Letters to the Editor dated August 2, 2022

Baskar B 4727 | Updated on: Aug 02, 2022

FM’s deft manoeuvre

Apropos ‘No risk of recession or stagflation: FM’ (August 2), it was highly astonishing the way Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman vehemently claimed that the decisions on GST are taken by the GST Council, not by the government.

Can she absolve herself of various decisions taken by the GST Council by simply saying this? Was she not a part of this Council’s meeting, where various packed food items of the daily use were “unanimously” brought under the ambit of the GST alongside the so called “restructuring” of its ‘out of sync’ taxation regime? For sure, such a self-serving unanimity amply proves this Council’s “revenue centric” priorities too.

But why are petro-products still out of the GST’s ambit despite then Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s repeated assertions ? Why was this issue put on the “back burner” on the plea that most “revenue savvy” opposition ruled States were not in its favour even as some BJP ruled States were reportedly holding the similar views?

Vinayak G

New Delhi

Chasing inflation target

This refers to the report ‘No risk of recession or stagflation: FM’ (August 2). The assertion that “efforts are being made to bring down retail inflation below 7 per cent” is soothing.

The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting this week, hopefully, will come out with their views on policy measures.

The government and the RBI could review the inflation target, considering the recent developments.

MPC members are bound to have different perceptions on the performance of the economy and the impact of different monetary and fiscal policy interventions on inflation. They are duty-bound to chase the inflation target. Such meetings give opportunity to RBI to brief MPC members about application of different monetary policy tools in addition to change in Base Rate.

It will be embarrassing to the MPC also, if their precious time is wasted in explaining non-achievement of a target fixed years ago, when the variables affecting inflation were different.

MG Warrier

Mumbai

A passenger-centric Rlys

With reference to the article ‘A new passenger business model for Railways’ (August 2), the creation of more departments can delay clearances required for routine decisions.

With different types of services or trains getting introduced, the need of the hour is to fine-tune the focus on passenger services and enhance the revenue generated from them.

Revision in fares of suburban trains is pending for quite a long time.

Coach cleaners who were available in all superfast express trains when LHB coaches were introduced are not seen now. Toilet and floor cleaning of coaches in most such trains are taking a backseat and is done only once at the place of origination.

Similarly, to increase the patronage and revenue, the Railways needs to re-visit the rules on allowing additional stoppages for Tejas and Shatabdi trains wherever they are needed without turning down the public demand.

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Approach airline safety proactively

This refers to the editorial ‘On a wing and a prayer’. The recent flurry of near-miss airline accidents ought to be any eye-opener for the DGCA. The recent cosmetic action by it against SpiceJet to operate at 50 per cent capacity is a mild rap on the knuckles and will not act as deterrent to the erring airline and others. With the spurt in air travellers on the back of “revenge” tourism, airlines are trying to bite more than they can chew, as a result of which safety is being compromised.

So the question that is awaiting an answer is: Is watchdog waiting for some serious mishap to swing into action? It ought to be proactive and not reactive in its approach. Forewarned is being forearmed.

Deepak Singhal

Noida

Published on August 02, 2022
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