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Mainstream, VOL LII No 30, July 19, 2014

Corporate-friendly Bureaucracy

Sunday 20 July 2014


with the BJP in power, it seems that the bureaucracy is becoming more corporate-friendly. It has advised the new Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister, Prakash Javadekar, to lift the ban on mining in forests and moratorium on new factories in heavily polluted industrial areas. Do the bureaucrats want to accelerate the pace of environmental destruction? How heavier do they want to pollute the already heavily polluted industrial areas? The Minister needs to be suspicious about the intention of such bureaucrats.

The new Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathy Raju, is in no hurry to privatise Air India, which has always been caught in air turbulence. The Ministers, politicians and bureaucrats would only be happy to stall any move to privatise the white elephant. And the airline’s employees have always resisted the move. All these parties have been enjoying their joy rides and pleasure trips on the airline, at public cost. In fact, the employees have contributed a major share to the decline of Air India. Not only those serving, but also the retired employees and their kith and kin are allowed to fly free of charge, several times in a year. Air India is the ’private airline’ of the politicians, bureaucrats and its employees. This should come to an end if the airline is to be rescued.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan pro-poses to levy higher taxes on tobacco products. A healthy move indeed. A healthier step would be to increase the rates of taxes on alcohol also, making it prohibitively costly.

V. V. Vijayan

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Chembur, Mumbai - 400089

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