Letters to the Editor dated January 1, 2020

| Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

Telecom woes

This refers to ‘Cut this call’ (December 31). At a time when the telecom industry is weighed down by the elevated level of debt and the diminishing and/or negative debt-servicing capacity, it is vital to facilitate the industry with a reduction in the spectrum price and licence fees to prevent the players from enhancing the price of their products and services. With only three players in the market, the likelihood of the emergence of a monopolistic situation which will be detrimental to consumers can’t be ruled out. The weakness in servicing the dues to lenders, especially banks, is enhancing the twin balance-sheet problem and spiralling the persisting deceleration.

The predatory pricing used by one service provider has paved the way for it to capture the market, adversely affecting the performance of the other players. However, the policy of drastically increasing the price of the products and services and fixing a floor price on data services is against the interest of the consumers. A rise in the cost of telecommunication due to the stipulating of a floor price will push the cost of the goods and services produced by the other sectors of the economy. Instead of acceding to the demand for a floor price, the TRAI must look to reducespectrum prices and licence fees to extend relief to the telecom sector and to prevent the eventual adverse effects in the economy.

VSK Pillai


Female workforce

Apropos ‘India is failing its young women in terms of work’ (December 31). Indeed, young women are fearless and forthright in expressing their concerns and demands thanks to their level of education brings them to a fearless expression platform. But pertinent to their work participation, country-wise it is on declining trend — a economic and social loss. The participation of women in labour process does not respond to a marked mechanism. Though social mores, rising incomes of men, gender-based segregation in the job market, lack of quality jobs for women and occupational safety and health are the reasons for their poor absorption in the job market, the major hurdle is family constraint. The work-life balance is a vital factor of augmenting women workforce.

NR Nagarajan


Alarming statistics

This refers to ‘India is failing its young women in terms of work’ (December 31). It is unfortunate that our young women are not getting enough employment opportunities to prove their mettle. Even if a significant portion of working women is under-reported, 16.5 per cent is still too low a number for gender parity. At a time when women have proven their capabilities beyond any doubts and ventured in many so-called male domains, it is shameful that their is no employment for them. What is really worrying is a State like Kerala, which is known for its high literacy rates,gives only 16.4 per cent jobs to women workers. Some of the north-eastern States also present worrisome data. It is the joint responsibility of the State and the Central government along with India Inc to ensure that our young women gets as much opportunity as possible.

Bal Govind


Focus needed on nutrition

This refers to ‘India jumps three positions in SDG index’ (December 31). While the composite index has improved three positions, the underperformance on hunger/nutrition and poverty is worrying. The dip in the index on malnutrition is widespread across States. Quality food and nutrition are the basic need of society, vital for not just proper physical and mental growth of the individual but also to enable future generations to participate in the economic process for their own prosperity and contribute in nation-building.

Such underperformance on hunger/nutrition could undermine future economic performance of the country and result in a vicious cycle of ill-health, poverty and deprivation. Alongside public health, we need to focus on crop choices which provide superior nutrition value while at the same time reduce water dependence and GHG emissions, and thus help achieve several SDG goals.

V Vijaykumar


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Published on December 31, 2019
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