Letters

100 days of NDA

| Updated on September 13, 2019 Published on September 13, 2019

 

Looking at the performance of the NDA government during the first 100 days, the measures towards eradication of corruption, passing of the Triple Talaq Bill, abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, and laws enacted to check terrorism are all notable achievements. But the measures taken on the economy front could have been better. Since this government assumed charge, the Sensex is down 7.1 per cent and the Nifty, 8 per cent. The GDP growth rates declined from 8 per cent to 5 per cent during the last one year, and there is a surge in the rate of unemployment.

Rationalisation of GST rates is still “work in progress”. Informal sectors like MSMEs, which are cash intensive, require a fillip post the demonetisation measures. Though bank mergers, by and large, are a welcome step, the need of the hour is for reduction of NPA in banks and equipping them to restart the lending process to revive the economy. Since structural reform measures involve gestation period before it starts showing results, it is time the government concentrated on the same.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Surplus rainfall woes

Apropos ‘India records 3% surplus rainfall’ (September 13), it is both gratifying as well as disillusioning for the farming community for the basic reason that much of the rainfall has fallen during a very short period of time instead of the conventional monsoon rainfall, which is spread over a period of at least three months of the year.

If one goes on the basis of Long Period Average (LPA), the IMD could be right in projecting it as surplus. On the contrary, it is essential to understand that any downpour or cloudburst does more harm than good to the agrarian community since the quantum of rainwater that flows out of the land causes abundant damage to both the soil as well as the crops.

Rajiv N Magal

Sakaleshpur, Karnataka

Building highways

This refers to ‘More highways should be built by States’ (September 13). Depending upon the time, both PPP and EPC have been the flavour of the season in road construction projects. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Considering the changing reality, the government has introduced a new hybrid-annuity model which has found some takers. It is not surprising to learn that private road developers took lesser time to develop roads than what government did. Private contractor will always be more efficient. Coming to comparison between national and State highways, it is good to learn that state agencies build roads at much lesser cost than NHAI.

Land acquisition remains the biggest hurdle in developing roads and without an iota of doubt we can say that States have the capacity to resolve that faster than the Central government which should be strong enough reason to push more State highways. The best case scenario would be a combination of State and National highways.

Bal Govind

Noida

Reducing traffic congestion

From the monetary and maintenance angles, hiring cabs makes more sense than owning a four-wheeler and taking care of it. Taking into account the traffic issues and poor condition of roads in many parts of the cities, the option of hiring cabs on daily basis only gets reinforced. The only problem is, many a time and more so in peak hours, the cab would not be normally available if one has to go out urgently. Rules are being made and amended keeping in mind the prevailing conditions. While permitting taxi aggregators to operate on commission basis without owning any four-wheeler, why not permit similar aggregators for autos and bikes, which occupy less space than four-wheelers?

This proposal may help reduce the traffic to some extent. A policy to phase out single persons travelling in a car should be introduced by encouraging taxi, auto and bike aggregators. This will enable optimum utilisation of road space. The luxury of single person taking out a four-wheeler, thereby occupying more space per person and causing traffic problems, should not be given.

RS Raghavan

Bengaluru

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Published on September 13, 2019
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