Letters

Letters to the Editor dated January 17, 2020

| Updated on January 16, 2020 Published on January 16, 2020

Falling exports

This refers to ‘India’s exports fall for fifth straight month in December’ (January 15). This does not augur well for the nation, which is currently facing an economic slowdown, which is conveniently attributed to global factors. Exporters are facing several hurdles on the domestic front, including uncertainty over the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and the holding up of exporters’ GST and duty drawback claims. One earnestly hopes the government would realise the gravity of the situation and undertake all remedial measures to rein in the constantly declining exports before it gets too late.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula, Haryana

Banning EVMs

This is with reference to an attempt by Onkar Singh Dhillion, who is on a nationwide padayatra, to seek a blanket ban on EVMs because he thinks that ruling parties are manipulating the same to win elections. His effort is a waste of time as it’s a Herculean task to ban EVMs and bring back ballot-papers once again. Further, it is not easy for the parties in power to tamper with EVMs. These are manufactured and tested by state-owned companies and have been found to be reliable and tamper-proof. And, if any party is found indulging in manipulation, it runs the risk of being penalised by the Election Commission of India.

Harminder Singh Gumbhir

Lucknow

Strike call by banks

Apropos ‘Bank unions plan a series of strikes beginning January 31’ (Janaury 15), the proposed agitation by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU) against the rigid attitude of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is only to be expected. Considering the important role played by public sector banks in the implementation of various government schemes and in the proposed revival of the nation’s economy, the Finance Ministry should prevail upon the IBA to conclude a fair settlement, acceptable to both parties.

For its part, the UBFU too needs to be flexible in its demands, some of which, such as ‘equal wage for equal work for contract workers/business correspondents’ are infeasible, defeating the very purpose of outsourcing the routine, maintenance jobs.

The UBFU should also ensure that its future agitations are not hijacked by political parties into nationwide strikes against unrelated government policies, bearing in mind the dictum ‘one should not bite the hand that feeds’!

V Jayaraman

Chennai

Reviving PSBs

The is with reference to ‘Reviving public sector banks isn’t over with capital infusion’ (January 15). The crux of animating our languishing economy lies in activating financial mediation. And that would hinge around public sector banks that account for around 75 per cent of loans disbursed in the banking system. The catch is that they own 80 per cent of NPAs, too.

The Budget ought to break new grounds on their progressive privatisation, the cause célèbre. PSBs must be rendered a desirable acquisition for private ownership. Their overhang of NPAs has to be cleared. The concept of bad bank, much like what Indonesia did with success in 1998, needs to be pursued with speed. That nation was able to demonstrate fruitful use of up to 70 per cent of stressed loans.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Protest is ‘political’

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has called for unity among Opposition parties to support the ongoing protests against the CAA and force the government to roll back the law. When the CAA, rushed through in Parliament, is ‘political’ in its true sense, the protest against it too has to be ‘political’. The protest is as ‘political’ as the enactment of the Act was ‘political’. The law was passed by members of political parties. Members of Parliament are not apolitical.

The protests for the rescission of CAA have to be complemented by a strong political push-back by a strong Opposition. The refrain by some TV channels that ‘a people’s movement’ has been hijacked by certain political parties and leaders is but a vain bid to de-legitimise the protests led by students, civil society activists and women.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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 January 16, 2020
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