Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Boozing up Punjab: A Rs. 771 Crore Revenue Stream

Recently Mr. Chadha, the liquor baron, won the auction to run more than 3613 liquor stores in three division of Punjab, that include almost all of the major districts. You see its not like Mr. Chadha is exactly competing with common baniyas, he is competing with the rich and the powerfull. His biggest rival is a Mr. Mann Singh Garcha, brother of one Mr. Jagdish Singh Garcha, Akali leader.

So called "Sikh" leadership is responsible for boozing up Punjabi youth, and let me not just single out Mr. Garcha or Mr. Chadha, it is well known that these auctions are granted at the signal of powers that be. The Tribune article states that the auction was delayed more than an hour to accommodate Mr. Chadha, who apparently carries private guards. Do all businessmen in Punjab need guards? I thought K.P.S. Gill made Punjab safe for us all?

Regardless, let me not deviate into the politics of the whole thing. I want to use this space to suggest to Mr. Chief Minister a few ways his govt. can spend the 771 Crore Rupees that the state just earned for intoxicating the people:

  • Set up vocational training centers in tier 3 cities like Adampur, Mulanpur, Sirhind, Tarn Tarn etc. These are needed to enable the rural youth to get jobs in the urban cities. These small cities are close enough to rural areas yet have the infrastructure to make these centers viable.
  • Spend it on Primary schools and make English mandatory in grade 1. This will require changes to be made in staff, administration and curriculum. I would argue that it is a necessary change to make tomorrow’s Punjabi youth competitive in the world. If Kerela can have a literacy rate of 99% why can’t the most prosperous state in the nation?
  • Partner with business to open new doors for youth. Inovate program that enable Punjab's youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Establish partnerships to subsidize computer technology education for under privalged youth.
  • Prime Minister made roads a priority for Union government, and since you and Mr. Singh are buddies of the same political persuasion, may be you can get union to pitch in and you can upgrade the infrastructure to keep up with the growing population.

I hope you would agree that the money earned from intoxicating a generation of Punjabi’s should be and needs to be spent on the next generation. Punjab can only progress when we have an educated workforce, robust infrastructure, a political and financial environment that is inviting to doing business in state. Otherwise Punjab will become a state filled with Bihari’s, drunks, druggies and old folks.


Sony said...

You have developed a very thought provoking blog here.

In my humble opnion drink can be as bad as drugs because there is less stigma attached to drinking than taking drugs, but the affects on the life of an addict can be just as bad as with drugs.

These liquor barons have no social concience

Please continue posting.

mortgage rate said...

thought-provoking, mootable pv. just my thoughts, well anyways gl & be chipper is what i say