Tinkering at the periphery

Updated: Jan 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
Union shipping minister Ved Prakash Goyal, one-time businessman and an old hand at managing party finances, is keen to make some sort of a mark on the maritime sector. With labour and legislative wrangles blocking the corporatisation of major port trusts, the minister seems to be getting increasingly desperate. So, he has decided to make a rather modest beginning — he has voiced interest in privatising the guest house of Delhi-based Indian Ports Association!

But don’t cheer just yet. His guest house ‘idea’ has, for the moment, extended only to the capital city. For, one of the guest houses of Mumbai port continues to be used as his camp office. That said, Mr Goyal is not short on other ideas. He has also ordered the setting of IPA’s books in order.

Perhaps Mr Minister believes in tinkering at the periphery before attempting a full-blown reform of the port sector.

For reasons of security
After 9-11, how to secure America — arguably, the freest among all democracies — has been a widely discussed topic in both the US and international media. Now, perhaps as a natural consequence of Terror Tuesday, the security biz is all set to benefit. The recently held Auto Expo in the capital demonstrates this well. One of the phoren participants at the fair introduced its products to this newspaper, with US security as the selling point. Apparently, a security agency in the States is in talks with the company for buying its ware, this according to a company representative.

With the terrorist attack on the American Centre in Kolkata fresh in most American minds, combined with the ongoing Indian visit of US security experts, this — and other similar deals — could well materialise much sooner than expected. Guess insecure clients can make for secure business returns after all!