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Letters

Ink-Cartridges
Presently all computers and computer-related items being sold in India are by and large foreign-branded imported from other countries. These foreign companies deliberately sell printers at much lower cost aiming to mint money by charging abnormally high costs of ink-cartridges.

Union government must impose condition on these manufacturers-importers for compulsory manufacture of ink-cartridges in India with authority to any desiring Indian companies for manufacture of cartridges thus eliminating monopoly of printer-manufacturer to manufacture/import ink-cartridges by them only. It will boost dying Indian industries because of large-scale invasion of Chinese and other imported goods in Indian markets. Indian companies should also be authorised to refill ink-cartridges without affecting warranty of printers because of using refilled ink-cartridges. Ink-cartridges costing several thousands of rupees are refilled in just rupees 200-300.

Indian government should impose condition with immediate effect where manufactured computer-related items are not being directly imported from the country of origin where the brand-owning company exists. For example many of such items are being imported in India from countries like China etc even though brand-owning companies are based in Japan, Germany etc.

Bureau of Indian Standards should call meeting of printer-manufacturers including representatives of foreign companies to minimise types of ink-cartridges. Presently largest selling brands like Hewlett Packard (HP) and Samsung have too many types of ink-cartridges of similar shape and size for their vast range of inkjet and laser printers. It is not difficult to standardise so many ink-cartridges, a limited number to be used uniformly in different models of inkjet and laser printers. Such standardisation will heavily bring down cost of ink-cartridges.

Since printers and ink-cartridges in wholesale market are available at just two third of printed Maximum-Retail Price (MRP), Union Finance Ministry should impose MRP-based excise/custom duty on these to bring down printed MRP in benefit of consumers in retail and also reduce bribery for purchasers.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi

Poll Reforms
It refers to frustrated comments against judiciary by Union Finance Minister in Rajya Sabha on 11.05.2016 perhaps because of BJP losing to Congress in Uttarakhand because of decisions of first by Uttarakhand High Court and then by Supreme Court. Such comments from political rulers against judiciary are not good.

Role of money-power by both sides in Uttarakhand's assembly now resolved political crisis should not be ruled out. With BJP in full power at the centre without needing any outside support, it should prove itself as a 'party with difference' by legislating long-pending but massive consolidated poll-reforms whereby such volatile situations may not arise in states or even at the centre any time in future. It is noteworthy that BJP's own government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee once lost by a single controversial vote of the then Orissa Chief Minister Girdhar Gomango. Different models of government-formation in other countries should be studied, and the one with suitable modifications to suit Indian situation needs to be adopted apart from other poll-reforms. Election Commission should be entrusted to invite comments from public and hold conference at the earliest so that poll-reforms may be implemented before elections due to some state-assemblies in the year 2017.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi

Bloody Hydros
The recent tragic turn of event; at Tawang, high above in the Eastern Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh which have left two persons—one of them a monk—dead and about a hundred injured is both shocking and condemnable. It was a typical tale of police repression which has become by now commonplace in many other parts of India: police hounded, threatened and arrested Lama Lobsang Gyatso, a monk and the popular leader of Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF), a group that has been spearheading the agitation against several big, medium and small hydro power projects in the Tawang region and when local people demonstrated for his release, the police fired upon them. Though since then police and the local administration have been spreading rumours about the incident, the truth stares one in the eye. Lama Lobsang Gyatso and the agitators wanted the hydro power projects to stop because these would pollute and destroy the pristine river valleys, as they rightly point out. However, the malady of development has penetrated the barriers of the high mountains and infects yet another region in Arunachal Pradesh, which has already had more than 32000 Mega Watt worth of projects lined up in various stages of development. Therefore, the environmental and spiritual concerns of the local people go unheeded and the state administration decides to crush the anti-dam movement by force.

Tawang is an extremely fragile high-altitude Himalayan valley, ethnically sensitive and strategically vulnerable. There can be no justification for force-feeding development to a region and community who are assertively showing their hostility and rejection.
Pravin Mote,
Devjeet Nandi
On behalf of AIFFM Secretariat

Frontier
Vol. 48, No. 47, May 29 - Jun 4, 2016