Letters to the editor dated Oct 14

| Updated on October 14, 2019 Published on October 14, 2019

Cotton policy

With reference to ‘Plight of cotton farmers still unresolved’ (October 14). Indian cotton growers have been exploited for a long time. Technology of Bt varieties helped boost average incomes by 60 per cent. Economic reforms gave a fillip to exports and now close to 90 per cent of cotton acreage is under cultivation of Bt variants.

But leveraging of modern bio-sciences was not matched by its acumen in agro administration. The coordination between the various Ministries — Agriculture , Commerce, Foreign and Trade — remains tenuous. Never could a holistic view be taken, particularly on exports.

The instincts of control over leveraging trade instilled during the British rule persist, and we now are unable to iron out disparities in the WTO. Regional/vote bank politics too, play a role in this situation.

R Narayanan


Fair competition

Apropos the article ‘Plight of cotton farmers still unresolved’ (October 14). The authors vividly bring to fore the poor status of developing countries pertinent to their cotton prices, which are not competitive in the global market. African countries which depend heavily on cotton exports for agro income are especially at and disadvantage due to the US’ subsidy-backed prices.

We cannot find reason why the US is continuing to protect its cotton farmers with subsidies. Indeed, celebrating ‘World Cotton Day’ will be more meaningful when all the cotton-growing countries stand on an equal platform with open competition. The joint proposal by India and China for capping product specific subsidies to 5 per cent on production value seems to be the right way forward.

NR Nagarajan


Equal opportunity

This refers to ‘India Inc needs a gender correction’ (October 14). It is not shocking to learn about findings of the CS Gender 3000 Report, which only revealed the usual facts. Barring few big names like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Anu Aga, Renuka Ramnath, Kalpana Morparia etc, there are hardly any women representing boards or senior management in India Inc. This has more to do with our poor mindset rather than anything else, as Indian women have broken all glass ceilings and ventured into all so-called ‘male’ domains.

It is about time we change as a society and start giving women equal opportunity. We surely can bring lot of good Western practices like compulsory maternity leaves and the ‘work from home’ option in all sectors.

Bal Govind


Top-level vacancies

This refers to ‘With Jayakumar’s MD/CEO term ending, BoB is headless’ (October 14). It was intriguing to learn that Bank of Baroda has become the second largest public sector bank to become ‘headless’, even as the same scenario unfolds at the Bank of India, as the one-year extended tenure of its incumbent MD & CEO ended on Saturday. Needless to say, such a ‘vacuum’ at this level does not augur well for the image of the government of the day.

One just shudders to imagine the real reasons behind the government’s inability to timely and wisely ‘select’ the best suited persons to fill such a key position for some obvious reasons. But, if the government is currently beset with any ‘suitability syndrome’ from amongst the PSBs, it may always consider the names of any of its hot favourite bureaucrats, as was done earlier in case of the RBI. Mind you, Shaktikanta Das was strangely yet quite conveniently chosen (even without any banking expertise) to replace Urjit Patel, who had exited the RBI’s governorship in December, 2018, following some sharp differences with the government. Reasonably speaking, such a top level ‘vacuum’ in two government-owned banks should be addressed without further delay.

Vinayak G


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Published on October 14, 2019
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