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Diesel price hike just the beginning

At this juncture, the government’s assurance of controlling inflation by the mid of this year looks far imaginary than real. The diesel price hike will add another burden on the common man because of its domino impact. Certainly this hike will not be the last one, but the beginning.

The government has revised the LPG cylinder cap from 6 to 9 but at the same time has allowed oil companies to decide the diesel price allowing partial deregulation. Petrol and LPG cylinder prices were increased incessantly last year in comparison to diesel price. One fails to understand whether the government is doing a favour to the aam aadmi or otherwise.



The diesel price hike to the non-subsidised market-determined price for bulk consumers will raise not only rail and road fares but also the rail and road freight costs. This will automatically cause rise in prices of all commodities, especially bulk commodities including food. This will cause all people, especially the poor, to pay more for survival.

At the same time, retail diesel prices have not been hiked, providing the existing subsidy to direct consumers of diesel, namely owners of private diesel road vehicles, who are not among the poor. Would this not mean in effect that the poor will subsidise the rich? Is this a people-friendly policy of the union government?

Maj-Gen SG VOMBATKERE (retd), via e-mail


It has been rightly suggested in the editorial Partial diesel decontrol (January 19) to invest money saved from cutting subsidies in priority areas like education, health and infrastructure. No doubt, education is getting a large share of the budget, but it still falls short of 6% of GDP as recommended by many commissions.

However, more important than mere allocation is to utilise the amount so allocated fully and also with the optimum financial propriety which is not happening now. Another merit of this suggestion would be that the HoDs who are already burdened with many administrative and financial responsibilities will be relieved from the haste of utilising grants at the fag end of the financial year that mostly results in corrupt practices.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Creating fear

Pakistan’s mistaken belief that its nuclear, missile and secret capabilities have reduced India to a paper tiger has to be removed through acquisition of covert options. It means creating strong disincentives for its hostile action. It does not mean tit-for-tat action. It means creating concerns and uncertainty in its mindset about the consequences of its action.

In the wake of the brutality committed by Pakistan Army on Indian soldiers, one has to recognise that such incidents of tactical gravity will continue to spoil the bilateral relationship as long as there is no genuine change of mindset in Pakistan Army towards India. This mindset is marked by sustained hostility towards India and the determination to annexe J&K and to keep India destabilised through terrorism.


Letters to the Editor

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Ray of hope

The Supreme Court has admitted a petition saying that the Juvenile Act violates fundamental rights (news item,SC notice to Centre over PILs on juvenile Act’, January 19). Considering the past cases of crimes committed by juveniles such as thefts, rapes and murders, the accused are let off with light punishment being minors, that is below the age of 18 years.

In many cases, their ' share' of brutality is much more than others and still they go scot-free. The Supreme Court's contention that the gravity of the crime and not the age of the perpetrator is to be taken into consideration while giving them punishment will give natural justice. There seems to be some hope now of an amendment in the Juvenile Act to give relief to victims.




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