China-India trade gap
Apropos ‘The worrying trade gap with China’ (November 29), not only is the trade deficit expected to enlarge yet again, India’s exports to China could also fall for the first time in years.
The headwinds that China is facing currently with regard to its domestic lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid is now reflecting in the trade numbers. Also, the chemicals used in industries are a major part of India’s import basket from China.
Besides that, India’s pharma sector relies heavily on raw materials from China for manufacturing medicines and other pharma products. However, the Centre has been proactive in implementing the PLI scheme, which is expected to put India on a firm footing in the global value chain by creating competitive firms.
N Sadhasiva Reddy
Imports from China are on the increase resulting in imbalance in bilateral trade between the two countries. If the government wills, the Mahalanobis model can be retried by providing a fillip to the machine tool sector where untapped potential still exists.
This could help reduce the present trade gap. The import of chemicals required for the pharmaceuticals sector also needs to be brought down through robust policy measures.
Tenure of PSBs’ top brass
This has reference to ‘Seat of power’ (November 29). While increasing the tenor of appointments of managing directors is likely to bring in stability and clarity in the vision for the bank, this may lead to complacency too. It should be possible to extend the tenure of appointment and retirement age of other senior executives also if their performance supports that.
As retention of top management is a challenge, banks should be willing to retain the needy talents on contract basis post retirement and lateral recruitment should be permitted . The most important need is that the public sector banks should be fully autonomous like their private sector peers and the management should have immunity from losses if they are due to genuine business decisions taken after following the set processes .
It may be naive to presume that by allowing managing directors and whole-time directors at public sector banks to be appointed for a tenure of 10 years the government will be able to ‘kill two birds with one stone’.
One genuinely wishes the government had instead ushered in some in-built mechanism to take due and timely care of PSBs’ talent nurturing as also fixing top management’s accountability along side providing them enough breathing space.
The key watchword could be ‘minimum interference and maximum deliverance’.
With the UN having declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, state authorities must usher in a slew of measures to promote the production and consumption of millets on a large scale, especially in rain-fed, semi-arid and hilly terrains which are highly suitable for the cultivation of millets. Given their nutritional superiority over rice and wheat, besides being drought-resistant, cultivation of millets needs to be incentivised in regions conducive for its cultivation.