Opinion

Letters to the Editor dated January 17, 2022

Baskar B 4727 | Updated on: Jan 17, 2022

Looming inflation

The latest data released by National Statistical Office (NSO) on retail inflation, as measured by Consumer Price Index which rose to a six-month high of 5.6 per cent in December 2021, is nothing but a grim pointer to the growing inflationary pressures on the economy.

Factors such as possible disruptions in the supply chains owing to slew of restrictions now being imposed by several State governments to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections and increasing cost pressures on producers who in turn in all likelihood will pass on the burden to end consumers have now raised the spectre of a more spike in inflation in the days to come.

Under these circumstances, it remains to be seen whether the RBI will continue to attach primacy to growth considerations. With the ongoing Covid-19 third wave threatening to derail the fragile and uneven economic recovery, the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has the task cut to effect a shift from its present accomodative monetary stance to neutral and hiking the repo rate.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

LIC buzz

LIC policy holders having no interest in investing in the forthcoming IPO of the company now have a chance to make an easy buck by renting out their demat accounts to brokers who would use the 10 per cent discount to make a tidy profit. However it all depends on the pricing of the share and what would happen if the discount to policy holders is reduced to 5 per cent of the offering.

The LIC IPO has created a distinct buzz in the market and there is no doubt that it will garner record subscriptions. Opening of new demat accounts will further give an impetus to the markets, opening new avenues of investments. The new investors would be well advised to be careful about their investments and not jump into them expecting their investments to double in three months!

Anthony Henriques

Mumbai

Let EC politely refuse

According to media reports, various political parties are learnt to have written to the Election Commission, seeking the postponement of Punjab Assembly elections, in the wake of Guru Ravidas Jayanti, falling on February 16, 2022.

Since such a request could possibly be aimed at gaining some more time for the electoral campaigning as also for drawing some political mileage by gaining the ‘sympathy’ of the people belonging to that community of Punjab, the Election Commission of India should not accede to their request. In all fairness, such a demand should have arisen soon after the ‘announcement’ of the election schedule for Punjab Assembly, if these parties really cared for their ‘sentiments’ that usually remain associated with this occasion?

Vinayak

New Delhi

Four-day workweek

The article ‘The virtues of a four-day workweek’ (January 14) fails to articulate the virtues while broadly stating that employees would benefit from increased ‘rest and recreation’ and that productivity does not suffer.

Given India’s low productivity, for example in government offices, PSU banks, and insurers which play a crucial role in service delivery, the thought of a four-day workweek is worrying. Online access to services is not yet widespread. Further, the bulk of India’s workforce is in the unorganised sector where earnings are directly proportional to hours of work. Thus a four-day workweek will be limited to the elite.

Ruchir Sharma in his Palkhivala Memorial Lecture (BL January 17) has argued that falling workforce participation and declining productivity are among the causes of low economic growth. Therefore we need more work, not less.

V Vijaykumar

Pune

Published on January 17, 2022
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