Protecting the protectors

That an amendment to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 via an ordinance was needed to protect the protectors from the protectees in this time of the pandemic was no great tribute to our country and our collective consciousness. It was proof that we are still mired in ignorance and prejudice to be anywhere near attaining the status of a society capable of scientific thinking and rational behaviour. Even a primitive society would not have shown hostility towards its healers.

It is inexplicable that even the terrible cost being exacted by the pandemic in death and suffering does not seem to have had any perceptible impact on aggressive human behaviour. Adversity should bring the best in us and not the worst.

It was inconceivable that local residents in Meghalaya’s Jhalupara and Chennai obstructed the interment of dedicated and renowned doctors who succumbed to Covid-19 in the line of duty and denied them dignity in death. .

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

Unfair criticism

This refers to ‘’Centre lacks compassion, large-heartedness to address Covid-19 situation: Sonia Gandhi’ (April 24). Notwithstanding various shortcomings as pointed out by the Sonia Gandhi-led CWC like low testing level of Covid-19 and the testing kits also being in short supply, her criticising the ruling BJP for “spreading the virus of communal prejudice and hatred” was uncalled for in the given circumstances. More importantly, could there be any fit-in-all, fully perfect and a foolproof policy stance for nipping this corona evil in the bud?

One genuinely wishes that the CWC had instead risen to the occasion by lending a helping hand to the incumbent government in every possible manner more so when its various arms have valiantly been fighting a prolonged war against an ‘invisible enemy’.

Vinayak G


Encourage SRI Method

With both the IMD and the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum predicting copious monsoonfor 2020 — with a much-desired uniform spread unlike in the last two successive years — there is a ray of hope for the farming community, especially paddy growers.

In view of the damage coronavirus has caused in displacing farm labour, who are unlikely to return any time soon, paddy cultivation is likely to be badly affected. It is, therefore, suggested that the authorities draw a plan to promote mechanised paddy sowing by encouraging SRI, or System of Rice Intensification, method of farming so that the labour shortage can be offset to a great extent and, thereby, mitigate food security concerns.

Rajiv N Magal

Sakleshpur, Karnataka

Covid relief package

The bank loan package announced by the Finance Ministry with stipulation of time-frames to support businesses that have suffered setback due to Covid-19 is a welcome step. But the announcement lacks clarity and applies only to public sector banks.

The directive to postpone term loan instalments by banks has created confusion due to lack of clarity and uniformity.

The loan package also has created more confusion among borrowers and bankers as well. PSBs are governed by stringent loan policies and accountable to vigilance mechanisms for which the PSB staff fear.

The RBI should formulate an uniform loan product for various sectors with loan application formats and terms and conditions. Further, the FinMin and CVC should seriously revisit the vigilance manuals and modify to suit the changed environment. Many loan assessment inputs like stockholding period, age of debtors, inspection and audit, submission of data like CMA should be revised.

The factors impacting export and import businesses should be reviewed and concessions in period of pre- and post-shipment must be extended till the goods are exported/imported.

Also, the loss incurred by farmers due to bottlenecks in taking their farm produce should be compensated by the government and tailor-made loan products.

S Veeraraghavan



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