x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Regional parties rule in India

Readers' letters discuss petrol subsidies, protecting our parks, the hospitality sector and other topics.

A reader says that, despite being the star name in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi failed to capture the imagination of the public. EPA
A reader says that, despite being the star name in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi failed to capture the imagination of the public. EPA

In regard to Petrol price debate fuels the need for a different outlook (March 6), sometimes subsidies also provide an incentive for wastage.

During the summer, you can see quite a few vehicles being parked with the air-conditioning running while people take a power nap on the seats. Also, many drivers don't mind taking longer routes to avoid Salik tolls.

Nitin Nahar, Dubai

Vigilance needed to protect parks

While I applaud the municipality for their continued efforts to provide and improve recreational and family facilities around Abu Dhabi, these facilities should come with a measure of supervision (Five parks open, 24 in the pipeline, March 7).

I live in a ground-floor apartment overlooking one of these parks. I have had one window smashed, and, before that, hit regularly with footballs. Children climb onto my balcony from outside to retrieve footballs and also often still play football well after midnight when I believe that the parks are supposed to close at 11pm.

I have had to replace a two-metre sheet of glass and install aluminium screens across the balcony windows to protect the windows.

Surely such facilities, that have been established at enormous cost, should have some form of monitoring to ensure that they are used with respect, for the facilities provided, other users and local residents.

I would have thought that a park patrol or CCTV would deter abuse of these facilities.

Jeremy P Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Regional parties fire imagination

I refer to your news item India elections: a setback for Congress, a snub to Gandhi (March 7). The results of the elections in the assemblies in many states, particularly Uttar Pradesh (the largest state in India), reveal several trends.

First, that regional parties have fired the imagination of state voters. National parties like the Congress and BJP have not been able to secure any significant victories. UP and Punjab, the most important states, have been won by local, regional parties.

Second, Congress, which was expected to make a serious comeback in UP and Punjab, has failed to do so. It could form a government only in Manipur, one of the smallest states. The spate of corruption cases in the central government in New Delhi, and the remoteness of their senior leadership from the problems of the common man, have led to the marginalisation of Congress.

Finally, Rahul Gandhi has not been able to impress the voters. As the star-campaigner, he was supposed to be tested in UP. Yet, Congress has mustered only 10 per cent of the seats.

Most political parties lack a national growth-agenda. They are only obsessed by the pursuit of power and lucrative contracts. The bottom line is that politics in India will continue to be fractured and governed by opportunism.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Concern over source of income

In regard to Emiratis urged to consider hospitality jobs (March 5), I can see why Emiratis, who are Muslims, will be concerned about their earnings coming from a non-halal source.

Revenues from alcohol would be deemed as haram; this revenue translates into the salary of the Muslim in question. Additionally, the free mixing of males and females is discouraged in Islam.

The above are just some of the factors that a Muslim should take into consideration when seeking employment.

Amal Loring, Dubai

Small eateries are great alternative

I loved your authentic hole-in-the-wall discoveries (Experts weigh in on Dubai's tastiest authentic eateries, March 6).

It looks like Meena Bazaar neighbourhood is the must-go place. Great tip for Nepalese momos.

Minna Herranen, Dubai

Think small to make big money

Small banks must focus on expanding their portfolio into the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) segment for the simple reason that these companies' requirements are not very big. They cater to a small area of operation, and constitute a big chunk of the market (Small is beautiful in banking sector, March 5).

Dedicated SME branches in each emirate would bring in more business for the banks. But before they embark upon such a profitable expansion, they must enlighten themselves with profitable activities in the region, acquire skills in analysis and evaluation, shun taking postdated or undated cheques as security, and be in a position to be a friend and guide to the SMEs.

KB Vijayakumar, Dubai