Letters to the Editor dated February 17, 2020

| Updated on February 17, 2020

Medical practices

This refers to the editorial ‘Injecting accountability’ (February 17). Are regulators well-equipped to certify the quality and safety of the medical devices? It’s likely that the excessive bureaucratic inertia and red-tape will prove counter-productive.

The guidelines and requisite terms of reference for manufactures, suppliers and consumers need to be spelt out comprehensively, transparently and unambiguously. The relevant details of approved medical devices and implants should be conspicuously displayed on the website, so that it is not only easy for the buyer, but also for the informed patient, to verify the quality of their devices.

As seen in the past, many developed nations dump on other countries equipments which fail to comply their own stipulated norms and rules. So, our regulations should be in sync with the international order and not be customised to suit a particular business lobby locally or globally, and heavy penalties should be levied to deter lapses .

Deepak Singhal


Mining sector

Apropos ‘Why mine auction policy needs a relook’ (February 17). The author vividly brings to fore the unquestionable edge and privilege that the captive miners are getting, regarding the revenue sharing premium and the right to bid for open mines along with non-captive miners. Indeed, this has led to the absence of a level playing field in both bidding and operations. The classification of captive and non-captive mines is the fundamental cause for such discrimination. At this juncture, the government has the onus to reconsider its auction policy and provide an equal platform to both players. The government ought to take steps to streamline auctions, keeping in mind the common interest of the miners.

NR Nagarajan


CRR requirement

This refers to the article ‘Risks of CRR tinkering’ (February 17). According to the writer’s own calculation, ₹5,41,223 crore must be maintained as CRR by all scheduled banks on their total deposits as on January 17, 2020. The statement that this whole amount will “comfortably be released as additional funds” is fallacious, as the RBI exemption from maintaining CRR is only for an amount equivalent to the “incremental increase in credit to the focussed sectors”.

The suggestion that banks will get “zero cost funds” for lending to the focussed sectors is curious. The fact is 4 per cent of the additional lending will be from a cost-free source, as banks do not have to maintain CRR against deposits equivalent to such additional lending. As the benefit is not substantial, we need not suspect laxity in appraisal of loan proposals on this count.

MG Warrier


Coronavirus epidemic

Reports of a drop in new coronavirus cases in China followed by those of a surge within a span of a few days are all that we get in lieu of real information about the situation, thanks to China’s ‘managed transparency’. Then again, China does deserve credit for making available samples of the pathogen for clinical trials on potential vaccines and drugs. In the context of the spread, scale and severity of the disease in China and globally, the WHO has warned countries against laxity in taking preventive measures. It is premature to say that the worst of the outbreak is over. The face-masks, the 14-day quarantine of suspected patients and the lockdown of residential areas instil a certain fear among people. Limiting public activities, reluctance to use public transport and fear of a crowd are an ineluctable fallout of the outbreak in affected areas.

Epidemics like coronavirus make us acutely conscious of our fragility and vulnerability. It is instructive to see how people respond to the outbreak. Health workers exposed to thw infection work at great risk to their health and lives. In contrast, the epidemic has engendered a lot of hostility towards China Clearly, an emergency or a crisis brings out the best and the worst built into us by evolution. Collective and concerted action tempered with courage and compassion is now needed to grapple with the virus.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

Published on February 17, 2020

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