Letters

Letters to the editor dated March 4, 2020

| Updated on March 04, 2020 Published on March 04, 2020

Ration shops

This refers to the editorial ‘Ration card reforms’ (March 4). Can the ‘one nation one ration card’ move accomplish the intended objectives of empowering migrant workers and women? The fair price shops (FPSs), which are an integral part of the public distribution system, are notorious for claiming non-availability and poor quality of food grains. Further, FPS dealers are not IT-savvy, and there could be problems in integrating them during the ‘digitisation’ of States. There are States such as West Bengal where close to 35 per cent of population secure their food grains through ration shops.

It is time to disband the very concept of the FPS and end its monopoly. It needs to be supplanted by the issuance of food coupons to the eligible families. Holders of such coupons can redeem them against food grains from any authorised shop. This arrangement shall ensue more flexibility, choice and uphold the core purpose of food security.

Deepak Singhal

Chennai

Economic revival

Apropos ‘To spur investment, fix structural issues’ (March 4). The former RBI governor has aptly highlighted the investment boom in 1991, caused by liberalisation reforms that saw entrepreneurs hungrily scouting for investment opportunities. The shift of the terms of trade from the urban to the rural sector revitalised the latter with higher consumption and augmented demand, resulting in a rise in the demand for investment. India also found its structural reforms reaping the benefit of refined IT technology.

But the downward spiral started in 2010 with crumbling investments, mounting bad loans, a stressed financial sector, lack of demand, rampant corruption and policy paralysis. The demonetisation and GST shock hurt consumption. The panacea to revive the economy is to boost structural reforms without political agendas and increase both rural and urban demand.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

Afghan peach deal

This refers to ‘Will peace ever return to Afghanistan?’ (March 4). It may suit US President Donald Trump to bring back his troops from Afghanistan, as promised to his voters, but inking a deal with Taliban expecting them to sever its ties with Al-Qaeda and start engaging with Afghanistan government is akin to asking for the moon.

It would be naive to assume that all would be well in Afghanistan now. Indeed, there is no change in Taliban’s mindset and dark memories of the past will revisit every Afghan citizen.

Bal Govind

Noida

LIC IPO

This refers to ‘Centre starts work on LIC divestment, may target IPO by next fiscal’ (March 4). The proposed divestment by the government is a welcome step, though it may seem driven by the government’s ambition to raise resources rather than to reform LIC. The divestment and subsequent listing of LIC will bring in much needed transparency and accountability in the working of the public monolith. It will also allow for improvement in customer service and technology-driven efficiency which is lacking right now.

As for the staff, PSU employees often envy their private sector peers for the monetary benefits the latter enjoy. At the same time, they seem to resist any privatisation/divestment moves for their own organisation. Is this fair?

V Vijaykumar

Pune

Political moves

Apropos ‘BJP is the sole guardian of national interest, claims Modi’ (March 4). Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting, targeted the ‘goli maro’ faction within his party, asking them to refrain from putting the party interest above the national interest and stop giving reckless statements. Modi also took a dig at former PM Manmohan Singh, who recently played petty divisive politics needlessly and politicised the issue of saying ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.

Modi, it is hoped, will keep his word and do everything for the success of his “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” mission.

Mahendra B Jain

Bengaluru

Published on March 04, 2020
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