Letters to the editor dated September 18, 2019

| Updated on September 19, 2019 Published on September 17, 2019

Oil prices

This refers to the editorial ‘Oil shock’ (September 17). As if the economic slowdown, the slump in GDP growth and growing unemployment were not enough for our government to handle, we now have the drone attacks on Saudi Aramco’s facilities which have caused one of the biggest disruptions in oil supply. Since India imports more than 80 per cent of its total requirements, this is bound to imbalance fiscal deficits. Though government officials have assured that oil supply will not be impacted, only time will tell whether that will help.

Though our inflation is at a considerably low level, a sudden spurt in crude oil prices will have a domino effect and the prices of essential items like vegetables and fruits are bound to go up in the days to come.

On the diplomatic front, India must take a solid stand as the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran will have consequences for India as well. Peace must prevail in this part of the world, as US President Donald Trump’s threat to avenge this drone attack will only make matters worse. Hope better sense will prevail with all stakeholders and they don’t escalate the matter further.

Bal Govind


Indian crude reserves

The spike in crude oil prices following the attack on Aramco’s oil production facilities poses additional challenges to the country’s economy. In the long run, the country’s strategic oil reserves need to be expanded to ensure that we are able to deal with any supply disruption.

It will also be the right time to look beyond the usual markets in the Gulf region and diversify our supplier base by tapping oil suppliers in the US and Russia. One additional worry for our policymakers is that it is now not known if Aramco will proceed with its previously announced investment plans in India.

Nandakumar V


Food security

This is with reference to ‘A gendered view of India’s nutrition strategy’ (September 17). It is a shame that a vast country like India has totally failed to eradicate poverty and malnourishment even after 72 years of independence. When other smaller countries are moving forward in terms of education and technology, we are still stuck at fulfilling the basic needs of people.

The so-called leaders lack the willingness to eliminate poverty by empowering the poor with good educational, medical facilities and the growth of infrastructure. If successive governments after Independence had paid attention to these aspects, there wouldn’t have been the necessity of the food security bill or subsidies for the poor.

As long as there is no willingness on the part of the government to find permanent solutions to our hunger-related problems, we have to depend on food security bills and the so-called pro-poor policies of the government.

Veena Shenoy


Pressure on Pakistan

It was interesting to learn that cash-strapped Pakistan may seek the intervention of the US for relief from the tough conditions of the FATF and the IMF in lieu of its its services for the peaceful exit of the American troops from Afghanistan.

However, the fact still remains that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan may have to virtually ‘beg’ (not merely persuade) the Donald Trump administration for any relief on this count.

As is well known, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had clearly warned Islamabad to meet its commitment of curbing money-laundering activities by October or face action, which could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted. Since the said threat seems to be real, no wonder Pakistan is now trying its best to get away with some lighter punishment.

Anyways, it is up to Trump as to how to proceed with Khan’s ‘give and take’ plea. But in all fairness, Pakistan must be made to pay the appropriate price for its abject failure to rise to the occasion despite the huge worldwide pressure.

Vinayak G


Published on September 17, 2019
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