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

Govt must tax big farmers

The Akalis or the Congress were not fighting for the cause of ordinary farmers but for big sharks who own hundreds of acres of land. The government has succumbed to their blackmail and exempted agriculture land from wealth tax (editorial 'Drama over wealth tax', May 1).

Why should agriculture land of big farmers worth crores of rupees be exempted while the urbanites pay wealth tax on assets worth even Rs 50 lakh? In fact, the very rationale behind giving undue concessions to farmers like free power, income tax or wealth tax exemptions and guaranteed support price for their produce is flawed. If food that they produce is essential, so are other consumer products like soaps.

Why should urbanites bear the brunt of concessions to farmers? Why the loss due to free power to farmers is passed on to the urban consumers by increasing the tariff ? Why is the loss of income tax or wealth tax from farmers made good by the government by ignoring a genuine demand of the urban tax-payers for a raise in the income tax exemption limit?

It is time we reviewed free power and tax concessions to big farmers. Why should they get special treatment on the basis of their work? Appeasement of one section at the cost of others is not justified.

CL SEHGAL, Jalandhar

Citizens’ safety

The calculated and well-planned murder of Sarabjit Singh in Lahore jail of Pakistan is really disconcerting for every Indian. It appears that we are a country of sensitive people governed, nay misgoverned, by a very insensitive government. If the Central government, led by a very incompetent Prime Minister, cannot protect the life and honour of its citizens in the capital in particular and the country in general, how can they assure safety to our countrymen living abroad?

Moreover, the entire country is made to feel like a helpless cripple witnessing Chinese incursions into Indian territories. The foreign minister is preparing to go there and prostrate before the Chinese authorities. One cannot expect the government to do anything other than indulging in one scam after the other.

DINESH, Pathankot

UT's service rules

The service rules of the Chandigarh Administration are not clear. The Administration, it seems, is following the pattern or service rules of the Punjab Government for the salary structure and other allowances for its employees. Even for the retirement age, it is following Punjab's rules. But for the recruitment of different categories of employees, it is not following Punjab's service rules.

At present, the maximum age limit for recruitment at different posts in Punjab is 37 years for the general category, but, in Chandigarh, it is 25 or 27 years or five years relaxation for other reserved categories. This dual policy of the Administration is creating confusion as well as disappointment among eligible candidates. This issue has been raised many times by employees' unions, but every time bureaucracy fails to address the problem, which is affecting employment chances of Chandigarh residents.


Courageous woman

The death of Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan is indeed tragic for all Indians. However, in the whole episode, the role of Sarabjit's sister, Dalbir Kaur, will always be remembered in history as one of the most courageous women. She has shown to the world the concern of a sister towards her brother. The way she boldly fought a lonely battle should be an example for the rest of the world. The brave woman deserves a national award.

V K ANAND, Punjab

Teaching methodology

Apropos the editorial 'Context books' (May 3), education is the most crucial part of a child's development. It is, therefore, necessary that textbooks should relate to situations in real life for becoming more effective. But more than this, it has been my experience as a teacher, the method used by a teacher is more useful in learning by students. After a few weeks of using a textbook in English, I found that students could not learn a bit what I had taught from the book. Considering myself as a failure, I thought of some other method that could be more useful in reading and comprehension abilities. I did not use the textbook for the first 10 lessons. I solely depended on verbal communication relating to the lessons in the textbook. The results were amazing. The students not only communicated well but also became adept in reading the contents. It is essential that teachers should use the methodology that stands the test of time. This way students not only become more attentive but also gain confidence.

S KUMAR, Panchkula

Sarabjit's death

The tragic death of Sarabjit Singh, who was languishing in Pakistani jails for 22 years, has come as a jolt to every Indian. Had Sarabjit been an American citizen, he would have come home alive.The slack attitude of our government has ruined a family that fought a long battle for Sarabjit Singh’s survival. We bow our heads in shame. The life of a common man seems to have no value in our country. The following lines of Sahir Ludhianvi come to my mind: "Mana ke abhi tere mere armanon ki keemat kuchh bhi nahi,

Mitti ka bhi hai kuchh mol magar, insanon ki keemat kuchh bhi nahi, Insanon ki izzat jab jhoothe sikkon mein naa toli jaayegi, Wo subah kabhi to aayegi."


Chandigarh-Nawanshahr road neglected 

Travelling on the 102-km-long Chandigarh-Samrala Chowk- Machhiwara- Rahon- Nawanshahr road is really a bone-shattering experience with deep craters, potholes and cracks dotting the road. At night, the unlit stretch becomes all the more risky when most of potholes are not easily visible. Besides, the bridge over the Sutlej at Rahon must be double-laned and well-nit at nights.

One fails to understand why hasn't the stretch been re-laid over the years? It also needs to be widened keeping in view burgeoning traffic and the resultant snarls. Generally, what has been observed is that only those roads are re-laid or renovated which are under toll plazas while others are neglected for years. Why does not the government stop charging road tax at the time of registration of a vehicle?

It is high time the Punjab Government urgently re-laid the road and saved commuters unnecessary harassment.

HARISH KUMAR,  Chandigarh 



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