Letters to the Editor dated December 27, 2019

| Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

Attracting bank depositors

This refers to ‘Payments banks’ losses mount despite doubling of their deposit base’ (December 26). Payments banks are facing challenges, and it augurs well that their deposit base has doubled in FY19. It is essential that payments banks reach last-mile connectivity. As the use of mobile apps increases, a portal combining suitability and easy access will be a game-changer for payments banks. In villages, issuing prepaid instruments will help attract those customers who cannot travel for too long. It will do well if payments banks celebrate women empowerment week on during festivals and focus during this week on village and semi urban womenfolk. With thr advent of the prepaid instrument keeping the monthly deposit limit as ₹10,000 will further boost the deposit base of payments banks. The semi-closed PPIs are instruments that facilitate the purchase of good and services recently introduced by the RBI. Farmers, students, professionals, construction workers, and the wroking class could be a right mix of targets for prepaid instruments. Co-branding with prepaid instruments would be another plus.

NK Bakshi


Bilateral trade

Apropos ‘Myanmar, a promising investment destination’ (December 26). The author vividly brings to the fore that India has good trade and investment opportunities at Myanmar at this juncture. Sharing a long, trade-facilitating land border, Myanmar wants to increase trade and military cooperation with India. India may find the greenshoots of making investments in renewable energy, hospitality and communication through FDI. Further feasible areas of investment are solar energy, manufacturing, telecom, healthcare and education and tourism. As a matter of increasing FTAs on postponing the signing of the RCEP, India could use Myanmar’s untapped market. Further, India could milk the retail market in Myanmar. ‘Make in Myanmar’ sounds like a lucrative proposal.

NR Nagarajan


GST rates

This refers to ‘We should have only two rates, says NITI Aayog’s Ramesh Chand on GST’ (www.thehindubusinessline.com). It was quite interesting to learn about the desirability of having ‘two slabs’ system. However, Ramesh Chand does not specify the proposed slabs thereof. In any case, one tends to agree with his well-meaning plea that there should no frequent tinkering with the GST rates, but rather an ‘annual’ revision alone, if necessary.

Truly speaking, the GST regime seems to enjoy the dubious distinction of being the most amended indirect taxation law since its ‘hasty’ introduction in July 1, 2017 and still remains highly problematic. What else could explain the fact that as many as 38 GST Council meetings have so far taken place to discuss the subsequently ‘emerging’ situation?

Incidentally, the GST Council has ‘appreciably’ decided to set up a structured Grievance Redressal Committee at both Zonal and State levels involving the active participation of all concerned. One genuinely wishes that the proposed committee would soon become a ‘reality’ and not merely some ‘paper tiger’, so that all those placed at the receiving end, may get the much needed sigh of relief.

Vinayak G


Military liaison

The Union Cabinet’s approval for the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is welcome. Entrusted with the task of ensuring better coordination between three services, especially in matters of defence procurement and with helping them in structuring of the services to bring in savings and operational synergy, the CDS would in all likelihood create joint theatre commands sooner rather than later, which does augur well for country’s defence preparedness. While the CDS provides principal military advice to the government, he is not the commander of all the three armed forces in the country and would not exercise any military command. After facing political and bureaucratic resistance to the idea of an all-powerful military commander and the inter-service rivalry between the Air Force, the Navy and the Army, it is time Union government usher in concrete steps to lay the foundation for a strong and functional CDS.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

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Published on December 26, 2019
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