Letters to the editor dated March 10, 2020

| Updated on March 10, 2020

Oil price crash

This refers to the editorial ‘The sudden crash in crude oil prices offer many opportunities for India’ (March 10). The nosediving of crude oil prices due to the price war between oil behemoths Saudi Arabia and Russia in no uncertain terms is a windfall and a godsend opportunity. Further, this is complemented by availability of cheap money on account of global interest rate collapsing.

The government has two options: either pass the gains to the consumer to boost consumption or aggrandise its revenue target and narrow down the fiscal deficit by increasing cesses. The prudent way should be to strike a balance between the two. However, how things pan out in the coming days is heavily dependent on: the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic and the sustainability of the price war.

Moreover, it may have an adverse bearing on BPCL disinvestment, which may be stonewalled as global potential bidders may turn off.

Deepak Singhal


Growth may take a hit

This refers to the report on the likelihood of crude oil prices falling sharply, even to $20 per barrel (according to Goldman Sachs). Although the fall might result in India saving on its import bill, there is the possibility of it triggering a global recession which would have a negative impact on our domestic economy as well. Possible remedial measures must be charted out in advance to soften the blow from such an impact.

TR Anandan


Securing private banks

This refers to ‘The vulnerability of private banks warrants concern’ (March 10). Conceptually, private sector banks, considering their size of operations, are expected to be more competent and respond more effectively to the emerging credit needs of the economy. However, in their indomitable struggle to retain the prime position, some banks emerged out of the neo-liberalism drive, exhibited their over-exuberance to fast track market capitalisation, by flouting the stringent AQR and corporate governance norms.

While some private banks were exposed due to the non-disclosure of related-party transactions by their key personnel, others chose the crony capitalism route to augment the personal asset growth of the promoters.

Active and regular forensic investigation into compliance of norms by these banks would establish the root cause of the imbroglio. As rightly suggested, a revisit of the policy framework for private banks, similar to the recent initiatives taken in revamping co-operative banks, would streamline the sustainability of competent private banking in the country.

Sitaram Popuri


Mexican women’s protest

Apropos ‘A day without women in Mexico’ (March 10), the non-violent and revolutionary agitation of Mexican women — by not making any kind of public appearance for a day — against the growing culture of violence deserves appreciation. The agitation has evoked good response not only from the Mexican women but also from employers of the 21 million women workforce. Though the strike would cause a loss of $300 million, the corporators’ support has been overwhelming.

The growing gender-based violence in India calls for revamping the judiciary system to ensure quick trials and punishment of those committing heinous crimes against women.

NR Nagarajan


Tackling coronavirus

UNCTAD has forecast adverse impact on the world economy due to the coronavirus outbreak. A lot more than evacuation of citizens is needed to control the pandemic and mitigate the fear/speculation due to the uncertainty. It is important that nations collaborate and expedite research efforts to ascertain the communicability patterns and severity, accurately. The swift mutation during incubation and delayed visibility of symptoms only make it tougher to draw a box. As India has witnessed a spillover effect, it is important to control the adversity by promoting R&D and exercising caution.

Girish Lalwani

New Delhi

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 March 10, 2020

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