What else can save firms in India?

What else can save firms in India?
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First Published: Sun, Feb 08 2009. 10 12 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Feb 08 2009. 10 12 PM IST
Let me contribute to Cubiclenama’s quest for corporate cost cutting (Sidin Vadukut’s, “Saved by the brew”, Mint, 6 February) with a few ideas:
Have employees buy their own mugs, and allot them tea bags or coffee sachets, and let them pick up hot water from a solar-heated geyser to make their own coffee.
Eliminate office boys by making each person the office boy for the day—let’s call them the “King for the day”. This person does not need to do any work. We can even institute a “Best office boy award”.
Power the office through a dynamo-generator which works by generating power from people walking up a moving staircase (lifts have been eliminated, of course).
— T. Anupam
In your editorial “CEC’s rash recommendation”, (Mint, 2 February) you have pointed out that the timing of chief election commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami’s suo motu recommendation to the President—that election commissioner (EC) Navin Chawla be removed from office on the alleged ground of partisanship—is suspect. The CEC’s rash decision to oust Chawla may well become subject to allegations of bias, by mere suspicion. If Gopalaswami was so convinced of Chawla’s partisanship, why didn’t he voice his views much earlier? It also seems Gopalaswami is nearing the end of his tenure and is now happy playing politics in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
But, by his actions, Gopalaswami has put a question mark on the credibility of the Election Commission. Can ECs be trusted to function effectively and independently? Won’t they live in fear of the CEC recommending their removal for any dissenting view, which can well be misconstrued as a partisan view?
This CEC will be forgotten, but what of the institution that is much bigger than his whimsical decision? You rightly observed that the CEC “should have thought about the consequences of his action”.
— Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
Your newspaper, like the Congress party, has questioned the chief election commissioner’s (CEC) recommendations to remove Navin Chawla without assigning logical reasons. The reasons cited by critics such as yourself include the fact that elections are just around the corner, and that Gopalaswami is nearing retirement in April. This line of argument is specious and tends to shift attention from the real issue.
Chawla has been close to the Congress party and this has affected his objectivity and fairness; this has nothing to do with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The CEC has cited 12 different instances when Chawla has tried to shield the Congress party or its functionaries from trouble, or tried to help them. It is just unfortunate that this controversy has come at this time. Though you profess that the Election Commission should not turn into a “pliable body headed by retired civil servants”, you simultaneously display your bias and contradiction when you advocate some “accommodation” for the ruling party. Asking the CEC to keep quiet for fear of consequences is surely displaying your lack of journalistic ethics and your lack of support for the brave efforts of a courageous individual.
— Ashok Gupta
It is good that Sebi has not taken any decision in a hurry to amend the rules in favour of potential buyers of fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services (“Sebi does the right thing”, Mint, 3 February). But we need to look beyond that and determine whether the existing rule makes sense. After all, the price as per the current rule would be based on numbers fudged by Satyam’s B. Ramalinga Raju. Some amendment would be preferable to ensure fair and transparent pricing for Satyam’s potential buyers. And it should be for all—not just confined to Satyam.
— Bal Govind
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First Published: Sun, Feb 08 2009. 10 12 PM IST