Letters to the editor dated May 8, 2020

| Updated on May 08, 2020 Published on May 08, 2020

Sovereign gold bonds

This is with reference to the editorial ‘Bonding with gold’ (May 8). The falling demand for gold is also due to people’s craze for jewellery declining. Yet, as an investment, gold is still shining amidst the declining stock and bond markets on dismal corporate performance.

The security concerns of storing physical gold are prompting investors to have the commodity in paper form, by buying sovereign gold bonds. These bonds come with lot of benefits such as no capital gain tax on redemption, tradability on the bourses, interest payment, and facility to exit after five years. .

NR Nagarajan


Deepen the market

Currently, the gold stock in India is estimated at 18,000 tonnes, valued at around $900 billion, and gold held by the RBI amounts to 570 tonnes, constituting 9.5 per cent of forex reserves. The attraction is that the yellow metal has been on a climb for the 17th straight year. Lying in bank lockers of individuals, it forecloses opportunity for leverage for both the holder and the economy.

We must recognise that gold securities assisted by a deep and liquid paper gold market would have the collateral benefits of providing a wider array of investment opportunities for retail investors. It is time we realise that gold can’t quite compete with the dollar or bond market and the market in gold is far too small to accommodate the capital moving out of stressed.

The value of gold lies in its being a readily tradeable asset, an unassailable blue chip that rewards the holder even as it contributes to the strength of the economy.

R Narayanan


Unfortunate deaths

This refers to ‘14 migrant workers crushed to death by goods train in Maharashtra’ (May 8). It is saddening that the workers, due to exhaustion, decided to sleep on the rail tracks on their journey back from Jalna in Maharashtra, to their home state Madhya Pradesh.

However, one wonders why they had to take such a risk despite the fact that various State governments have been making suitable arrangements for their safe and quick return, by running a large number of special trains.

Vinayak G


An eye-opener

The train mishap is shocking and an eye-opener. Lakhs of migrant workers, including women and children, walking along national highways and railway tracks to reach their native villages is a common sight. It has even resulted in social unrest at various places. Our economic growth and construction boom are largely a result of the efforts of these migrant labourers. Hence, our government should operate more trains so that the migrants can reach their native villages smoothly.

EV Ramanarayanan


Industrial disaster

This refers to ‘Gas leak from LG polymers plant kills 11’. This industrial disaster is a redux of the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 but supposedly of less severity. Fortunately, Covid-19 preparedness helped in containing the crisis. The argument that the lockdown may have been the cause for the mishap is fallacious. Even if it were so, did the management raise the alarm that an accident is in the making on account of the lockdown?

Despite a plethora of statutory agencies such as explosives, environment, fire department etc., these mishaps continue to occur and many are hushed up. These agencies need to be made more accountable.

Deepak Singhal


Salary cuts

The State governments are reopening wine shops and have hiked taxes and duties on petroleum products. These are no doubt a revenue-raising efforts. But what about reducing government expenditure, especially on the salary front. Why not a graded cut in salaries drawn by government employees? What will the additional amount raised by the government be used for? To pay salaries to its employees mainly. It time the government reduced its expenditure under the salary head.

Vinay Kulkarni

Hubballi, Karnataka


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Published on May 08, 2020
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