Irrelevance Of SAARC

Updated: Nov 17 2003, 05:30am hrs
Refer to the edit page article by Sanjaya Baru ‘SAARC: No trade-off for trade’ (Nov 14). Due to the rigid attitude of Pakistan on the one hand and the need of inviting Afghanistan, Iran and Myanmar to a broader regional body on the other, India may lose interest in SAARC, which may die a natural death.
Hence due to increasing economic engagement of India in Thailand and Singapore etc, it would in the interest of India to do bold and innovative thinking to create a new identity for pragmatic regional economic cooperation, which could augur well for the trade in the mutual interest of all countries who would join it.
R N Lakhotia

Crime And Punishment
A 75-year-old retired public servant has been sentenced by the Supreme Court to undergo one-year imprisonment for receiving a bribe of Rs 1,000 in 1988. The Supreme Court judgment brings to focus the inordinate delay in awarding sentences. If the police are vigilant and catch everyone who indulged in corruption, an optimistic estimate is that you will require half the population of India as judges and millions of years to get at the final punishments.
V S Venkatavaradan

II
Appalling about the Telgi scam is the alleged complicity of top police brass and political bosses in power, across states. While corruption cannot be prevented in any society, the bar could be raised making the guilty pay more heavily for their sins, especially if they happen to be those entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the law of land.
Navneet Dhawan

Reform Stalled
The central government had declared publicly about its intention to implement recommendations of corporate governance in the corporate sector as well as make certain vital changes in the Banking Regulations Act, 1949, pertaining to the cooperative banking sector in view of debacles in district central cooperative banks and urban cooperative banks in the country.
It is now understood that associations of industry and corporate bigwigs are averse to changes in policy matters pertaining to the role of independent directors, whistleblower policy, use of funds from public issue and working of audit committees etc, which were recommendations of the Narayana Murthy Committee.
Similarly, the RBI has suggested vital amendments in the Banking Regulations Act 1949 with reference to the cooperative banking sector to bring it on par with commercial banks, which was objected to. So much so that the Bill is unlikely to be placed in the winter session. So it appears the central government proposes and others dispose.
S R Murdeshwar