Election strategy

With the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections is round the corner, there are concerns about the direction of election campaigns, cooked-up narratives and controversies, toxic debates and, of course, the hostile summer. Several reports and analyses have been published about the low voter turnout.

The internally displaced persons (IDPs), due to jobs and business, are absent from their constituencies in large numbers.

Too many phases and a prolonged election period are causing fatigue and voter apathy. In a digitised society, a new election strategy with a shorter election period, fewer phases and voting facility from remote locations for IDPs should be considered by the Election Commission.

Vinod Johri


Surge in F&O trading

The fact that stock market participation in India has been gathering steam, with the number of demat accounts jumping from 3.59 crore in 2018-19 to 7.38 crore by October 2021, is nothing but a clear testament to the growing equity culture.

However, the sharp surge in trading in futures and options (F&O) by retail investors has evoked concerns about its possible deleterious impact on investor sentiments and household finances.

The fact that more than 80 per cent of traders incur losses while trading in the F&O segment calls for more concerted protection measures for investors.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

IPL on a different track

‘IPL’s identity crisis’ (May 16) has really hit the nail on the head. The Indian Premier League, which values commerce above the spirit of the gentleman’s game, will lose traction in the course of time as it is money — a dangerous master — that rules the roost in the competition. Players go for the kill to bag the coveted trophy. This is not, however, wrong. But what is worrying is that the sheen of sportsmanship is rubbed off sometimes in the bargain.

When that happens, the game becomes the biggest loser.

S Ramakrishnasayee


Health insurance

The editorial ‘Unaffordable cover’ (May 16) rightly highlights the plight of individual health insurance buyers: they “may be footing the bill for losses in other segments,” per data analysis of Incurred Claims Ratio. With hardly any good option for reducing premiums, the elderly especially silently pay up.

The lesser than business like approach in sourcing group/company health business adds to the woes of individual insurance buyers by jacking up premiums for them.

This is a sort of cross-subsidy: the poor forced to feed the better-off. The bargaining power and prowess of large companies/groups and brokers vitiate the situation. It is a fact that at critical stages like underwriting and claims settlement, big corporates get favoured treatment or use their clout to get it.

Hope a better way of incentivising the elderly with discounts in renewal premium based on claim-free years or the like is formulated. The government can think of doing away with the tax on health insurance premiums altogether (at least for those above 45 years, where premiums start shooting up), so that more can avail of affordable cover.

Jose Abraham

Vaikom, Kerala