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Economy in a mess, FDI won’t help

The economy of the country, at present, is in a complete mess. Economic growth has dipped to 5.3% with little chances of recovery (news report ‘Q2 growth dips to 5.3%, headed for decade low’, December 1). Fiscal deficit soared to 71.6% of the budget target during the first six months of the year. The current account deficit also continues to rise.

The combined effect of these parameters is continuously causing inflation and unemployment.

Two consternating factors are that the growth rate may further dip to 4.5% next year and that the government has no clue how to reverse the growth trend. The advisers to the Prime Minister like Kaushik Basu, Rangarajan and Montek Singh speak in non-specific terms. FDI in retail will not produce ground-breaking results.

The basic causes of decelerating growth are poor governance (corruption + inefficiency), high import bill of oil and gas, rising population, financial indiscipline, misuse of natural resources, deficient growth in hydropower and low investment in infrastructure projects due to inordinate delays in getting various clearances. For example, clearance of Renuka Dam project is hanging fire for the past many years. Economy will never grow to the desired level till the government makes massive investment in infrastructure particularly in the field of solar energy, hydropower development and mines.



Allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail trade can be a risky affair for the Indian domestic market. It could prove to be a big blow to domestic industries. Retail trade is among the single largest component in the service sector in terms of contribution to GDP. Lately, the SMEs seems to have grown over the years by becoming organised. However, FDI in retail would definitely hamper the small and medium entrepreneurs.

By allowing the entry of big retail, we run the risk of having monopoly of the West. In the US, a handful of companies are seen controlling everything right from the food to seed and the shelf. This format is definitely going to fail in the Indian market owing to the highly decentralised context which has the attribute of multi-tiered marketing system. FDI in retail in Indian market will neither help farmers, it will only hinder small traders and industries.


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The Lok Sabha debate on FDI was eagerly followed by the Indian electorate for two days. At the time of voting, democracy was hijacked in a preplanned manner by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party members by preferring to abstain. It is time for the abstaining members to answer to the nation that when they cannot decide to vote against or in favour of an issue, what right they have to be members of the world’s biggest democracy. The majority of 120 million cannot be taken for a ride by a minority of 543 members.

RANJIT S HEYER, Hoshiarpur


After a long time one had some glimpses of a healthy and lively debate on a national issue. The divergent groups of political interests seemed to highlight their concern for small shopkeepers, job-seekers, house-wives, consumers and farmers while the ruling party emphasised the contribution of multinational corporations in infrastructure and reducing farm wastage.

But at the bottom of all this, the common man has known all the way that the SP, BSP and TMC have been looking for their pound of flesh. They knew that their vote, either way or even the abstention, is going to make all the difference to the ruling alliance.


Gujarat calling

Elections in no other state had been so focused upon by the national and international media as the current Gujarat elections (editorial “Gujarat Battle”, December 5).

The colossal rise of Narendra Modi, an Indian leader who has the capability to change the destiny of the nation, is because of his hard work and selfless service to his state. He is a man who has raised the bar of winning elections.

He is definitely set to storm the citadel in Delhi. Congress stands no chance to this maverick from Gujarat. The Congress party should explain to the nation as to how more than 4,000 innocent Sikhs were massacred for three days in the national capital when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister. How these people now shamelessly blame and castigate Modi for Gujarat riots.


Modi vs Chidambaram

Some BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj have proposed Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s post. A British magazine has proposed Finance Minister PC Chidambaram as a probable Congress candidate for the same coveted post. Sushma Swaraj has not singled out Modi as the PM candidate of the BJP. She has said that among others, he too has the ability and capability to become the next Prime Minister. And how come a UK based newspaper has felt the pulse of the Indian masses? Economy is not the only issue in Indian elections.

Prof MK SHARMA, Amritsar

Morality vs intellect

William Ralph Inge’s bold and unfettered declaration that “The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values” is indictment of our educational institutions, which are driven by ‘intellectual horses’ and not by ‘moral elephants’. Integrity is the hallmark of a teacher whereas in practice it is merely treated as an ornamental showpiece.

Dr S Radhakrishnan’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Teacher’s Day on September 5 but never has any grand moral aspect of this celebrated teacher even casually been referred to by teachers.

Most teachers would not be even aware of Dr Radhakrishnan’s intensely poverty-ridden long phase of life which he braved with quiet dignity. No wonder, followers of Radhakrishnan, the moralist, are hardly listened to while those drawn by Radhakrishnan, the intellectual, are feted in interviews and official functions of schools. Disorientation of education could not be greater than this.

AKHILESH, Hoshiarpur



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