Letters to the editor dated September 17, 2019

| Updated on September 19, 2019 Published on September 16, 2019

Support to MSMEs

Apropos the editorial ‘Push to exports’ September 16. One must concede that exports have been receiving attention in bursts, but not the sustained care they deserve. While MSMEs account for over 50 per cent of this,we have failed to address their primary concern over fund flows and their financial support infrastructure continues to be conservative. We tend to tailor our stimulus to the big industries without ensuring a trickle down effect to the MSMEs. China’s predominance today in exports was entirely due to a dedicated and holistic policy.

For the sector as a whole, domestic transit time, cost and procedural hold ups are major concerns. China ensures three-day transit to any of its ports.

The GST has helped us cut around 25 per cent of transmit time and we are faster in customs clearance than China, but we need to rationalise compliance and refunds too.

R Narayanan


Boosting exports

This is with refetence to the editorial ‘Push to exports’ (September 16). Obviously, remission of duties or taxes on export products, automated refund of GST input credit and reducing export turn-around are the sops which can stimulate and boost exports. Amid the WTO’s challenges regarding India’s export subsidy on macroeconomic grounds and the China-US trade war,

India’s possibility of augmenting exports depends upon the increasing of export competency in a competitive market through the enforcement of technical standards on industrial and agricultural products.

Boosting structural investment on exports and the formation of export clusters will stimulate the exports market.

NR Nagarajan


Credit to farmers

This refers to ‘A credible blueprint for agriculture credit’ (September 16). Though the aggressive financial inclusion has enabled landless, marginal and small farmers and agricultural labourers to become connected to the banking system, a major chunk of these cultivators is still approaching rural money lenders to meet their credit needs. Taking advantage of the dire need of the poor farmers, the money lenders are charging interest exorbitantly and as a consequence, a lot of poor farmers remain debt-ridden because of their inability to pay back the borrowed money.

Another factor that contributes to the distress of the farming community is non-delivery of need-based credit on time, and therefore it is vital to push the financial institutions, particularly the banks, to reach out more effectively to the farmers. The banks must evaluate the needs as per the prevailing cost of cultivation of a particular area or region to ensure adequate flow of credit for farming activities, including allied ones.

The Kissan Credit Cards must comprise production and investment needs and must be available also to farmers who do not own land. The rate of interest for agriculture credit must be uniform and affordable across all the banks and NBFCs. The banks which are failing to achieve the set targets for lending under agriculture and allied activities must be penalised for the deficit and achievers must be rewarded. The lending against gold and jewellery for agriculture with interest subvention is paving way for diversion of funds for gainful investment and is therefore defeating the intended purpose.

VSK Pillai


Economic stimulus

The slew of stimulus measures aimed at addressing the present economic slowdown, the latest focussed on a new tax refund scheme, boosting exports and easing of external commercial borrowings for Indian real estate companies cannot be faulted for its noble intent. But, piecemeal measures will hardly prove effective for the ills plaguing the economy. With sluggishness in demand, and no revival in private investment, government spending can bring only short-term relief. Structural reforms with a thrust on simplifying labour laws and easing norms for infrastructure development are the need of the hour.

M Jeyaram


Published on September 16, 2019
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