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

Markets manipulated?

Apropos the news report “Nifty crosses 7,000; Sensex up 550 points” (May 13), the movement in the stock markets compels one to ponder whether the swings correctly project the sentiment of the economy or these are just a manipulation by the big players of the stock markets. The happenings on the economic front in the last couple of months when stock markets seem to be robust and experiencing the upswings raise doubts as everything else -- from growth rate to the value of the rupee -- is yet to show healthy signs. Such volatile character of the Indian stock markets is a boon for the mighty foreign financial institutions which exploit the situation. They, with their strong financial muscles, control the market. Otherwise, there is no logic in the market experiencing a steep rise one day and nosediving the next day.

The money earned by the foreign players is repatriated out of the country without contributing to productive activities. Rules must be strengthened to restrict and curtail the repatriation of such gains. The fear of fall in stock markets should not bother the regulating bodies in coming out with strict laws on this front.

Indian entrepreneurs should bear in mind that unless we brew and breed faith in ourselves and nurture trust in our capabilities, we cannot expect foreigners to trust us and invest confidently in our country. Only a healthy competitive spirit can take us on the path of development.

Speculative tendencies of stock markets are not the indicators of the economic health of our nation.


CoI & rule of law

In the article “Conflicting interests bane of polity” (May 9), author Kanwar Sandhu has given apt examples of Conflict of Interest (CoI). However, the article says that the issue of conflict of interest does not find mention in the Constitution. But the Constitution does contain the golden principle of ‘rule of law’ flowing through its provisions. Rule of law implies the absence of arbitrariness. The principles of natural justice also run through the fabric of the Constitution evolved through judicial interpretations, such as no one should be a judge in his own case, justice should not only be done but also must be seen to have been done etc. These principles are implied inherently in the concept of CoI.

Dr Sunaina, Chandigarh

Deal with CoI cases

Apropos Kanwar Sandhu’s article on conflict of interest, in America, any elected official or bureaucrat proven guilty of conflict of interest has to resign from his/her official position and face the law. In most cases, political careers have been destroyed on account of proven cases of CoI.

Insider trading on the Wall Street is another manifestation of conflict of interst in financial markets. Those found guilty, including CEOs and presidents of large corporations, have been awarded exemplary punishments of jail terms and hefty fines.

India needs to deal with cases of conflict of interest. The Adarsh housing scandal of Mumbai is a clear case of conflict of interest. But so far none of the powerful individuals has faced punishment. Inquiries are scuttled to help the guilty in powerful positions.

Harjap Singh Aujla, New Jersey (USA)

Improve sanitation

Apropos “Water-borne diseases surfaces in Faridabad” (May 13), the main cause of such diseases is contaminated drinking water due to insanitary conditions and unsafe disposal of human excreta and waste. In the disease-prone areas, there is likelihood of rampant open defecation and heaps of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste lying around contaminating the water sources.

If water-borne diseases are to be controlled, the authorities should educate the communities and improve the system managing sanitary conditions with community participation.

Dr Puran Singh, Nilokheri

Green Punjab

The PSPCL may hike electricity rates due to shortage of coal. But purchasing power from outside at high rates (approximately 1.5 times) is not a permanent solution.

Punjab should emulate the Rajasthan and Gujarat solar power models. It will be a lifetime investment and help towards green energy.

We can set up a solar park in an infertile region, as in Rajasthan. We can cover the Bhakra by solar cells, as in Gujarat. It will prevent millions of gallons of water from evaporating daily.

JATIN BATRA, Patran (Patiala)

Acute power cuts

With the mercury soaring, Khanna residents are suffering sleepless nights due to acute and frequent outages. They are enduring heat and humidity as a result of poor infrastructure and outdated electricity transmission lines that lead to loadshedding.

Munish Goyal, Khanna

Polluted cities

A recent survey by the WHO has ranked Amritsar, Ludhiana and Khanna in the list of top 20 most polluted cities of the world. It should be a matter of concern to us. Industrial hubs and other major cities must take immediate steps to control pollution and prevent the environment from deteriorating further. It requires individual as well as government efforts. Planting more trees, car pooling and using public transport are some measures that can make a big difference. Else, we will be the victim of our own mistakes.

MANMEET KAUR, Hoshiarpur

Restore Amritsar’s glory

Those who have lived in Amritsar for over 45 years will vouch for the fact that once it was one of the cleanest and most well-planned cities of the world. But now, when we are scrambling to get the city the heritage status fromthe UNO, its agency WHO has reported that Amritsar ranks14th in the world in air pollution.

Being the most sacred religious place of the Sikhs, the government should have been aware of the perils of such a situation. People are tired of hearing from Parkash Singh Badal that Amritsar would be made Paris or London. They should let Amritsar be Amritsar and restore its pristine glory, beauty and cleanliness. If Surat can be converted from a plague-afflicted city to the cleanest city of India, we can do it for Amritsar also.

Surinderjit Singh Sandhu, Amritsar

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