Letters

Letters to the editor dated November 19, 2019

| Updated on November 19, 2019 Published on November 19, 2019

Misjudgement by telecos

This refers to ‘Mistakes made by Airtel, Vodafone’ (November 19). It is indeed quite astonishing that both the companies made the catastrophic error of judgment of choosing to litigate on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) instead of paying the dues to the government ‘under protest’ on an ongoing basis for which they clearly had the financial capacity. It is staggering that they ignored the toxic clause of punitive levies in their contract with the government.

No prudent management can ever assume that judicial decisions will go in their favour.

This error of judgment by the companies means that now they have to pay dues and penalties which are way above the actual licence and spectrum fees.

Their balance sheets are under immense stress and they may have to ultimately shut shop. This would result in thousands of shareholders of these companies losing money. However, the hardest hit will be the customers who probably will have to move to monopolistic service providers and be at their mercy if Airtel and Vodafone shut their operations.

Arjun P Somasundaran

Kozhikode

Parliamentary democracy

This refers to the editorial ‘Politics of legislation’ (November 19). Democracy is all about debate, discussion and dissent and if any one of this is curbed in parliament, then the parliamentary system can be said to be dysfunctional. And that is precisely the crux of the issue.

In a hurry to get Bills passed and showcase them as achievements, the ruling part has many a times not gone into the nuances of the Bills. After a Bill becomes law, it is often amended. Not only is this a wastage of time and resources, but also shows the government in poor light. Mere improvement in the ease of doing business rankings will not help bring the economy back on track. Structural changes that help create a more conducive environment for entrepreneurs and watertight laws are essential.

Bal Govind

Noida

Empowering women

This refers to ‘For businesswomen the road ahead is still long’ (November 19). Both in employment and entrepreneurship, India women have low representation (21 and 14 per cent, respectively). They have become a victim of stereotyping and wrong perception — for example, as low risk-takers, which militate against the fact that their marriage and moving into a new family equip them with abilities to face risk, uncertainty, stress, failure, and need for adaptability right from a young age.

Outside the family, their education in a male-dominated environment strengthens their resolve to do well. Add to this their creative instinct, a critical competence for entrepreneurship. What they need, therefore, is family support, financial backing (from lending institutions) and social acceptance. Setting aside a certain percentage of bank loans only for women and running special courses for women entrepreneurs in management institutes could be thought of. Once these hurdles are minimised, India will produce many entrepreneurs like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Anu Aga.

YG Chouksey

Pune

JNU protests

This refers to ‘Police stop JNU students’ march towards Parliament, baton-charge protesters’ (November 19). It was unfortunate to learn that a number of JNU students were detained and some injured as they marched towards Parliament demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike.

But it may not be out of place to mention that some reasonable hike in the hostel fee should be accepted by the students as the same was fixed long back. Also, it is intriguing to observe that the JNU has, of late, turned out to be more a political fiefdom of the Left parties. Rights and responsibilities always go hand in gloves with each other. Let this once highly-reputed university (named after former prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru) not be divested of its original purpose of providing good quality education. So, in no case, should it be allowed to become some self-serving political battlefield.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

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Published on November 19, 2019
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