Election reforms

| Updated on August 16, 2019 Published on August 15, 2019


The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on Independence Day has once again called for need of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and all State assemblies, but did not elaborate on how it can be practically done with the present outdated poll system. It is essential that Modi takes the initiative for consolidated and massive poll reforms, which have been deferred for decades in the name of political consensus.

A Chief Minister (or the Prime Minister) should be simultaneously elected with the Speaker and Deputy Speaker by secret and compulsory votes through EVMs equipped with VVPAT on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent of the House’s members. Such elected incumbents may be removed only through the same process, but only after an alternative leader is named in the same motion. This is the only way to prevent hung legislative bodies and unstable governments and pave the way for simultaneous elections.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

New Delhi

Protecting institutions

Ours could have very well been a majority democracy, but we vowed to be a Republic and to abide by a written Constitution. This was to safeguard the interests of individuals and the lesser privileged; with equal rights, opportunity and freedom of expression for all.

To keep this vow, we have been creating institutions to constantly monitor and correct deviations in policy and execution. Thus, the democratically elected government of the day must owe its primary loyalty to such institutions. The measure of our democratic ethos lies in the continued robustness of the organisations that we install. Tide and time will constantly impact many an indicator, such as growth. Only through zealously guarding our institutions, would the government be able to add incremental value .

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Organic monitoring

With reference to ‘FSSAI makes third-party audits must for high-risk food-makers’ (August 15). The decision of the FSSAI is indeed a long-awaited measure and it is hoped that the agencies entrusted with such a responsibility would render justice to the consumers with genuine and quality food, which would have been merely ornamental with mere certification at a nominal fee.

On similar lines, the FSSAI must also contemplate on bringing in certain stringent legal and scientific measures to control the organic food sold in the market, which is more defined only through its packaging and high price, without any postulated benchmark on the authenticity of the organic process followed in its production at the farm level. Appropriate measures would help eliminate spurious food products, all of which may not be authentic to be called organic.

Rajiv Magal


Unwelcome move

The decision of RBI to mask the gloomy picture by encouraging banks to lend to non-banking finance companies is unwise, as it will increase the risks of banks. The RBI has put some conditions to finance NBFCs for the safety of the lending bankers. But will the banks come forward in the present conditions? Most of them have not recovered from the crisis of the ever-increasing NPAs despite the government’s efforts. Now, this step is like pouring salt on the wound.

As per rating agency Fitch, nudging banks to lend more to NBFCs is contrary to the global trend of authorities trying to break the linkages between banks and such institutions.

The rating agency underscored that the NBFC sector, historically an important provider of consumer loans in India, is under significant pressure as investors shy away following the default of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services in 2018 and Dewan Housing this year.

The disbursements have declined steeply, the effect of which has to be borne by auto sector with 31 per cent fall in sales.

Moreover, the scheme to support NBFCs to the tune of ₹1 lakh crore by PSBs will only hamper the turnaround efforts of PSBs.



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Published on August 15, 2019
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