Yes, of course Mr FM, you are right, on the economic front there is the feel good factor which needs sustaining. But at the same time, much remains to be done by you. The reduction of interest rates on crop loans from 15 per cent to 9 per cent will certainly help small farmers get cheaper loans of upto Rs 50,000. But is that enough We still read in newspapers about farmers committing suicides in some states.
Your interview also quotes the FM as saying, I am carrying the can for VAT. Despite his best efforts and the attractive revenue-sharing package essayed in the budget, he could not get the states to agree on accepting VAT. I hope that he doesnt give up efforts on this score and continues to persuade states to accept VAT.
I am sure our FM is fully aware of the fact that despite burgeoning reserves and economic growth, India continues to be rated in the non-investment grade. Also he must be conscious of his failure to tackle the fiscal deficit. I suggest he attend to the serious structural problems afflicting the economy. But as I read his utterances such as Gross national contentment is more vital than gross national product, I feel like applauding the wisdom which flows from this statement, ie, simple living and high thinking.
Onkar Chopra, New Delhi
Software For Police
This refers to the news item Desi software to fingerprint PC contents (Sept 16). Its good that C-DAC is developing this innovative software for simplifying the process of detection of cyber crime. But how far the police force will adjust themselves to this technology remains the question. Will the Union government provide adequate arrangements so that cops can constantly upgrade themselves on this software based on requirements
Apropos the failure of the WTO at Cancun to arrive at an agreed declaration to promote global trade, the developed nations led by the US are mainly responsible for the same, by not abolishing or substantially curtailing the amber, blue and green subsidies which hurt the interest of 65 crore Indian farmers. Indias commerce minister Arun Jaitley deserves kudos for not allowing Singapore issues about foreign investment etc to be raised.
R N Lakhotia, New Delhi