Apropos ‘Misinforming us on monsoon’ (Business Line August 6), the government is at the receiving end due to increasing food prices. Deficient rains predict shortage of food items, leading to cost-push inflation and slowdown of GDP. Irrespective of the weather forecast, the traders have jacked up prices of all food items in the wholesale and retail markets since June 12. Oil prices and transportation costs have added fuel to fire.
The farmer who depends on the monsoons gets peanuts for his produce. The prices of cattlefeed are more than that of vegetables. Milk producers are waiting in the wings for the prices to be hiked. In short, the life of the ordinary citizen is miserable. Under these circumstances, silence is golden for the Government.
The author strongly recommends easier availability of coal to address the power shortage (Business Line, August 6). As chances of installing new hydro electric projects are remote, the Government should encourage coal-based power production.
The Government has also not made much progress in tapping solar and wind-based energy. The duties on the solar panels and the batteries should be slashed to bring down the costs.
As power is a major input in industrial production, the Government should tap solar energy that is the cheapest through the twin methods of equipment cost reduction and provision of adequate subsidies. Efforts must be taken to exert pressure on the Government to step up power production.
C. P. Velayudhan Nair