Incentivising PSB staff
Apropos ‘PSB staff need exposure and incentives for performance’ (September 8), public sector banks have played a major part in transforming the lives of rural poor.
Rapid branch expansions in unbanked rural/semi-urban areas under Lead bank schemes and mobilisation of small unorganised savings for lending were among the strategic steps undertaken by the public sector banks.
Given the focus on mass banking, PSB staff do not have the requisite expertise in identifying big, viable projects for lending. The government must reorient the PSB staff towards priorities of commercial lending.
Katuru Durga Prasad Rao
The real malaise
In PSBs, lack of rewards at the top and unionisation at the bottom are the real problems. PSBs’ organsational culture is not attuned to those of modern financial institutions.
There is no doubt about the talent of PSB employees and unionisation of such knowledge workers can work wonders if the top management is responsible for the good of the employees and unions respond by contributing to the development of a customer-focused and performance-oriented work culture.
In the absence of such scenario, the ideas of deputation or cross-cultural training will produce limited success.
Apropos the editorial ‘Tax treat’ (September 8), post-Covid, it is good to see the buoyancy in the gross direct tax collections which have breached the budgeted as well as revised estimates. Corporate tax collections also show very impressive growth.
However, it is premature to conclude that high tax collection is really on account of growth in GDP in real time.
Inflation rate and surge in prices of all commodities do contribute towards higher tax collection. The digital push and tightening of existing tax collection norms have also played a vital role. Generation of Form 26AS online and the simplified ITR forms have enabled more individuals to come into the tax network.
The 100 per cent collection of toll through Fastag have plugged the existing loopholes in toll collection.
Focus on job creation
With reference to the news report ‘With inflation manageable, the priority now is job creation, wealth distribution: FM’ (September 8).
The burning issue before the government is to create jobs for the youth. Firstly, improving infrastructure will boost trading activity and create jobs.
Secondly, by encouraging cottage and small-scale industries in rural areas we can desist people from migrating to urban areas and cities thus reducing the burden on overcrowded cities.
Thirdly, Indian delicacies should be popularised abroad by encouraging women entrepreneurs. These food items will have a huge demand in countries where there is a considerable Indian population, — the US, UK and Gulf countries. And, fourthly, the tourism industry has a vast potential to create jobs. It hardly requires any investment and returns are guaranteed immediately.
Shortage of weapons
Apropos ‘India is running out of weapons to deter China due to Modi order’ (September 8), such a scenario could be a matter of grave concern even as both Pakistan and China remain a potent threat to India’s security. The country’s air force, army and navy can no longer import some critical weapons systems to replace ageing ones, leaving India critically short of helicopters by 2026 and with a shortfall of hundreds of fighter jets by 2030.
More importantly, the navy is also facing problems over the push to use home-grown equipment coupled with the fact that India’s submarine fleet is dependent on a limited number of heavyweight torpedoes it had bought four decades ago.
So all in all, it could be a Catch-22 situation owing to India’s over-reliance on the ‘Make in India’ programme which mandates 30-60 per cent of home-made components.