Review share buybacks
The option of share buybacks needs to be reviewed. Buybacks reduce the number of shares in the open market and, thereby, increase the value of the remaining shares, with no improvement to sales, customer satisfaction or production efficiency.
This has since become a corporate practice to maximise shareholder value.
Capital has long been dictating the division of profits and benefits to the company, usurping the rightful share of labour in terms of increased wages, welfare amenities, etc.
Income tax reforms
This refers to ‘Banks to report every penny paid as interest to depositor’ (January 12). This is a welcome move and may not affect depositors or result in much additional work for banks.
Hopefully, the IT department will also come up with measures to plug leakages in accounting taxable income from other sources like interest income from deposits with non-banks and cooperatives. The threshold for tax exemption for interest income of non-pensioner senior citizens deserves a review for upward revision.
One is not so sure about the reasons for keeping the calculation of taxable income at lower levels so complicated, with multiple exemptions and deductions. They benefit tax consultants more.
The healthcare sector in India requires to make a great leap forward to improve its accessibility and affordability to the bottom half of the population. And the potential for a significant contribution from the private sector in this area is immense. The public private partnership (PPP) model evolved during the pandemic years proved to be successful and worthy of continuing with some modifications, to take healthcare closer to the poor.
The pricing of coronavirus vaccines administered by the private sector was made affordable to the middle classes, but not the poor.
The PPP model for general healthcare services may be built on a graded pricing structure, so that the private sector can meaningfully participate and improve healthcare in the country and also make reasonable profits. The services provided by the private sector may be priced as per the location.
It is indeed heartening to learn that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana ( PMJDY) has been playing a significant role in the growth of deposits of banks in recent years. More deposits means more credit creation, resulting in increase in aggregate consumption demand, investment demand and economic growth.
Thanks to schemes like PMJYD, it is now common to see even illiterate people using ATM cards and talking about banking procedures.
Tame online frauds too
Apropos ‘New rules make online gaming safer for users’ (January 12), it was interesting to learn that the government has proposed a regulatory framework to bring the fast-growing online gaming industry under regulatory ambit to protect it from fly-by-night operators. Likewise, the government should devise and usher in some in-built mechanism to ensure spontaneous red flagging of various types of frauds currently taking place in both online banking and non-banking segments, using various UPI modes.