Letters

Flight cancellation charges

| Updated on May 22, 2018 Published on May 22, 2018

With reference to ‘Draft Air Passenger Charter proposes zero ticket cancellation fee within 24 hours’ (May 22), the proposed air passengers’ friendly move is likely to face some stiff opposition from domestic airlines. Why would these airlines wish to forgo their most ‘fertile’ source of revenue?

All the low cost airlines, with the exception of Air India, had earlier curtailed ‘check-in-baggage’ from 20 kg to 15 kg and anything above that is currently being charged on per kg basis. Some airlines like Air Asia India at times demand ‘extra fee’ even from those passengers who booked their air tickets online under under a single PNR number and thus wish to travel together.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Secular coalition

The Opposition parties seized the best opportunity for a long time to present a united face in the face of BJP’s seeming predominance. To their credit, Congress and JD(S) leaders acceded to the entreaties by the leaders of secular parties to form a coalition government that can be projected as a trailer and a template for 2019. It is now incumbent on both the parties to rise above short-term political calculations and interest and take the long view and prove BJP’s prediction that the government will fall apart under its own weight wrong.

BJP President Amit Shah’s accusation that the Congress ‘stole the entire stable’ was a tribute to the commitment of both the parties. One request to Amit Shah is that he should not use his ‘might’ and ‘manipulative skills’ to bring down the government led by HD Kumaraswamy whose father was praised by Narendra Modi.

Four years on, the Modi government has quite clearly failed to deliver basic living standards and commodities to the aam aadmi. Some peple are of the view that they feel that anything — even a clumsy and imperfect ‘rag-tag’ coalition — is better.

A secular coalition is better suited than the monolithic Hindutva Parivar to an India disparate and explosive in its mix of race and religion. The tasks for the broad-based secular coalition are cut out: Beat back Hindutva forces and deliver an economic policy that works for the impoverished people.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

Oil worries

With reference to ‘Oil price scare looms large once again’ (May 22), despite the petrol and diesel prices touching new highs, the government seems to be worried more about “containing” the political fallout rather than “controlling” prices. As the central excise duty accounts for over 50 per cent of petro product prices, it would be naive to expect any substantial cut in duties. So the hapless consumers may eventually have to contend with some ‘peanuts’ given by the government.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula (Haryana)

The government deliberately kept the petrol and diesel prices under check before the Karnataka assembly elections. But since then petrol and diesel prices have skyrocketed, with everyone feeling the pinch. For the common man it is hurting his household budget while for industry it is hitting the bottom line. Even when crude oil prices came down from a peak of $150 per barrel to around $25 per barrel briefly, fuel prices were not commensurately reduced.

With global oil prices spiralling upwards, the twin risks of higher inflation and trade deficit loom large. To provide immediate relief to the consumer, the government should cut excise duty on petrol and diesel without any delay. But for long-term, sustainable solutions the government has to bring automobile fuel under the ambit of GST. The government is right in promoting renewable and green energy but those are the long-term solutions.

The government can not afford to lie low now. With US President Donald Trump threatening to impose sanctions against Iran, a major oil producer, there is no chance of crude oil price coming down in the near future. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Saudi Arabia to keep crude oil prices moderate and stable but our government must act now.

Bal Govind

Noida

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Published on May 22, 2018
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