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

Get back black money

The Finance Minister is obviously expected to wield the magic wand which can prove to be a panacea for all economic evils and ills. Jayshree Sengupta in her article Expecting a populist budget (February 23) has very confidently tried to forecast the contents of the budget and her perceptions are very naturally based on the compulsions of the political class of decision makers.

Let us think of deviating from the traditional, stereotyped and already tested paths of deficit financing which instead of bringing cheers adds to the economic woes. The Finance Minister must focus on austerity measures, concentrate on streamlining of policy execution and take steps to bring back black money.

If we continue wasting our precious resources on unproductive, wasteful and illogical expenses, we cannot execute policies and programmes; they continue to project their false sheen only on papers, which has been superfluously relished by the political bosses of this country.

Any number of governments and budgets will not be able to bring the economy on the right track if daring measures like getting back black money are not adequately addressed.

Deficit financing if not used in a planned manner would surely add fuel to the fire. The savings from the austerity measures, the reverse flow of drained black money suitably and ably studded with perfect execution of plans and policies can effectively substitute the budget deficit which is a double edged sword whose negative side has worked due to improper and populist use of the fiscal tool.

The cosmetic and short term solutions and remedies to the economic problems confronting the nation are thought of only in the election year.


Encouraging Samaritans

It was a commendable job done by school teacher Nisha Yadav, who bravely exposed the murky deeds at  an NGO shelter home in Gurgaon where minor girls were being raped (news report Teacher who exposed girls' exploitation honoured’, Haryana Tribune, February 19). It is only because of her courageous initiative to stand up and speak for these ill-fated girls lodged at the ‘Suparana Ka Aangan’ shelter home that the culprits were booked and the cauldron at the shelter home stopped.

Recognition of the philanthropic act of this conscientious and sensible school teacher will encourage many more educated members of the society to unravel social and individual problems.


An ailing economy

Your editorial ‘’ Growth is slipping’’ (Feb 9) is a grim reminder to the public  and the government about the ailing Indian economy. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has projected an economic growth for 2013 slipping down to 5 per cent. Instead of waking up, the government has preferred to disbelieve the report. In fact, the days ahead portend a very bleak future because the national economy has been sucked into the vortex of serious issues like the current account deficit due to a heavy  import bill of crude oil, fiscal deficit, subsidies, rising debt (on states and corporates both), inflation, energy insecurity , recession in the Euro -zone and poor governance. It will be extremely difficult for the Finance Minister to present a balanced budget this year.

The governments in the states and at the Centre would be busy fighting elections in 10 states and preparing for the 2014 general elections. They will be left with little time to put the economy back on the rails. Already UPA-2 has remained a pale shadow of UPA-1, courtesy coalition partners and scams. Unfortunately, the government is  clueless  about how to blow away the financial cloud. Its advisors have adopted a dismissive attitude. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has been the biggest stumbling block in clearing the infrastructure projects so much so that the NHAI had to go to the Supreme Court against its recalcitrant attitude.

The only solution to break this financial logjam lies in investing heavily in infrastructure projects, particularly in the fields of solar energy, hydro-power, sanitation and expansion of railway tracks.

Ram Niwas Malik, Engineer-in-Chief (retd.), Gurgaon 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |