Letters to the editor dated June 23, 2020

| Updated on June 23, 2020 Published on June 23, 2020

Housing finance

This refers to ‘New ground rules’ (June 23). The heedless lending by NBFCs, especially HFCs, in the recent past has severely affected the creditors of these lenders, developers, and retail borrowers. The effect of deploying funds without adhering to the asset-liability matching has created a liquidity crisis in the NBFC sector. The subsequent outbreak of the Covid pandemic has aggravated the credit-supply crisis and the banks hesitated to fund HFCs.

The RBI’s move to take over the regulation of the housing finance companies from the National Housing Bank is a remedial measure; however, the effectiveness of the regulations that the RBI is going to impose on these companies matters much. Regulatory oversight on SCBs, violations of the regulatory measures, lending norms, and other policies of the banking activities occur repeatedly. This is causing credibility loss to the banks, besides significantly affecting the interest of all the stakeholders. So mere taking over of regulation will not be sufficient. It is imperative to execute measures and actions effectively.

VSK Pillai


Conflict of interest

Apropos ‘RBI and banks: Conflict on Board’ (June 23). Right from the Harshad Mehta scam of 1992 to the recent collapse of some cooperative and private banks, not to speak of the menace of evergreening of NPAs, one is left wondering what the RBI nominee-directors on the bank boards are doing. Surely, their job does not end with attending board meetings, and signing on the dotted lines.

While the day-to-day operations are left to managers, directors are appointed to monitor and govern the bank’s operations, thereby safeguarding shareholders and depositors’ investments. Though the RBI has come out with ‘fit and proper’ criteria for the selection of bank directors and the elimination of conflict of interest, its own conflict remains unaddressed. As the regulator and supervisor of banks, having its nominees sitting on bank boards is untenable. The government should immediately accede to the request reportedly made by the apex bank to withdraw its nominees therefrom.

V Jayaraman


Visa demand

The suspension of H1-B visas is an anticipated decision. Though this will not effect the existing visa-holders, Indian graduates who aspire to work in the US will be disappointed.

However, in the current global circumstances, the demand for H1-B will be less, as companies worldwide are not hiring liberally. Moreover, international air travel is still in a doubtful condition because of the uncertainty over the pandemic, lockdowns, and a second wave of the coronavirus. Much of the IT work force is working from home, which is set to be the new normal. The only challenges are productivity, cyber security and physical interactions, which are slowly getting readjusted. This culture will reduce the need for, and dependence on, H1-B visas. Indians can still remotely work for American companies.

Ravi Teja Kathuripalli


Misguided view

I am appalled by the campaign launched for the removal of Mahatma Gandhi’s statues in the UK by misguided and ill-informed people. The statues had been erected by public demand to recognise the immense contribution of Gandhiji to the free world. As a result, this protest is unwarranted, uncalled for, unnecessary and, above all, counterproductive. To call Gandhiji a racist is totally out order, when it is known that he dedicated his entire life fighting racism, imperial rule and shaped the world as we see it today.

Mahatma Gandhi was not only an Indian leader but a universal icon who inspired people across the globe with his ideals. The civil rights movement in America under Martin Luther King was the direct result of this. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa by Nelson Mandela is yet another example.

Still, today a few misguided individuals choose to overlook his herculean struggle for humanity.

His statues are a reminder that one’s objective can be achieved peacefully as long as there is merit in the cause.

Gandhiji’s message of love and non-violence has become even more critical than ever before in our fractured world. Peace can only come when world leaders start to follow Gandhian ideals.

Rami Ranger CBE


Published on June 23, 2020
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