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Why growth decelerated

This refers to the article “Why growth has decelerated” (February 28). Manpreet Badal describes three known reasons for the deceleration of GDP growth from 9% to 5 % under the UPA government: policy paralysis, absence of economic reforms and unbridled inflation. The government attributes the drop in growth to recession in developed countries and compulsions of coalition government. But the prime causes are different.

Firstly, the heavy import bill of crude oil (~10 lakh crore, which is 8% of GDP) upset the current account deficit, leading to the weakening of the rupee. The second reason is the lopsided development of infrastructure in core sectors, particularly the Railways. However, the government started clearing the long-pending projects only at the fag end of its term. Thirdly, the Ministry of Water Resources Developments did nothing to store the rainfall run of many river basins and use the same for irrigation and power generation. The annual floods caused by the Yamuna is the most telling example in this regard. Fourthly, Coal India Limited failed to mine adequate quantity of coal to feed all thermal power plants. Fifthly, the Ministry of Power did nothing to implement its 2001 programme of developing 50,000 MW of hydro-power via run-off of the river projects.

One does not know if these issues will be ever addressed by the new government because the principal political parties are engaged in blame games in their election speeches and never talk of and commit to measures required to push up growth. This is the irony of Indian politics and the fate of voters.

Ram Niwas Malik, Gurgaon

Anna and BJP’s Team C

In a few days, Anna will come to know who his real friends are. His one-time supporter Gen VK Singh has joined the BJP and speculation is rife that Kiran Bedi as well is following suit. Arvind Kejriwal deserves a pat on his back for trying to break the invisible wall between himself and Anna. Even though AAP patrons were insulted by Anna, Arvind didn’t speak a word against the veteran activist.

Now when trusted lieutenants are leaving the parent outfit, it is strange that Anna has announced support for the Trinamool Congress (TMC). In the past, AAP was regarded as ‘Team B’ of the Congress. But the day is not far when Anna’s India Against Corruption (IAC) will be regarded as ‘Team C’ of the BJP, with the RSS being its ‘Team B’.

Deepjot S Thukral, Ambala Cantt

Edit an AAP press note?

The editorial “AAP-BJP clashes” appears to be a press communiqué of the AAP. The party violated the Model Code of Conduct and its members attacked the office of a rival party merely because police personnel showed the temerity to ask about permission from its leader. Its well-recognised leaders actively participated in the attack and now they are shifting blame to the foot soldiers.

Ankush, Una

Patronising AAP?

The editorial “AAP-BJP clashes” indicates a patronisingly indulgent attitude towards Arvind Kejriwal. His decision to visit Gujarat, to raise an avoidable controversy there, to SMS his battalions in Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad to raise ruckus in front of BJP quarters is a well-scripted but poorly enacted drama. I too admired him earlier, saw in him a silver lining, but now am disillusioned with him. The sooner we learn, the better it is.

Sushil Goyal, Amedgarh

Hike medical aid

As per the recommendation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, the government increased the medical allowance of central government pensioners from ~100 to ~ 300. But this not sufficient. It should be raised to ~1,500.

Tilak Raj Manni, Gurdaspur

Sangrur not ‘progressive’

It seems that Sangrur is not part of “progressive” Punjab. The main bus stand is the worst bus stand of the state. Even a small downpour converts it into a pond. The traffic lights have not been repaired for the past eight years. There are always jams in the main markets due to encroachments. Almost all the roads have potholes and the sewerage has failed in most localities.

Darshan Gupta, Sangrur



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