Lucknow Lead September 03, 2011 Issue

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Transcript of Lucknow Lead September 03, 2011 Issue

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  • 2 Lucknow, September 03, 2011 CommentComment

    The 11-day fasting

    by AnnaHazare at

    New Delhi'sRamlilaMaidan,

    and by hissupporterselsewhere

    in thecountrywas an

    event themedia andthe peoplesaw with a

    sense ofawe and

    fascination.

    Ratan Mani Lal

    Curtains have been drawn, even if temporarily,on the August 'revolution' that saw anunprecedented support from the people acrossIndia to a movement that was neither aimed against thegovernment nor it demanded anything material orsubstantial. The people had come out on the streets,parks and public squares to demand tougher measuresagainst rampant corruption in public life.

    Such a spontaneous display of public resentment overan issue as amorphous as corruption has been rare inany country in recent memory. People have turned outagainst current regimes on issues such asunemployment, price rise, ethnic violence, religiousdemands or even against a hostile foreign country. But toagitate for seeking a tough law on corruption only goes toshow how deep the malaise has become and howsuperficial has been the successive government'sresponse to tackle it.

    The 11-day fasting by Anna Hazare at New Delhi'sRamlila Maidan, and by hissupporters elsewhere in thecountry was an event themedia and the people sawwith a sense of awe andfascination. The movementwas given colourful namessuch as the second freedomstruggle and August Kranti,but there was unanimity onthe fact that it was amovement that rose andgathered strength by itself.If an example was needed, itwas the celebration at NewDelhi's India Gate onSunday August 28.Onlookers and participantsin this massive rally say that it was a scene that cannotbe forgotten in a long time. Men, women, children, seniorcitizens, all carrying flags or wearing the Gandhi cap,tricolour face paint, freedom bands or T-shirts convergedat the Rajpath as if someone had asked them to. Theycame, they shouted slogans, sang, danced, did their ownthing and went away after a couple of hours or more.Astonishingly, there was no coordinator, no speeches, nodecorations with party flags or any formal arrangementof any kind. Yet, the people came as if they had to.

    The closest comparison that comes to mind is of themidnight celebrations when the Indian cricket team wonthe World Cup Cricket. The scenes witnessed on thatnight were similar as far as spontaneity and mood areconcerned. Women and girls came out in cars and bikes,escorted or unescorted, and joined the cheering, jostlingcrowds raising slogans to hail India's victory. No incidentof molestation or even indecent pushing or shoving wasreported from anywhere.

    What is it that makes people behave in this manneramid reports of growing intolerance, narrow-mindedness and road rage in our society? Why is it thatthe same people would smile and laugh when faced by acrowd, when at any other occasion they would bealarmed and try to flee from that spot as quickly aspossible? Why is it that slogans of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai"and "Vande Mataram" would not be greeted withhostility by a section of the population? Why is it that

    people who criticised the movement even if for the sakeof argument only, were shouted down?

    It can be argued that corruption does not make adistinction between communities and religions. It can beas prevalent in a minority educational institution as in agovernment school. It has the same impact on a Hinduhousehold as in a Christian family. A Muslim shop-owner has to pay the same amount of protection moneyto the police as a Hindu. Can we presume that probablyfor the first time in many years, people joined acrossdifferences of community and background to join amovement that was for common good?

    It is not easy to answer this question since there arecertain politicians, community leaders, mediapersons,researchers and academicians who believe that it was agathering of the middle class, urban, Hindu, anti-reservation activists that found common ground inattacking a government that was perceived as anti-Hindu, pro-leftist and poor on governance.

    Some writers andcolumnists have argued thatthe methods employed bythe agitation leaders havebeen anti-democratic, evenanti-social, and amount tosubjugation ofparliamentary democracy.They argue that it sets adangerous precedent forpeople at large to use suchmeans to get their demandsaccepted.

    The argument may haveits merits, but this alsoneeds to be kept in mindthat against this oneinstance, there have been

    hundreds of examples in the last 50 years when thegovernment has trampled upon the people's democraticrights, genuine movements have been violently crushedwith police action, democratic debates have beenthrottled within legislative buildings, individualagitators, whistle blowers and activists have beenarrested, persecuted and humiliated. Such columnistsusually choose to ignore such examples because these donot fit into the "established" norms of "parliamentarydemocracy."

    It is said that unusual situations demand and deserveunusual solutions.The discontent among people, bothrural and urban, related to the functioning of thegovernment and its arms has reached a point when thegovernment as an institution has practically ceased tohave a meaning. The only system that works is that ofpush, pull or bribery. Those mediapersons I know whohave been critical of this movement are those who knowall the people in top and important places and theirlicenses, permits, travel tickets, cards, certificates andadmissions are done through a phone calls and mutuallyreturnable favours.

