Readers ask why has there been no TV debate on PM CARES and where is the NSA?
It is truly astonishing that none of the so called ‘national’ TV news channels has deemed it fit to enlighten us on the PM CARES fund
It is truly astonishing that none of the so called ‘national’ TV news channels has deemed it fit to enlighten us on the PM CARES fund. While a handful of newspapers have reported that the fund would be audited by a private Chartered Accountant and not by the CAG and that the PMO has refused to disclose any information on it under RTI because it is not a ‘public authority’, questions remain unanswered.
If the Government has nothing to do with PM CARES, then who paid for the advertisements and publicity? Why is the website (pmcares.gov.in) maintained by the Government? Why has an Under Secretary (Funds) in the PMO designated as the nodal officer to look after the ‘private’ Trust? Why did the Finance Minister announce allocations from PM CARES as part of the relief and stimulus by the Government? And why is the Trust deed, rules etc. not uploaded?
It is strange that Government employees, doctors and PSUs were all coerced to donate to this allegedly private Trust.
It remains to be seen how the Government justifies all this before a court of law or before the Central Information Commission. But in the public eye, it is already dubious.
Where is Ajit Doval and General Rawat?
The National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has been conspicuous by his silence on the developments in Ladakh. The high-profile NSA, who photographed himself having Biryani on the deserted streets of Srinagar and controlling ‘riots’ (more precisely he was sent to control the police) in North-East Delhi, has curiously not uttered a word on the standoff. Not that he is a shy person. Earlier he has flaunted his photographs on the Yoga Day in China and with his friends in Israel and in the UAE.
But the man of all seasons has nothing to say on Ladakh. Nor has the Home Minister Amit Shah, who had roared that India would wrest Gilgit, Baltistan and Aksai Chin back from Pakistan and China, uttered a word after the Chinese soldiers apparently intruded and took over Indian territory, according to strategic and security experts.
The garrulous Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has also lost his voice, it seems. The External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has been no better.
Not surprisingly, our neighbours are enjoying our discomfiture as this letter to the editor published in a newspaper in a neighbouring country indicates:
“On the LAC stand off between India and China, the Chinese side from its political establishment to strategists to its media are crystal clear on their claim lines, stance & actions.”
“But on the Indian side the hot debate is still on whether an intrusion has actually happened or not.” by rank amateurs.
Surinder Singh Pannu
Can India remain untouched by the worldwide protests against police brutality? Even in the United States where the protests began two weeks ago, the initial demand seeking action against policemen who killed an unarmed African American, George Floyd, has given way to demands for an end to racism and toxic policing. The city of Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, has in fact resolved to dismantle the police department. In India the Government pays lip service to police reforms and believes that as long as policemen are kept happy, they would serve the interests of the Government and not the people. It is time to look at reforms from the point of view of what people want.
India seems to have been let down
Jharkhand to Ladakh
Barely weeks after millions of migrant workers went back to their home states, their employers are stated to be anxious to get them back. Reports suggest that employers in Punjab and Telangana are even willing to pay their plane fare and increased wages. Border Roads Organisation is reportedly negotiating with the Jharkhand government for the return of workers so that construction of roads in the higher altitudes can resume. The BRO is also said to be willing to pay them higher wages and do away with the middlemen who exploited the migrant workers and paid them much less. This sordid saga is a sad reflection on our governance. Wasn’t BRO aware of the middlemen? Couldn’t private employers have treated their workers better before they left?
Published: 14 Jun 2020, 9:00 AM