The United Nations (UN), navies and the governments surrounding the Arabian Sea should pool their resources to tackle Somali piracy (Re: To Davy Jones’ Locker, Mint, 19 April). The UN Security Council should pass a resolution to seal off Somali coast, creating a sea barrier with the help of navies of the countries surrounding Arabian Sea. The action against pirates should be forceful. In fact, naval power should be used to eliminate them as they are a threat not only to commerce and trade, but also to the maritime security of the countries in the region. Pirates are criminals who forfeit human rights. It is also essential to find out if there are any persons/groups who provide resources and logistic support to the pirates. They, too, need to be dealt with severey,
Growth in India is skewed as the services sector has grown to the extent that it accounts for over 60% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) (Re: A large dent on poverty, Mint, 19 April). Much of this growth excludes the involvement of unskilled workers and the rural population. As a result, this impressive growth has failed to make a dent on poverty. The per capita income figures derived from the GDP numbers are misleading and hence the estimates of the below poverty line (BPL) population will be wrong.
With the very high rate of inflation the BPL numbers would surely have increased and not decreased as you have claimed in your editorial.
Economic growth has to be “inclusive”. In the absence of inclusiveness, skewed growth leads to increased consumption by a small fraction of the country’s population. This stratum is the immediate beneficiary of growth and spending on its part contributes to inflation. By the time the fruits of growth percolate down to the poor, their earnings lose purchasing power.
The answer to your poser “growth or redistribution: what is the key to removing poverty?” is neither of the two. The key is inclusive growth, taking care that it generates employment for a cross section of the society. The key is to make the entire adult population productive and make it less dependant on subsidies.
The key is “rurbanisation”—strengthening of rural infrastructure to ensure that growth reaches the rural areas of the country.
In the editorial “Confusing the role of Lokpal,” (Mint, 14 April), it has been rightly pointed out that one way of derailing an institution is to overburden it. The suggestion of the Congress general secretary, Digvijay Singh, has been made with an intention to confuse the role of the proposed Lokpal.
This is a panic reaction from the “official” side and indicates the fact that every method will be adopted to confuse the public with new and untimely brownie points. Opinion on the subject should be framed after a detailed study of the facts and issues and should be made in a democratic way. Just issuing an idea to dilute the issue will not fool all those who have struggled with Anna Hazare. Corruption can be compared with the salt for which Gandhi started his satyagraha. All people use salt and all are affected by corruption.
As far as role of Lokpal in investigating private sector is concerned, at this stage it is not necessary to invest it with such powers. The corruption cases that have emerged in last two years, highlight the culpability of the government. Our governance structures are such that some in the government promote corruption and private sector makes use of loopholes for its benefit.
If corruption among politicians and civil servants is checked, the private sector will automatically desist from trying to make money by dubious means. Therefore, the suggestion to enlarge the mandate of the Lokpal is mischievous.
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