Much more is involved than “blowing the lid off land seizure” in the recent violence in a Kolkata football match (Mint, “Violence in village blows the lid off land seizure”, 25 August). Your reporters deserve appreciation for helping the public to begin looking at the problem deeply. What you refer to as an “innovative deal” may turn out to be a sellout of people’s interests and a draining of public revenues. Such innovative deals appear to be the normal way joint agreements are concluded . This is a larger issue confronting the nation when the government is encouraging the public-private partnership method of financing infrastructure and development. This is an example of what the world media describes when they call India “oligarchic” and “encouraging crony capitalism”.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is incompetent, incoherent and something else, too (Mint, “The wind of the 100 days”, 28 August). That smug and arrogant look on their noses is back on the faces of all Congress leaders.
Anything and everything is sought to be explained away with convoluted logic without batting an eyelid. They are presumably inspired by the Prime Minister himself who merely read out a prepared text on the Indo-Pakistan joint statement without actually addressing the concerns and the queries raised. The UPA now seems to believe that it is no longer accountable or answerable; Congress governments in states such as Andhra Pradesh are following suit. Good luck in the form of the total disarray and chaos in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the humiliating beating received by the Left Front has resulted in the Opposition being totally marginalized; this is being mistaken for a divine right to infallibility.
The 100-day target seems to have produced more rhetoric and pompous pronouncements than anything of substance which could raise actual hope. But the severe drought which has now moved from a spectre to a grim reality; the continuing inability to contain Pakistan’s open connivance at terrorism directed at India; the rising tide of Maoist violence; the spate of credible allegations of corruption against ministers in the government are all swamps and quicksand lying in the path of this government. The smirks and the smiles are bound to be replaced by long faces, unless there is a resolve to do away with uttering mere platitudes on public platforms and actually doing something credible. Unless this smugness is shed, the wheel can come a full circle sooner than feared.
— N.S. Rajan
This is with reference to your editorial “Stability, but new challenges” (Mint, 1 September). The gross domestic product (GDP) data, the increase in inflow of foreign funds and the improvement in business confidence are positive indicators to draw an inference that the worst is over for the economy and that it is slowly stabilizing in the right direction. It was thought that tax cuts and a huge increase in government spending ensured economic growth in the country, but the high fiscal deficit will put brakes on our growth track. The underlying fact is that unless corporate investment picks up, the so-called V-shaped rebound will be difficult to achieve.
Hence, we cannot be complacent on what we have achieved in terms of GDP growth during the first quarter. A quarterly analysis might indicate a relative increase in the growth rate, but the issue is whether the same can be sustained, given the precarious state of drought conditions in the country. The expected drop in farm output may lead to food inflation.
The impact of drought will be far-reaching, as the livelihood of millions of people will be at stake. Keeping in view this fact, the government is planning to expand the scope of its flagship social security programme and to make its functioning more effective. This is a good move in the current circumstances.
In the coming quarters, both the government and the central bank should engage in fighting inflation and also ensure that the growth witnessed in the first quarter is maintained—this is certainly a daunting task for authorities.
— K.N.V.S. Subrahmanyam