Jairam Ramesh
(Economic Cell)
Indian National Congress

I first met Pradeep Mehta along with Sam Pitroda at Calcutta in 1988, when he came to ask Sam to come and give away prizes for ‘dead’ telephones. Both of us were very amused at the proposition as well as his gumption, but saw in him an intrepid consumer crusader. Sam used to be the Technology Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Telecom Commission. He was very angry on being asked to do such a thing, but agreed.

Ever since then, Pradeep has been in touch with me and has been sending me CUTS publications, which I have found very well produced both in terms of contents and looks. The wide array of activities, that CUTS is involved in, and to see an active NGO touching upon various aspects of our economic policy, gladdened my heart. Impressed with this, I was instrumental in the Government nominating him as a Member of the Life Insurance Corporation of India as a consumer representative. A role, which he discharged most admirably, leaving behind his stamp on many reforms in the Corporation.

Looking at the work of CUTS on international trade policy, I am absolutely amazed at their programmes and networking. There is hardly any person in the international trade policy world, who has not heard of CUTS, and its intrepid work. Their approach to such complex issues, following a lone furrow of liberalisation against the fringe stream of anti-globalisers, is most commendable.

As challenges in future, CUTS should steadfastly remain committed to its goal of promoting openness, do cost benefit analyses and carry the message to the common person.