Vague roadmap

Apropos ‘Govt’s reforms have been transformative: Sitharaman’ (January 20), the Finance Minister’s talk on roadmap to $5 trillion economy did not delve much into the future plans of achieving the goal other than continuation of the game-changing GST. While her promise to make changes in the Companies Act and Income Tax Act to create trust with business persons is welcome, their fruitful implementation will depend on the change in the mindset and attitude of officials who are trained to suspect every high-value deal.

YG Chouksey


Bank lending

With reference to the article ‘PSB overhaul, lending revival’ (January 18), the statement “risk aversion by bankers has impacted lending” is only partially true. Much of the growth that has happened in the retail personal segment has come from unsecured personal loans and credit cards (20-30 per cent growth), normally considered high risk segments. While it is a fact that the banks are selective in increasing their exposure to NBFCs/MSMEs, one should also admit that no worthwhile projects have come up under infra, power and realty sectors. Surge in lending to corporates depends on demand creation, which is closely linked with economic revival.

V Viswanathan


Investment in education

This refers to ‘India needs to invest more on education’ (January 18). The findings of the Annual State of Education Report is saddening. The government has steadily faulted on education, particularly at the first two levels. Across States, schools are woefully ill-equipped and under-staffed. On this hollow foundation of primary/secondary education, we intend to spruce up skilling with the Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan, focussing on higher education. At 25.9 million, India has the world’s second-highest number of students enrolled in higher education.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Plight of farmers

It refers to ‘Farmers deserve their due’ (January 20). It is unfortunate that diminishing returns are forcing farmers to end their lives or shift to other petty jobs. All the talk of FCI procuring foodgrains directly from farmers to remove middlemen and provide them value for their efforts is shallow if only 30 per cent of total production is absorbed at MSP. The Budget must offer something substantial to the farmers.

Bal Govind


Ease of living

This refers to the report ‘Government makes it easier for pensioners to submit life certificates’ (January 20). This is a welcome gesture which will help in reducing the hardships of pensioners who may miss the due date for submission of life certificates for various genuine reasons.

Perhaps the paying offices may be authorised to collect alternative mobile numbers/email IDs of spouses/nominees of pensioners who also can be alerted about non-receipt of life certificates.

It would be a great service if banks and post offices send SMS/email alerts to senior citizens when their deposits mature.

Updating contact information periodically will reduce the chances of matured deposits getting transferred to ‘unclaimed’ category.

MG Warrier


Capital punishment

With the rejection of the mercy petitions by the President and the ruling of the Supreme Court against the juvenility of one of the convicted prisoners on death row, the decks are cleared for the hangings scheduled for February 1. The manner in which Nirbhaya was raped and killed put the grisly crime in the category of the ‘rarest of the rare cases’. It has led most people to say that the convicts deserve nothing less than capital punishment. But abolitionists differ and hold that a civilised society cannot countenance death penalty as a punishment. They prefer ‘reformative justice’.

A patriarchal society too must take its share of the blame for crimes against women. Life imprisonment can be awarded as a substitute to the death penalty on conviction of capital offences.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN