Letters to the editor dated March 24, 2021

| Updated on March 24, 2021

Scrappage policy

Apropos the editorial ‘Retiring clunkers’ (March 24), the new scrappage policy is quite welcome as it leads to achievement of two major objectives — boosting the sales of vehicles and reducing air pollution.

Given the (corrupt) work atmosphere prevailing in State regional transport offices (RTOs), the de-registration or re-registration of vehicles would lead to more corruption and unethical practices. Eligible vehicles to be de-registered would ‘somehow’ find a way to reappear on the roads, thereby defeating the very purpose of the policy itself.

To overcome this, a vehicle which has completed the prescribed period of 15 or 20 years should be scrapped mandatorily, thus giving no scope for false re-registrations.

Instead of giving rebates on road tax, the government can give an upfront incentive to those who replace their old vehicles with new ones. This will pave way for a major boost in vehicle sales as well.

RV Baskaran


Boost for auto sector

It is obvious that old vehicles add to pollution levels, especially in cities. Besides creating job opportunities, the scrappage policy would also spur growth in the CV and car industry as vehicle replacement will become mandatory. It is heartening that Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has incentivised old vehicle owners by way of scrap compensation.

And yes, more clarity on funding the incentive will help all stakeholders. Besides, the government must reduce the cost of electric vehicles to make it a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

Bal Govind


Covid vaccine

This refers to ‘From April 1, all above 45 can get Covid vaccine’ (March 24). Even prior to this nod, many people above 45 without co-morbidities were managing to get inoculated. Further, considering India’s humongous population, the pace of vaccination needs to be speeded up. In poll-bound States, which can become Covid hotspots, all and sundry ought to be given a jab. However, it must be administered on a 'first come first serve basis' without the rigmarole of registration, etc.

Deepak Singhal


Interest waiver

This refers to ‘SC ruling a mixed bag’ (March, 24). Earlier, at the court’s prompting, the government had provided a ‘compound interest waiver for six months’, to those who had borrowed up to ₹2 crore, incurring an estimated cost of ₹6,500 crore. Now, following the court’s verdict, extending the waiver to all borrowers, an additional ₹7,500 crore may be incurred.

Though none disputes the stand that desperate situations, like the ongoing pandemic, call for matching relief measures, providing a blanket relief to all borrowers may not be good economics. Even if the cost of the said relief is borne by the government, it is the taxpayers who would ultimately foot the bill.

However, the apex court declining pleas for total interest waiver, refusing to extend the moratorium beyond the six months already announced by the government and lifting the ban on NPA classification by banks are welcome. The latter would pave the way for the banks to get on with their efforts at recovering bad loans .

V Jayaraman


Regulating social media

This refers to ‘Compliance-heavy rules’ (March 24). Even though the new rules to regulate social media platforms are rigid and reduce their operational flexibility, at this juncture of surging instances of misuse of such platforms, tightening the screws will help improve cyber security and remove unlawful content. It will also prevent online harassment and the spread of fake news.

In executing the new rule, identifying the first generator of information is essential and social platforms may have to forego user privacy. The government’s power to break encryption and gain knowledge of content will regulate and transform both social media companies and their users. It’s better to consume the bitter pill now for the better health of social media platforms and their users.

NR Nagarajan



Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on March 24, 2021

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