Rupee invoicing not a win-win
This refers to ‘Rupee-invoiced trade can pay off’ (July 25). It is a welcome move by the RBI to allow trade settlement in rupee, which is a step towards internationalisation of the currency. But the the move was unavoidable since trade with Russia is prohibited in USD.
Since the rupee is fully convertible in current account, the trade with Russia is going to be invoiced in INR using market determined exchange rate. Though most of the emerging market currencies have depreciated against USD, Russia’s rouble has appreciated more than 1.3 per cent and is at its strongest since 2015. Hence it is not a win-win for India as is widely perceived.
BSNL can deliver
This refers to ‘BSNL writes to DoT, seeks 35MHz more for 5G services’ (July 25)“.The story of BSNL is a sordid saga of apathy and neglect by all governments since the liberalisation of the economy from the 1990s onwards. The arrival of mobile telephony and entry of private operators into the field pushed BSNL to the brink.
Successive governments, in their anxiety to raise resources, sold the required spectrum for mobile telephony to the private operators who, unlike the incumbent BSNL, did not have legacy issues. BSNL still has still the required infrastructure and technical prowess to carry on providing digital communication facilities to the remotest corners of the country and to potential low-income customers. For this, itneeds all the support and encouragement from the government. The organisation also has become leaner now with most of the excess staff exiting under the voluntary separation scheme.
Menace of fake notes
This has reference to ‘Notes in circulation on the rise, so does counterfeit currency’ (July 25). It is a worrying fact that despite new currency notes having strong security features, the fraudsters are still able to duplicate them.
Though the value of fake notes in circulation is negligible, the number of counterfeit cases is rising and this trend must be arrested. Banks and commercial establishments using fake note identifying machines should be more vigilant in tracing the source of such notes.
Creating smart villages
This is with reference to ‘Towards creating more ‘Smart’ villages’ (July 25). Despite all the conversation about India being an agricultural country and farmers’ issues being deliberated during election season, in reality agriculture is not economically viable today. The increasing demand for larger cities has driven up real estate prices even in remote villages, prompting farmers to sell their land. Adding to their woes is the lack of marketing and a fair price for their products.
Here are four steps to create a smart village are: First, a central place must be chosen as a hub and a person must be assigned to work with villagers.
Second, basic infrastructure must be made available. Many city dwellers want to experience rural lifestyle, but to attract them clean drinking water, fans, internet, TV, clean toilets, and easy access to public transport must be provided.
Third, people must be encouraged to move to locations outside the city. With urban centres getting overcrowded and expensive, many people will be willing to consider relocating. Finally, it is important to find the right kind of investors. Conventional investors may not be interested in rural-centric projects. Government projects/funds should kick-start the growth phase of the smart village.
P Sundara Pandian
Apropos “Protective farming taking roots in India” (July 25), the initiative must be enhanced, to reach small and medium farmers who face severe liquidity crunchs.
However, if the strategy of the corporate giant GROWiT is to help the farmers opt for protective farming while enhancing its own fiscal revenue, it must take the inventiveness route. It must enhance the confidence of the farmers by offering them result-based incentives, which is not achievable by merely providing loans, as majority of the farmers are already under financial debt.
Halekere Village, Karnataka