    It pains me to note that we as members of the mediastill fail to agree that our country and the system ofgovernance actually needs an overhaul, and if thepresent system can bring it about, well and good. If itcannot, the next movement will target not only thesystem itself but the media also.

    Don't ignore the signs

    The argument may have its merits, butthis also needs to be kept in mind thatagainst this one instance, there have

    been hundreds of examples in the last 50years when the government has

    trampled upon the people's democraticrights, genuine movements have beenviolently crushed with police action,

    democratic debates have been throttledwithin legislative buildings, individualagitators, whistle blowers and activists

    have been arrested, persecuted andhumiliated.

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  • 14 Lucknow, September 03, 2011 WorldWorld

    Kathmandu: A week aftertaking over as Nepal's new PrimeMinister Baburam Bhattarai hasfailed to appoint ministers in hiscabinet, with his supportingMadhesi group of partiesdemanding more representationand key portfolios.

    Bhattarai who assumed officelast week after comfortablywinning a vote in Parliament hasonly appointed a deputy PrimeMinister Bijaya Gachhadar fromthe Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum(Democratic).

    Bickerings within the fiveMadhesi alliance groups arestalling the process of cabinetformation as there appear to bemore ministerial aspirants thanberths.

    The Madhesi parties, whosesupport was crucial for Bhattarai'svictory during the PrimeMinisterial polls, are demanding atleast two Deputy Prime Ministersand 12 cabinet rank ministersincluding important portfoliossuch as Defence, Communication,Industry and Commerce andEducation, it is learnt.

    The Maoists party is alsowitnessing serious differencesfrom within over the powersharing issue. As dissensionsgripped the alliance partners,Bhattarai continued hectic parleysin the capital to break the deadlock.

    He met top leaders of theMadhesi Front, the grouping offive Terai based political parties, inan attempt to resolve the issuerelating to power sharing.

    However, the meeting held at thePrime Minister's Office atSinghdurbar secretariat ended

    inconclusively, according topresident of Sadbhawana PartyRajendra Mahato.

    MMaaooiissttss ddiivviiddeeddCracks have appeared within

    Nepal's Maoists after a hardlineleader opposed the party's decisionto hand over the keys of its armedwing's arsenal to a specialcommittee. Senior Vice-chairmanMohan Baidya sought scraping ofthe decision and termed it as a"suicidal" move.

    However, Maoist chiefPrachanda said the move to handover the keys to an all party SpecialCommittee was not against theparty decision.

    He appealed the party cadresand combatants not to be misled byactivities of Baidhya, who hasexpressed dissatisfaction over themove, saying that the move wasdeviation from the party's officialline.

    In a statement today, Prachandasaid that the decision to hand overthe keys of containers with theweapons was on the ground of thefive-point proposal andcommitment endorsed by theparty's Standing Committeemeeting held on August 22.

    The Maoists have handed overthe keys of around 3,400 weaponsstored in various cantonments asper their earlier commitment.Handing over of the arm key wasan important step towardsconcluding the peace process.

    One of the points mentioned inthe five-point proposal clearlystates that the Maoist combatantsand arms containers would behanded over to the Special

    Committee by September 1 once agovernment was formed under theMaoist leadership, Prachanda saidin the statement.

    Some 19,200 PLA fighters havebeen confined in sevencantonments and 21 sub-campsacross the country with only about3,400 weapons following theCompressive Peace Accord reachedin 2006.

    AAppppeeaallA group of international and

    national human rights bodies haveurged Prime Minister Bhattarainot to withdraw criminal cases andasked him to ensure thatperpetrators of human rightsabuses during and after thecountry's armed conflict are heldaccountable before courts of law. Inan open letter to Bhattarai onFriday, Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International,International Commission ofJurists and Kathmandu-basedAdvocacy Forum jointly asked thegovernment to honor pastcommitments, particularly onhuman rights issues.

    The letter was issued inreaction to a four-point agreementbetween the Unified CommunistParty of Nepal-Maoist, which nowleads the government, and theUnited Democratic Madhesi Front,which represents a constituencyfrom the southern plains. Theagreement calls for the withdrawalof criminal cases committedduring the country's armed conflictfrom 1996 to 2006.

    The four organizations calledupon the prime minister to issue aclear and unambiguous statement

    that the Nepali government willnot seek to end investigationsprematurely, withdraw charges orissue amnesties in cases involvingserious human rights violations.

    They also called upon thegovernment to put in place anindependent legal and institutionalframework to ensure that thecriminal justice system andtransitional justice institutionssuch as the promised truth andreconciliation commission canwork effectively to end impunity.

    The letter reminds thegovernment that the proposedwithdrawal of criminal cases andgrants of amnesty are prohibitedunder international law andstandards, as set out in Article 24 ofthe UN Updated Set of Principlesfor the Promotion and Protection ofHuman Rights through Action toCombat Impunity and theInternational Covenant on Civiland Political Rights, as affirmed bythe UN Human Rights Committee.

