Letters to the Editor dated July 05, 2022

Baskar B 4727 | Updated on: Jul 05, 2022

Give women a chance

This refers to the report “Has the gig economy failed to ‘deliver’ for women workforce?” (July 5).

There are an estimated 15 million gig workers in India of which less than 10 per cent are women.

Moreover, the female workforce is skewed.

While beauty, health, wellness, nursing and domestic work have more than 50 per cent women partners, in typical gig economy jobs like food and grocery deliveries men dominate. This shows that only some jobs are deemed suitable for women.

Lack of skill in the use of smartphones, digital tools and knowledge of modern technology also hinder women workers. But training and flexible working hours can help women surmount these hurdles.

YG Chouksey

Pune

Farmers’ credit dilemma

This refers to the article ‘Meeting farmers credit needs’ (July 5). Despite the Nabard’s efforts to ensure credit to farmers through Regional Rural Banks, Cooperative Banks and Scheduled Commercial Banks, farmers still remain underserved. Although banks provide loans at lower interest farmers are dependent on the private money lenders who levy exorbitant rates.

Funding Microfinance institutions for the onward deployment of funds to the rural agri-segments becomes costly to the end-user.

A considerable amount of agriculture loans at a subsidised rate of interest are diverted for purposes other than farming activities, which defeat the objective of farm lending.

The RBI and Nabard must strengthen their surveillance systems and initiate actions against the financial institutions that are reluctant to fund the needs of farmers, besides stopping banks from obtaining gold as security for agriculture credit.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry

Forex worries

Economic distress of our neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka should make us wary about the not so rosy picture painted by the article ‘Are India's foreign reserves adequate’. Though the foreign currency reserves may seem adequate the flow of dollars out of India should worry us all.

Stock market indices were wrongly assumed to be an accurate indicator of the strength of the economy. When FIIs took the money out, the Finance Minister was quick to thank the Indian retail investor for faith in the markets.

The government’s primary preoccupation seems to be making the BJP win all electoral battles. The precarious economic condition is largely ignored with doses of nationalism. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Anthony Henriques

Mumbai

Arresting rupee slide

This refers to the Editorial ‘Slippery slope’ (July 5). The fact that the rupee’s depreciation is driven by external factors, scrimps our options to prevent its slide. RBI has shifted its gear from “growth’ to ‘inflation management” due to rise in commodity prices including crude oil which threatened to derail the economy. Also rising inflation has been putting pressure on USD-Rupee exchange rate.

Through monetary measures RBI has only a limited scope to control inflation and ensure stability of rupee. Hence RBI’s monetary measures should be supplemented with fiscal policy interventions.

Though other currencies like Chinese Yuan, Thai Baht and South Korean Won have depreciated more than the rupee, these countries have substantial trade surpluses vis-s-vis China ($676 billion), Thailand ($3.6 billion) and South Korea ($29.5 billion) providing them stability. India does not have the same luxury with portfolio investments (FPI, FII) being in the nature of hot money.

Rupee depreciation should boost India’s exports which should be promoted to fill the gap created on account of Russia-Ukraine war.

Also special drive to attract NRI deposits with competitive returns should bring in some stability to the falling rupee.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Published on July 05, 2022
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