Letters to the editor dated March 30, 2020

| Updated on March 30, 2020

Measures sought

This refers to ‘Lockdown will not be extended: Centre’ (March 30). It was highly encouraging to learn that the Centre has on Monday, ‘assured’ that the 21-day lockdown will not be extended. Significantly, an announcement to that effect has been made by the Cabinet Secretary. However, the views expressed by the nation’s medical fraternity evidently paint a very grim picture about the likely fallout of the dreaded Covid-19. Even though the doctors have persistently been forewarning that the period ahead may be very crucial, there seems to be no room for any complacency.

So, the moot question obviously arises here: How could the government of the day afford to make such a ‘firm’ commitment, more so when the extant situation does not perceive any ‘magical’ developments/improvements by the stipulated date? Does the government thereby intent to ‘temporarily’ assuage the currently simmering discontentment and frustration among the general massses? It will not be surprising if some ‘fresh’ (read: need-based) announcement is still made at the eleventh hour. However, reasonably speaking, let us get real instead of coming out with some such ‘prematured’ statements.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Chaotic times

This refers to the editorial ‘Migration reversed’ (March 30). Migrant labourers are caught between devil and deep sea. It is heart-rending to watch the hordes of labourers glutting the highways and bus stations. In hindsight, government has no contingency plan for such floating population present across the country.

The country is witnessing two extremes: at one end of spectrum are ghost towns and cities, and on other end are swarms of helpless people who are compelled to risk their life and possibly others’.

Merely keeping a portion of people under lockdown and riding roughshod over the others seems counter-productive. It is time stop piecemeal measures and lip service, and deal the pandemic practically, ingenuously and in totality.

Deepak Singhal


Financial distress

Apropos ‘Will the rate cuts trickle down to industry?’ (March 30). The deep monetary policy rate cut and liquidity-injecting measures encourage expansion of the loan books of the banks and other financial institutions; however, these measures will not yield the intended results unless the government executes plans to raise the demand for credit. The utilisation of institutional credit by all segments of the economy is crucial to relieve the lending institutions from financial stress and to propel the wheels of the economy. Making funds available without increasing demand for goods and services will turn counterproductive.

The moratorium on loans for three months on the loans outstanding as of March 1 is inadequate to prevent the accumulation of the toxic assets as the severity of the lockdown across the nation will continue for a long period. A revision or amendment in the income recognition and asset classification norms, and the introduction of schemes to restructure the impaired loans on account of the impact of the Covid-19 until the economy gets relief is essential. In the present scenario, the economic activities are directly related to the status of the intensity and spread of the coronavirus, and the measures to tame the disease must persist vigorously. As the end of the current financial year has been affected by the impact of the coronavirus, the government must provide regulatory relaxations to make easy the compliance of the statutory requirements.

VSK Pillai


Pharma production

Apropos ‘Health Security booster’ (March 30). The Minister has vividly brought to light the prominence of the pharmaceutical industry with high exports of globally demanded medicines and contribute humongous sum to the exporters’ coffers. Yet, depending on the import of some key raw materials for drug manufacturing shows the dependence of the industry on imports. The umbrella scheme to form bulk drug parks, incentivise incremental production, promote domestic manufacturing of medical devices etc, is rightly chalked out. Taking into account the coronavirus battle, self-reliance in pharmaceutical sector is vital to strengthen the nation.

NR Nagarajan


Published on March 30, 2020

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