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System is bedevilled

With a few changes, the views put forth in Lt-Gen SS Mehta’s article “Defence expenditure: Get value for money” (May 23) have been the refrain going around for 10-12 years.

The system is bedevilled by commissions and leakages. Technical competence hardly exists. When a project goes to two or three Five-Year Plans, it means accountability cannot be done at any PADDAV-military-bureaucracy-ministerial level. DRDO is a Soviet model, but there a scientist would be sent to Siberia to cool off for non-productive work.

Defence expenditure comes under revenue expenditure, as General Mehta writes, because leaky clauses can be inserted only in contracts under revenue expenditure. Has anyone from the bureaucracy and DRDO ever been hauled up?

Regarding re-employment of ex-servicemen, it is a myth that the ex-servicemen are disciplined, skilled and young and would be beneficial to the civil society. It is far from reality. Big companies are required to spend 2% of their profit on social uplift which includes skills development. Since the MoD does not want to spend money on developing civil skills, the social responsibility clause may be used.

The MoD/Department of Veterans should develop technical skills of personnel. Till alternately employed, the ex-servicemen should be in full pay as per the SC order that the government cannot uproot people without providing alternative facilities of home, education, job and medical.

Some suggestions made in the article are what Modi employed in Gujarat and can be duplicated.

Commander Prem P Batra (retd), via email

Missing cost accountants

The Tribune provides guidance to the youth by bringing out details of various courses available in different fields. However, in the edition of Jobs & Careers dated May 14, Usha Albuquerque has missed an important professional body in her article. That is the Institute of Cost Accountants of India which has some 36,000 members on its roles and is providing guidance for the exam of CMAs to over two lakh students. The members hold important positions both in the public and private sectors and the government. They are a guiding force for many critical decisions with regard to fresh investments. Also, they have been allowed to carry out tax audit under the IT Act, apart from special audit under central excise rules. Similarly, she has omitted the role of the company secretary in the business world.

HS Arora, Patiala

AAP has miles to go

Apropos the editorial “Pause and think” (May 23), lack of experience of shrewd politics and over-confidence after the Delhi Assembly election win led to AAP’s collapse. After the Delhi election, Kejriwal had said that he would concentrate in a couple of states, besides Delhi. But his immature political advisers were so upbeat with the sudden achievement that they had little time to gauge the ground reality in depth. Hence, the sheen gained a few months back has been lost sooner than expected.

However, not all is lost. It happens more often than not in political circles. Major parties have had to lick the dust many a time, as we saw in the present elections. But they re-strengthen their base and correct their follies and flaws. The blunder of forming a government with the support of the unreliable Congress had eaten the vitals of AAP. It is not the time to grumble over the lapses.

AAP’s priority should be to establish a base in Punjab as this state has supported it favourably. To run a government requires a lot of experience, supported by pragmatic approach and achievements. AAP has to go miles before it gets a position.

Gurnam Singh Seetal, Khanna

Not all lost yet, AAP

Reference to the editorial “Pause and think” (May 23), Kejriwal's refusal of bail for jail is nothing but a publicity stunt. AAP which is the only credible alternative in the current context, where the Congress has been decimated, seems to be wasting another chance by doing stupid things. Punjab, which has given AAP a fair representation in Parliament, deserves a better response from the party. It must sit up and decide what it wants. It must understand that the role of the Opposition is not to oppose everything but give constructive criticism which may be good for public. The party was given a golden chance by the people of Delhi which it could have used as a showcase of its style of governance and then pitched itself nationally. But the mindless haste with which the party fielded candidates did it in. The party has not lost everything yet. However, if it continues to behave irresponsibly, even its supporters will wean away. Instead of looking like a bunch of protesters and grumblers, the partymen must present themselves one who have a plan and will to change the system and usher in an era of transparency and public participation in governance.

Ashok Goswami, Amritsar

AAP loses sheen

Arvind Kejriwal was more than in a hurry to grab power at the Centre and his move to resign as Chief Minister of Delhi was purported to buy time to contest the Lok Sabha election. But he could not succeed. Now, Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have returned to Delhi to try their luck again. They overestimated themselves after getting unprecedented success in the Delhi elections, especially after defeating Sheila Dikshit. Little did they know that their actions would fall flat on the people who feel cheated due to their aimless ideology. Kejriwal’s actions are nothing more than drama to come again in the limelight. AAP has lost its sheen.


Recognise nurses

With reference to the news item “GMSH-16 nurse gets National Award from President” (May 15), the Government of India confers the Florence Nightingale Award, the highest honour for nurses on Nightingale’s birth anniversary. Surprisingly, none from among the thousands of nurses serving in Punjab have made it to the mark so far. This is so because they are not getting due recognition for their work from the authorities concerned.

Dr Gulshanbir Kaur, Sangrur

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: letters@tribuneindia.com


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