    CChhooiiccee ooff vveehhiicclleePrime Minister Baburam

    Bhattarai has chosen anunglamorous official vehicleassembled in Nepal to ferry himaround.

    Bhattarai has chosen anunfancied Golchha Mustang as hisofficial vehicle.Not to be confusedwith its namesake in the US, theMustang is made from partsimported from India and China.Fewer than 1,000 have been sold inNepal.

    Dr Bhattarai's request receivedsaturation coverage in the media -with many praising him forpromoting a Nepali product.

    It has been nearly a week that Baburam Bhattarai took over as Nepal's Prime Minister but thebickering within parties over various issues show no signs of ending

    Nepal govt remains deadlocked

  • Lucknow, September 03, 2011 15

    The issue of foreigndirect investment in multi-brand retail is not an easyone for the government tosettle. The arguments forand against this move needto be donsidered before afinal decision can be taken

    A committee ofsecretaries (CoS) hasrecommended 51% foreigndirect investment (FDI) inmulti-brand retail, albeitwith some stiff riders,paving the way for theentry of some of the world'sbiggest retailers such asWal-Mart, Carrefour andTesco to set up shop.

    At present, India onlyallows 100% FDI in cash &carry wholesale trade - thatis, business-to-business (noindividual buyers) and 51%in single-brand retail. NoFDI is allowed in multi-brand retail.

    The secretaries' decisionannounced in August, stillneeds to go to the CabinetCommittee on EconomicAffairs for the next step tobe taken. Once the Cabinetclears the proposal to allowFDI in the politicallysensitive sector, foreignplayers can form jointventures with Indiancompanies to openmultibrand retail outlets.

    While the Centralgovernment formulatesnorms for FDI, the jointventure firms would haveto seek permission fromstate governments (as perthe Shops andEstablishment Act) to openstores.

    In general any companyor establishment needs totake permission from thestate authorities to startbusiness and so the jointventures would requiresuch permission beforethey can start their stores.

    While several retail andfarmers associations haveopposed the idea ofallowing FDI in the sector,the government claims themove would not only helpin creating jobs, but arrestthe spiralling inflation.

    Conditions

    Earlier, discussionswithin various arms of thegovernment and betweenthe government and traderepresentatives havesuggested variousconditions before allowingthis partial opening up ofretail sector.

    These include foreigninvestors being asked toinvest at least 50% in back-end infrastructure such aswarehousing; andprocurement of at least30% products from micro,small and mediumenterprises.

    Also, there has been aproposal to allow FDI inmulti-brand retail in onlythose cities where thepopulation is over 10 lakh.

    After approving 51 percent FDI in multi-brandretail, the CoS is said tohave suggested stringentconditions for foreignretailers such as minimuminvestment of $100 million,mandatory investment of

    at least 50 per cent in theback-end infrastructure,minimum sales of 30 percent to come from smalltraders and 30 per centmandatory sourcing fromsmall and mediumenterprises among others.

    However, the foreigncompanies feel that some ofthe conditions beingspeculated on could make itdifficult to implement.

    Why FDI?

    The argument in favourof FDI in retail has manypoints to offer. The first isthe fact that nearly 40% ofthe food produced in thecountry gets wasted. This iswhile a third of thecountry's populationcannot afford two squaremeals a day. While havinglarge shopping malls andMNC retail outlets may notsolve this problem.However, investments inthe retail supply chain andstorage could certainlyhelp in finding a solutionfor preserving critical foodproduce. Global retailershave the necessary knowhow and expertise to buildthat infrastructure. But thebait that could lure them tomarkets like India is higherprofit sharing and that tooin an economy where abillion plus people arelooking to consume more.And that is the keyunderlying rationale forFDI in retail.

    In food retailing, bettersupply chain and technicalknowhow would ensurethat the transit of producefrom farm to shop floors issmooth. With theelimination of middlemen,the prices will also bereduced thereby benefittingthe consumer. Contractfarming will benefit thefarmers. Better prices fortheir farm produce andtimely sale of theperishable goods can helpthe agriculturists earnmore.

    The argument in favourof the need for allowingforeign direct investmentin multi-brand retail alsorests on the report of theEconomic Survey of India.It is a document presented

    to Parliament by thegovernment a few daysbefore the Union Budget. Itis an analysis of the state ofthe economy and its

    prospects. Economists andanalysts scan it closelybecause it very oftenreflects policy changes thatwill be announced in theBudget.

    Economic Survey 2010-11, tabled in Parliament onFebruary 25, had this to sayabout the retail sector:"Permitting FDI (foreigndirect investment) in retailin a phased mannerbeginning with metros andincentivizing the existingretail shops to modernizecould help address theconcerns of farmers andconsumers. FDI in retailmay also help bring intechnical know-how to setup efficient supply chainswhich could act as modelsof development."

