Letters to the Editor dated June 12, 2020

| Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

India-China stand-off

There are conflicting versions of the situation along the LAC. The veracity of “partial disengagement” by both sides is now questioned. China is now said to have ramped up its presence along the entire stretch of the LAC. Indian troops are said to be deployed in numbers along the border. The Chinese side did not elaborate on the “positive consensus” it claimed to have reached with India.

It is intriguing that the government seems to be unwilling to share information about the actual situation along the LAC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is uncharacteristically reticent about the stand-off.

Now it is clear that the Chinese have made multiple incursions into Indian territory and dug in, altering the status quo. If at all lines of demarcation are drawn, it has to be done by mutual consent and not unilaterally. We just cannot visualise the LAC becoming a potential flashpoint at a time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. The risks involved in taking a hardline stance and a collision course are too grave, and the only option India and China are left with is to rely on diplomatic engagement to sort out their territorial claims.

This is not the time to think in terms of nationalism, militarism and expansionism; it is the time to think of peace, cooperation and speciesism. India and China should cultivate good neighbourly relations and forge an equal partnership for mutual benefit.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Travel distress

Apropos ‘Inhospitable times’ (June 12). The travel bug is helpless against Covid. Without enthusiastic and extensive travel, the hospitality sector will be in coma. The hotel and tourism industry has static assets to maintain as opposed to travel, that has assets highly vulnerable to prolonged disuse. France and Germany have put in massive outlays to their national airlines, but we have yet to hear from other countries. Unless a concerted and global approach to aviation is adopted by all nations,the travel industry cannot be saved.

The impetus for movement of people is related to industrial and business activity. Hence, a huge stimulus to facilitate spending on large infrastructure projects, public housing and MSMEs is a must.

R Narayanan


Audit practices

This refers to ‘Improve bank audits’ (June 12). Auditing is a highly sensitive and critical function for any organisation, more so for banks. And when we talk about external auditors, meeting the objective cannot be a mere formality exercise. Subjectivity should be out of scope in these external audits, for which banks and the RBI need to take the help of latest technology like artificial intelligence, sothe selection of branches is not the prerogative of select officials. And when it is a comprehensive exercise like audit of all fresh loans sanctioned, checking of the disbursement process and other compliance formalities, it cannot be completed with 100 per cent efficiency in 4-5 days. Following a defined timeline is critical, but achieving the end objective is more important.

Bal Govind


Oil prices

This refers to ‘Petrol price hiked by 57 paise per litre and diesel by 59 paise in sixth consecutive days’ (June 12). With various state-owned oil marketing companies conveniently passing on the last month’s hike in central excise duty to their end-users, the price of petrol has gone up by ₹3.31 a litre and that of diesel by ₹3.42 a litre in just the last six days. Notably, around 70 per cent of the currently ruling price of the twin auto-fuels may be attributed to the taxes only.

Mind you, the latest hike has come in the wake of the global benchmark prices of Brent crude having slumped below $40 a barrel mark today. But intriguingly, the government seems to be more concerned about exploiting the extant situation to its own advantage and thereby refurbishing its own coffers. A living example of ‘doubly whammy’ for the retail consumers thereof, what else?

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Published on June 12, 2020
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