Letters to the Editor dated February 24, 2020

| Updated on February 25, 2020 Published on February 24, 2020

Trump in India

US President Donald Trump must have been overwhelmed by the rousing reception he got en route to, and in, the packed Motera Stadium in India. The milling crowd did not appear to be in the millions, though. An astute businessman-cum-politician, Trump pushed all the right buttons. He stated that India has a ‘true and trusted friend’ in America.

He professed America’s love and respect for India. He declared India’s economic progress in the last 70 years gives hope to all of humanity, but he skirted the current economic slowdown in India. He mentioned en passant that the US economy was ‘booming like never before’.

President Trump left nothing untouched; he referred to Bollywood, Deepavali, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. He remembered to mention the contributions of Indian Americans to his ‘beloved country’ in a bid to woo them. He saw India as a ‘major market’ for the US. He was eager to make trade and defence agreements’ with India. He would supply India ‘most feared arms’. He neglected to mention his ending preferential trade status to India. It was a gem from him that the true strength of India lies in the hearts of its people.

The hyped-up Trump visit mirrored what kind of a nation we are. It has taken the whole country by storm. It was a shame that a wall was erected to hide the slums — a poor advertisement for an Incredible India — from Trump’s sight.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu


Tough negotiator

This refers to ‘The hard-to-please Trump’ (February 24). If we ever wanted proof that US President Donald Trump is a hard negotiator and protectionist, he gave ample evidence of it when he recently said that he was not impressed with India’s trade policies. Now the ball is in India’s court to impress the US that we mean business and we can walk the extra mile to serve mutual interests. In sectors such as medical equipment, India may have to tweak its norms to facilitate smooth import from the US. Ultimately, trade relationship is all about give and take, for which a balanced and flexible approach is the key.

While trying to give concessions to the US, India should also push for relaxation in H1B visas rules or better terms on commodity products. The government needs to understand that hosting Trump and giving him a grand reception at the world’s biggest cricket stadium is one thing and inking a better trade pact with Trump is completely another.

Bal Govind


New tax system

This refers to the article ‘Two cheers for new income tax system’ (February 24). Benefits apart, the two options announced by the Finance Minister in the Budget for filing income-tax return has caused confusion amongst taxpayers. It is clear that nobody can generalise which scheme is suitable. It is the individual who has to decide which option to choose depending on his/her income, capacity to save, children’s education, etc.

Experts are of the view that a low tax rate regime will promote greater tax compliance and generate greater revenue to the exchequer. From the Finance Minister’s speech it is clear that the government wants to undertake structural reforms in the direct taxation regime and the old income tax system would be replaced by the new one in a year or two. One is not sure if the changes proposed in the new system would boost consumption expenditure. It is more likely to have a negative impact on the savings of the middle class and affect the small savings schemes.


Bheemavaram, AP

Credit flow

Apropos ‘Boosting credit flow’ (February 24), the huge non-performing assets of banks and the current slowdown are no doubt hampering the flow of credit to turbo-charge the economy. Yet there are greenshoots in the form of the RBI’s initiative to benchmark the interest rate to the repo rate and deduct the incremental credit to auto, realty and MSME sectors from net demand time liabilities of banks. The cooperation of district agencies is necessary for dissemination of information and help improve the flow of credit.

NR Nagarajan


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Published on February 24, 2020
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