Letters to the editor dated Oct 24, 2019

| Updated on October 24, 2019

Merger of telcos

This refers to ‘BSNL-MTNL merger call goes through’ (October 24). It is a welcome move by the government to revive the national telecom service provider. While the public sector unit offers reliable and affordable broadband services, the key to its revival will be transforming the organisation to make it more customer-focussed. Presuming this is unlikely, many treat the merger decision as ‘more good money after bad’ based on their past experience.

It is hoped that the merged entity will make the most of this huge financial support given by the exchequer (common man). BSNL must reinvent itself to fight in an intensely competitive telecom marketplace, something which PSUs are not known for. For example, BSNL must promote its free e-mail service. From a data security perspective, India needs a strong local e-mail service provider rather than depending only on foreign ones.

V Vijaykumar


Banking crisis

This refers to the observation of Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee that ‘the banking crisis is frightening’ (October 23). The huge pile up of NPAs (non-performing assets) is definitely worrisome. However, his suggestion to reduce the government’s stake in banks to less than 50 per cent many not be the right prescription in the current milieu.

It is known to the authorities concerned that NPAs need to be brought down and, perhaps, the banking authorities also are aware of the seriousness of the issue and the urgency of considering the same. The CVC probes into irregularities should not be seen as a road block to decision-making by the banking authorities; it is a necessary guard against irregularities being committed by the staff.

TR Anandan


Protect whistle-blowers

The Whistle-blowers Protection Act should have more teeth so that diligent officers/whistle-blowers get enough protection. Government officers with a clean record who oppose the corrupt activities of powerful politicians/corporates invite their wrath and many a times their lives are at risk. They should be given protection so that other whistle-blowers/public servants will have the courage to expose the corrupt activities of powerful people.

If we do not respect and protect the whistle-blowers and diligent/sincere officers, a day will come when no honest person will join the civil services/government services. Cleaning our political system is a prerequisite for solving the problems being faced by the country. This will not be easy, and would require an iron will. Corruption and inefficiency are deep-rooted in the Indian political/administrative system and the chalta hai attitude of our politicians/big corporates and so-called leaders is the root cause of all the evils. Many whistle-blowers have been targeted and in some cases even killed because they tried to stop powerful people from looting the exchequer.

Veena Shenoy


Ethical private sector

This has reference to the editorial ‘Encourage whistle-blowing (October 24). Having a centralised repository for lodging corporate whistle-blower complaints is indeed a great idea. There’s a need for a healthy and ethical private sector model/mechanism to be in place. As it stands, a large section of India’s private sector is plagued by fraud and unethical practices.

CS Raghavan


Independent directors

This with respect to the recent move by the government to conduct a preliminary test for independent directors.

The need to address the candidate’s preparedness for the role in terms of expertise, experience and integrity may not be achievable through a one-time preliminary assessment.

Independent directors are generally appointed because of the specific expertise they bring in and thus add value to the board. Therefore, the need to hold a preliminary assessment test in order to be recognised as an independent director appears to be a naive move by the government.

Varun Dambal


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on October 24, 2019

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