Letters to the Editor dated December 26, 2019

| Updated on December 25, 2019 Published on December 25, 2019

Student protests

Apropos ‘JNU students’ angst over fee rise is justified’ (December 25). It is surprising that students of Jawaharlal Nehru University favour free education in the country when the fee structure in their institution for tuition and hostel accommodation has been among the lowest. JNU might be the most subsidised educational set-up, and it will be interesting to find out the ratio of well-to-do and poor students — most likely, the former would be more in number. So, for whom the students are fighting? Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that their cause has drawn support from other universities.

Second, the students do have a right to protest about the perceived increase in fees, but the agitation is expected to be carried out in a dignified manner befitting their level of education. When they resort to damaging public property and indulge in abuses and violence, they lose public sympathy. They should change their tactics if they need media and people backing.

YG Chouksey


Corporate engagement

This refers to ‘When Rahul Bajaj broke India Inc’s deafening silence on economy’ (December 25). Historically, the reputation of corporate culture relates to the unfathomable private sector support extended by big groups for the growth of industry, commerce and business, scientific innovations, R&D and consumerism in the country. This was possible due to the liberal access and inclusiveness by successive governments to the corporate sector.

Indian leaders in the present scenario should look to keep everyone together and renounce their narcissistic attitude, besides delinking the extraordinary wands given to babus in administration.

Sitaram Popuri


Bad loans

This refers to ‘Can India ever come out of the vicious cycle of loan defaults?’ (December 25). It not only traces the ‘footprints’ of the unprecedented financial crises that India was faced with three decades ago — when it had to send gold held in the central bank’s vaults over to London to borrow hard currency from the Bank of England — but also gives a blow-by-blow account of the turnaround in economic thinking triggered by various judicious and well meaning steps.

However, the nation is presently beset with a different economic scenario, (read: Catch-22 situation) in which India’s economic growth is almost invisible, jobs are fast disappearing, investment is becoming virtually non-existent, tax collections are not commensurate with the budgeted fiscal targets, banks are lending cautiously and industrial production as well as exports are facing difficulties. However, the author’s various innovative ideas like ‘reinventing infrastructure financing’ merit due consideration. Truly speaking, rolling back state/political intervention, undue favouratism, double standards and rigid lending norms — along with an immediate introduction of the concept of ‘reward and punishment’ — may possibly come handy for breaking the vicious circle of loan defaults.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula (Haryana)

Disclosure of NPAs

Apropos ‘Banks’ asset quality improves, Gross NPAs at 9.1 per cent end Sept 2019: RBI’ (December 25). The net NPAs of public sector banks have come down from 8 per cent in 2017-18 to 4.8 per cent in 2018-19, and from 2.4 per cent to 2 per cent for the private sector banks. There is no transparency about net NPA. The massive write-offs including technical write-offs are the main factor in the so called ‘reduction’, as can be inferred from the statements (not figures) made by the RBI recently.

Though technical write-offs are termed as only a technical procedure to clean the balance sheets, there are no public disclosures on the recoveries made post such write-offs. This is also a way of window dressing. The RBI should try to bring in transparency while releasing statistics to the public. The amount of total write-offs, technical write-offs and recoveries made against technical write-offs should also be mandatorily disclosed for every financial year.

N Vijayagopalan


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Published on December 25, 2019
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