I agree with “Politics hits a new low point” (Mint, 18 July). But disagree with “just as the government is guilty, so is the Opposition. It is going all out to woo independents and some ruling party MPs.” What you are saying is that while the government is guilty doing all that it is doing to save itself, the Opposition isn’t entitled to woo MPs who may be disinclined to support the government. And that they should twiddle their thumbs just to get a certificate of “good conduct” while the government indulges in tricks to save itself? It’s strange logic that the rules should be different for the government and the Opposition.
This refers to “Doubting an honest man”(Mint, 17 July). Ever since Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh met Mukesh Ambani, there has been a debate on whether he should have entertained an industrialist. There is no doubt that there is so much to do in such little time as far as reforms are concerned. The pension Bill, women’s reservation Bill and banking reforms, to cite a few in a large, unfinished, agenda.
The PM could have handled it better than he did, but no one should doubt his intentions, credibility or integrity as his passion for the nuclear deal is testimony to this fact. If we think carefully, we realize that he was never a politician or a shrewd man in the first place; he was always a humble and simple person, an economist first and a PM later. In this, he is unlike prime ministers in the past who were shrewd politicians to the core. The mistake Singh made was not moving to this pedestal of politicians, for he always thought that every political party would understand his intentions of taking India to a higher level and making it a truly global power. In this, he thought like an economist, not like a seasoned politician.
Apropos Atanu Dey’s “India’s energy challenge” (Mint, 15 July). One fails to understand how solar energy contributing only 3-5% to the total (if it does) by 2020 can be of any consequence. According to one projection, nuclear power also does not fare any better, sharing only 6% of our total projected demand of some 400,000MW by 2030. Coal will still rule supreme with 44%, followed by liquefied natural gas (LNG) with 34% share of that demand. By that time, our coal reserves would have been used up and India would continue importing coal and LNG in ever larger quantities. Does this little planet have enough to whet this gargantuan appetite of China and India on a headlong pursuit of Western consumerism, forgetting for the moment the rest of the world? But then we have not mentioned water (and a host of other commodities) yet, polluted as it is. If Carbon-Die–Oxide does not kill us, thirst will.
A major reason for the investment slowdown is the red tape faced at every step by a private enterprise (“Animal spirits in the economy”, Mint, 16 July). State governments invite private investment for capital projects without any clear guidelines on what is mandated. Once the project commences, all types of objections crop up. It is time the government cleaned up its own act and brought in more transparency.