Alleviating hunger

With reference to the editorial “Hunger alleviation” on the National Food Security Bill ( Business Line, March 21), the suggestion on direct cash transfer may not be practical as the prevailing market price (in Rs/kg) varies from State to State and city to city, even from street to street.

There are also wide variations from month to month, sometimes week to week. Reimbursement is out of question for obvious reasons. The Government has first to transfer the cash. If the Government resorts to averaging, it may not work because, even if the cash is transferred without delay, it may be insufficient for many to buy non-subsidised food.

Thus, recommendations of the various panels on these issues require serious consideration and discussion before implementing Direct Cash Transfer for food.

S. Pandian


Opening new banks

“Will new banks be a game-changer” ( Business Line, March 22), raised several valid points. Yet there is a degree of confusion on what exactly the government wants. Is it aiming to create big, global banks through the merger process?

Or does it only mean to expand the existing banking structure by approving another set of private sector banks?

Keeping in view the branch network in existence now and the increasing need for better financial inclusion, converting ‘India Post’ into a banking entity is a good idea and such a standalone concept deserves the backing of all stakeholders.

Similarly, opening an exclusive bank ‘by women and for women’ is also a novel idea and needs quick examination and implementation.

However, opening new private sector banks vis-à-vis merging existing public sector banks, surely needs clarity of thought and appropriate action.

At this stage, the two approaches appear contradictory.

I.K. Kilam


Published on March 25, 2013


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