coercion by the authorities concerned while carrying out the campaign, which involved even undeserved persons, was the main cause of downfall of the Congress government.

With sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities and reduction in the number of subsidised gas cylinders to every household, government reforms are adversely affecting the kitchen menu of common households. The Congress-led government is again making the same mistake of forcible reforms.

Dr R S VERMA, Karnal



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