Opinion

Letters to the Editor dated Feb 24, 2022

George Verghese 4772 | Updated on: Feb 25, 2022

Dealing with unclaimed money

This has reference to ‘Dealing with unclaimed bank deposits’ (February 24). It is not merely bank deposits, but insurance and mutual funds also account for the huge amount of public money remaining unclaimed. This is due to lack of awareness, non-updating of address and investor not maintaining proper records for the family. A special drive needs to be launched by all institutions to settle the dues and as all investments are linked to Aadhaar it will not be very difficult to locate the investors/their heirs.

At the time of investment an authority may be obtained regarding relatives who can be notified in case amount remains unclaimed. The amount lying in Depositors Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF) is huge and as the RBI is holding it in trust for the investors, the amount may be properly invested and the details disclosed annually. Similar exercise is needed for unclaimed insurance money lying in Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, unclaimed provident fund, mutual funds etc.

M Raghuraman

Mumbai

Reclaiming the dues

The steady increase in the quantum of unclaimed deposits is a cause of worry, which reveals that the kin of deceased account-holders are either not aware of the nomination made in their favour or of the steps to be taken in getting the funds lying in such accounts.

Banks can bring down the mounting unclaimed deposits by taking the following steps: making nomination registration mandatory; dedicating a specific month to review or update existing nomination details wherever required; and giving wide publicity on the simplified process of claiming unclaimed amounts by the nominees or legal heirs of the deceased.

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Dollar unchallenged

This refers to ‘Dollar’s reign as reserve currency will stay’ (February 24). The European Union is a conglomeration of 28 member-countries with wide disparities in terms of their economic status. While there are countries like Germany and France which are economically stable and developed, there are others like Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia with low per capita which pose a challenge to the endurance of the euro. Invariably, stronger countries have to play a bigger role in ensuring the stability of the euro.

On the other hand, the US dollar being a currency backed by a single economy — the US — always had an upper-hand to reign as a dominating currency in spite of the 2008 financial crisis and other temporary setbacks it had to encounter. The US has a robust financial system accounting for about 20 per cent of the global output. Though US is in the grip of Covid pandemic, its capacity to bounce bank and again become economically strong through the support extended by the Fed proves its resilience. Even if there is a challenge to the dollar as a dominant currency, it is not euro but China’s reminbi which could pose a threat. But due to inherent weaknesses in its political setup and economic structure, the dollar is bound to continue as the dominant currency in the global arena.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Russian aggression

Apropos ‘Putin announces military operation in Ukraine’ (February 24), it’s shocking to see Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly claiming that the military action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine and it was intended to protect the civilians. Also, Putin has reportedly warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”. Doesn’t such open-ended threat prove that ‘might is right’?

Though the Ukrainian FM is learnt to have sought the UN’s immediate ‘intervention’ to stop the Russian invasion, this toothless world body is unlikely to be of any worthy assistance to this trouble-torn nation.

Emboldened by the Russian military assault on Ukraine, the world may soon see China launching an attack on Vietnam and similarly justify the action. China has always claimed Vietnam to be a part of it. Has world peace become a thing of the past?

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Trade deal with UAE

By signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in record time with the UAE, India has clearly signalled its priority of forging Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with individual trade partners rather than committing itself to regional trade blocs. FTAs with countries such as the UK and Canada are in the pipeline. The CEPA with UAE has heightened the possibility of reviving the long-shelved FTA with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-member grouping of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The FTA with GCC will enable Indian exports, particularly pharmaceuticals, reach untapped markets in Africa.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Published on February 24, 2022
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