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Missing the big picture

The interim budget failed to touch upon important issues like those of employment, tax limit, housing and the corporate sector which would have helped masses to tackle hard times.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2009 23:38 IST
Hindustan Times

The interim budget failed to touch upon important issues like those of employment, tax limit, housing and the corporate sector which would have helped masses to tackle hard times. However, two things will have an important bearing on how the economy performs in the coming fiscal: our management of the fiscal deficit and debt. Accelerated spending on infrastructure will help in spurring the economy ahead. However, the temptation to raise debt without using it judiciously can cause interest rates to rise, thereby negating the benefits. There will be a need to push long-awaited reforms.

Anil kumar Yadav, Mumbai

Saffron losing its colour

Pankaj Vohra in his article Nothing’s going right for the BJP (Between us, February 16), paints a very real picture of the BJP as it stands today. The Ram mandir issue cannot be used again as they did nothing about the temple the last time they were in power. The question of the prime ministerial candidate has not been addressed either, with Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi at numbers two and three respectively. The UPA’s handling of the terror issue has closed another avenue for the BJP. They have little on the economic front with India being spared the worst of the recession. As Vohra rightly says, the BJP has nothing left at this juncture.

RL Pathak, Delhi

United, we can defeat Taliban

With reference to the report Taliban a common threat to India, Pak, US (February 17), the Taliban have had a free rein in the region since the Russians were forced to leave Afghanistan. Now that they have infiltrated the ISI, their influence has expanded to include the tribal regions of Pakistan. As their authority spreads, it’s getting difficult to maintain peace in the region, as stated by the US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke. It’s time that India and Pakistan, in collaboration with the US, take concrete steps to deal with the problem.

Samir Banerjee, Delhi


The position that the Pakistani government finds itself in today is a result of its refusal to acknowledge the Taliban’s influence on its terrain and people. Recent events in India and Pakistan have forced them to accept the magnitude of the problem with regard to both — the terrorists operating from their own soil and the Taliban’s position in the Swat valley. Some may see this as retributive justice for India.

Hansraj Bhat, Mumbai

Rewarding behaviour

With reference to Kumkum Chadha’s report Fellow passengers turn Samaritans (February 11), the Railway Ministry should reward Gauri Sharma for her patience and professional handling of the situation. Conversely, her male co-workers need to be reprimanded for not intervening and helping a colleague in dealing with a misbehaving passenger.

Subhash Agrawal, Delhi

Not good at multi-tasking

N Chandra Mohan in Who will light the fire (Deep Fish, February 17), rightly says that the UPA government has been ineffective in dealing with the deficit despite having one of the most experienced economists — Manmohan Singh — on its side. Instead of balancing the expenditure, the government has exhausted all its resources. Hence, it now seems unable to maintain balance between politics and economics, thereby losing the ability to govern effectively. Although the next government won’t have resources at their disposal, we hope that they will set their priorities right from the beginning.

Bal Govind, Noida

Of apples and oranges

Ramachandra Guha in Two wrongs don’t make a right (History Matters, February 16), is making an error by comparing Sinhalese nationalism with Hindutva. There is a difference between the two because, while the Muslims and the Tamils went to Sri Lanka as traders, the Muslims came to India to conquer it. This has left a legacy of mistrust between the Hindus and Muslims for ages now.

Ashok Row Kavi, via email

First Published: Feb 17, 2009 23:33 IST