    Says the Survey: "FDI inretail trading is permittedin Brazil, Argentina,Singapore, Indonesia,China and Thailandwithout limits on equityparticipation, whileMalaysia has equity caps."

    For the more establishedand multi format retailers,FDI will mean readyavailability of equity fundswithout taking the risk ofexcess leverage. The fundswill help in executing theirexpansion plans andthereby offer betterrevenue visibility. Also intimes of stress, a number ofretailers have had to shutshop for want of funds andexcess leverage. Theforeign partnership canhelp resolve this issuebesides helping to set up astrong back-endinfrastructure.

    Why not FDI?

    The concerns against

    the FDI in retail restsmainly on the possible fateof smaller family managedbusinesses (kirana shops)that may cease to exist. The

    inability of the smallerplayers to fetch betterprices from large vendorsand operate on thinmargins could lead to theirextinction. Besidesunemployment, the abilityof the small format storesto reach out to the ruralmasses may also becompromised upon. Hencethe government needs toensure that the FDI doesnot bring any undue favouronly to the larger players.

    It is also argued that theglobal retailers willinitially reduce pricesdrastically with a view tooust local competition.Once they havesuccessfully establishedtheir operations, theywould raise back the prices.

    The main oppositionparty, the Bharatiya JanataParty (BJP) says it wouldstrongly oppose thegovernment move to allowFDI in retail sector as itwould affect small tradersand alluded to the UPA

    government succumbing toUS pressure in changingthe policy.

    (MCRF Presentation)

    FDI in retail the argument continues

    The CoS headed by cabinet secretaryAjit Kumar Seth has recommended that51% FDI could be allowed in the sector,

    which is dominated by family-run stores.The CoS has also suggested that at least

    50% of the investment and jobs should goto rural areas.

    The first riderwhich has come in

    from theCommittee of

    Secretariesapparently is a

    minimuminvestment of

    USD 100 millionwith 51%

    investment inbackend supply

    chain.

  • 16 Lucknow, September 03, 2011 SportsSportsUU UU

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  • 17Lucknow, September 03, 2011SportsSports

    Hospitals

    Balrampur -0522-224040KGMC -0522-265224, 268756Vivekananda-0522-321277Queens Mary-0522- 266007, 2258564Gandhi Memorial and Associated Hospitals(Medical College)-Vice Chancellor-PBX-0522-2257450, 2257451Noor Manzil Psychiatric Clinic-0522-2623967,2282491Trauma Center-0522-2258426Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital-0522-2720399,2720369, 2720456Duffrin Hospital-0522-220051Civil Hospital-0522-2239007

    Airlines

    State Airline Sevices-0522-436504,222911,437565,435780Air India City Office-0522-2624618Toll Free No.-1800-180-1407, 1800-227-722Indian Airlines Airport-0522-436327, 436132Chaudhay Charan Singh Amausi Airport-0522-436793

    JetLite Airport-0522-437771, 436188Indigo Airlines-0522-2209643, 22049644

    Railways

    Enquiry-135, 0522-635481Northern Railways Charbagh-0522-2385182Computerized Reservation-13351330Public Complaint-0522-22177911Station Master (NR)-0522-2456380Station Master (NER)-0522-2456303 FareEnquiry-0551-155210

    Roadways

    Charbagh Bus Stand-0522-434009, 450988Kaiserbagh Bus Stand-0522-2622503Alambagh Bus Stand (A.C)-9415049750Alambagh Bus Stand (Ordinary)-0522-2458096Awadh Bus Stand (Gomti Nagar)-05222622427

    Fire Station

    Alambagh- 0522-455555Indira Nagar-0522-3488100Bakshi Ka Talab-0522-312222P.G.I-0522-440000Chowk-0522-253100Hazaratganj-0522-21444444, 222222Electric Helpline Emergencies-1800-180-8752

    Police Help - Police- 100

    Control Room-0522-229347LESA No.-0522-220934

    Substations

    Gomtinagar-0522-2393433Indira Nagar (sec-21)-0522-2716450Indira Nagar-0522-2712743Ashiyana-0522-2423756Alambagh-0522-2471202Kapoorthala-0522-2326898Jankipuram-0522-2361246Aliganj-0522-2321934Lalbagh-0522-2200622

    Jal Sansthan

    Main Control Room-9838202526Lalbagh Nagar Nigam Office-0522-2620196Aishbagh Compound Jal Sansthan Office-0522-2268917Sector b-Aliganj-0522-2322424Alambagh Chandernagar-0522-2726265Indira Nagar (A block behind ConventionCenter)-0522-2346858Rajajipuram (C block Pani ki Tanki) 0522-2418350

    Public Utility Services

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