That the country's merchandise trade deficit has reached an unprecedented high of $25.6 billion in June with imports exceeding exports is a cause of worry given its wider negative implications on country’s growth.

While the government has unleashed a slew of measures such as increasing import duty on gold, levying taxes and clamping restrictions on the export of petroleum products to reduce the trade deficit, the global headwinds including the prolonged Ukraine war and its resultant disruptions in global supply chain, leading to a dip in global growth can only further exacerbate the problem of the ballooning current account deficit.

Moreover, with the significant drop in country’s exports of engineering products, pharmaceuticals, yarn and plastics, suggesting weakening global demand, policy makers could hardly leverage exports to fuel economic growth.

The rupee’s weakening against the US dollar is an another area of concern. However, the prudence suggest the RBI to let the Indian rupee to slide and intervene only to smoothen out excess liquidity.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

Strengthening cooperatives

This refers to the article ‘Strengthening cooperatives’ (July 6). The writer has brought out the advantages available to cooperatives after central government extended support to the sector with the creation of a new ministry of cooperation.

The initiatives in speeding up computerisation at primary level and introduction of Government e-Marketplace-Special Purpose Vehicle (GeM-SPV) will go a long way in solving several technical and logistics issues now being faced by cooperatives at all levels.

Cooperatives on their part will have to do a lot of introspection and accept some self-discipline to reap benefits of the government measures.

While it would be too much to ask them to depoliticise their management, a move towards cleansing managements by arriving at a consensus and self-imposing regulatory discipline necessary for survival and growth are the need of the hour. There are models already in existence in States like Kerala to follow.

MG Warrier

Mumbai

Boris Johnson in a pickle

This refers to ‘UK Finance Minister, Health Secretary resign citing PM Johnson’s leadership’ (July 6). It sounds unbelievable to learn that both Rishi Sunak, UK Finance Minister, and Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, resigned on Tuesday.

Notably, Javid, relying on his good conscience, went on to claim that he had lost confidence in Johnson’s ability to govern in the national interest after a series of scandals.

It may be pertinent to point out that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, recently called off his three-day visit over apprehensions that the planned engagements with some top functionaries in UK may not meet India’s expectations.

That apart, the twin key resignations show that all is not well within the Boris Johnson administration. It is also time Johnson carried out some self-introspection.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Covid migration

This refers to to the article ‘Reverse migration could hurt urban economy’ (July 6). The impact of reverse migration during pandemic was severe on the urban economy since migrant workers returned home after a sudden loss of livelihoods. Being uncertain about the future and fear of death, some migrants reached their home by walk.

Their employers washed their hands off and closure of businesses led job lossses. The government had no concrete steps to retain them except providing a few Covid shelters and they were sent from pillar to post during pandemic and suffered untold miseries

Ration cards valid all over India will reduce reverse migration. Still the workers who returned home hesitate to return their work place given the security and safety provided by their villages.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

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