LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED FEBRUARY 24 2024

ECONOMIST NIKHIL GUPTA AT ICG

Nikhil Gupta, the author of recently out book “The Eight Per Cent Solution” was at the International Centre Goa on Friday, February 23, 2024 as the keynote speaker for the Kitaab Books in Discussion series. Nikhil Gupta who’s with a leading brokerage has been a keen observer of the policies and factors which promote the growth of a country. As he puts it, an economy consists of four participants – households, corporate, government and external – and just three activities of consumption, savings/investment and external trade. However, what is shocking is the lack of attention to the finances of the household sector and unlisted corporate sector in India. Also there’s the gap between real and financial economy which needs to be bridged…in his talk Gupta opined that India needs to save more over the next two decades to grow to an 8 per cent economy. After the book presentation the author fielded questions, mostly from students of commerce and economics, who made up the audience. Gupta said that India has seen a significant drop in savings and “the government must encourage a spirit of savings …and also reduce its own debt by encouraging private sector to invest more in infrastructure projects.”
Gupta firmly believes that a government must privatise sectors like defence, railways and road buildings to reduce its own debt. He added, “Savings are primary source for funding investments and investments in turn helps the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in any country. Plain consumption alone cannot help an economy to grow.” Interestingly, the much respected economist was critical about USA’s overtly debt oriented economy and said, “The USA is not a good role model for any emerging economy. Today they’re waiving off massive student loans. The cracks will appear very soon and in 4-5 years USA will face a big economic crisis.”

PEOPLE-FRIENDLY GOVERNANCE, PLEASE!

It should be an ongoing endeavour of every government department and State owned corporation to ensure that their day to day administration is extremely people friendly, progressive and public oriented.
There should be an ongoing concerted effort to usher new innovative administrative reforms in keeping with the changing times and evolving needs of Good governance.
It would also be appropriate to do everything possible to eradicate any red-tape that hinders the facilitation of the public availing redressal of their grievances.
If only every government servant, with a smile and positive attitude deals in utmost courtesy with the public in discharging the official duties, it would go a long way in ushering a very congenial environment in our society to everyone’s benefit.
Our Goa being India’s smallest State we could lead in being the nation’s best administered one with optimum levels of people friendly Good governance for all other States to envy.
—Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

PAK OFFICIAL COMES CLEAN ON POLL RIGGING!
ADMITTING that he was involved in tampering with election results for 13 seats, a senior bureaucrat from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Chattha has resigned, claiming participation in rigging in the election held on February 8 this year. This was deliberately done to lead to loss for the Pakistan Tehereek-i-Insaf Party led by former Pak prime minister, Imran Khan.
It is a courageous admission of guilt in election-related matters. I wonder whether election officials who might have been involved in tampering EVMs would in like manner accept responsibility and honestly reveal election malpractices in India.
The Opposition has long claimed that EVMs have been tampered with and that EVMs should be replaced with ballot papers to rule out manipulation. Will accountability of malpractices surface in India or do Indians not have the guts to come clean? Let truth prevail.
—Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

STATUES OF GOAN LEADERS?
A LARGE number of “Shiv Premi” were seen unveiling (obviously at the behest of some BJP leaders) some more Shivaji Maharaj statues at different new locations in the state to further communal agendas, they also take out huge bike rallies by shouting their favourite chest-thumping slogans everywhere on the occasion of Shiv Jayanti in Goa.
Personally I have nothing against Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (as I have read a lot about him from genuine history books and due to which I respect/treat him like just another historical great figure from India) but the one thing I really don’t understand: Why these “bekar-loudis” or jobless youth are so much hell-bent on installing only statues of a great Maratha warrior? Also spreading their own distorted version of history and Shivaji after 60 years of Liberation; suddenly glorifying Shivaji on birthday, death anniversary, etc.
Come on, put up statues of other great leaders of India like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Rani Laxmi Bai, Subhash Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, etc, and celebrate them too on every anniversary in Goa too!
Didn’t our own Goan leaders do anything for Goa? Didn’t they suffer at the hands of the former Portuguese rulers whilst fighting to uphold the basic fundamental rights of Goans, especially during Goa’s liberation struggle? Why these statue lovers/worshippers not installing statues of Goan heroes in the state, especially of Dr Jack Sequeira — solely responsible in educating Goans and protecting Goa’s unique identity during the historic Opinion Poll in Goa soon after Liberation?
If these self-styled “Shiv Premis” really want to follow in the footsteps of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, instead of forcibly installing his statues of different sizes at sensitive places/locations to compete with each other playing dirty communal politics…they should honestly dare to stop our elected politicians from auctioning this state to neighbouring “outsiders” our of greed for money.
Be brave and liberate the filth of drugs, prostitution, dance bars, casinos, etc, and show “mardangi” like the real Shivaji Maharaj who was by no stretch of imagination communal!
—Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

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