Letters to the editor dated June 25, 2020

| Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

Migrant workers’ rights

Apropos ‘Powerless away, powerless at home’ (June 25). Plans meant for migrant labourers are mostly on paper and little in practice.

Now, the focus is on ‘one nation, one ration card’. Perhaps seen as a way to facilitate migrant workers to avail themselves of the benefits of government schemes, irrespective of their place of stay.

If that is somehow achieved in the near future, then the next step could be allowing them to exercise their voting rights electronically.

Undoubtedly, the government has initiated many measures recently to make available to migrant workers schemes such as the EPF, ESI, and pension. But the only obstacle is their lack of awareness about existence of those schemes and their unorganised living conditions.

However, MGNREGA cannot be the only solution to their woes.

Let’s leave the ILO’s worker related welfare and well-being formula aside for now, and endeavour to lift them from “roti, kapda, makkan” to “health, hygiene and dignity”.

Hanseswar Ghosh


Route to self sufficiency

This refers to ‘Cutting economic ties with China is not easy’ (June 25). The writer makes a valid point that India must defend its territorial integrity diplomatically and tactfully, but at the same time not succumb to knee-jerk reactions.

The story in India is of political brinkmanship rather than furthering national interest. Successive governments have introduced draconian laws to suit their interests rather than embarking upon a competitive and corruption-free economy. Corrupt bureaucracy and self-serving netas and babus have kept India struggling and at times floundering.

Jingoistic reactions and boycotting Chinese products will more harm than good, as it is virtually impossible to keep the engine moving without the grease of Chinese inputs in in electronics, telecommunications, automobiles, pharma etc. First, we have to create robust infrastructure and market, a competitive work environment, and then turn towards self sufficiency. While not much can be done about disruptions in the global supply chains, domestic bottlenecks have to be resolved sooner than later.

Vijay Singh Adhikari


RBI up to the task?

This refers to ‘Relief for depositors: Ordinance brings cooperative banks under RBI supervision’ (June 25). The reported fact that the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to bring 1,540 urban cooperative banks (UCBs) and multi-state cooperative banks under the RBI’s candid supervision, may not necessarily prove to be a ‘win-win’ situation. While the genesis of the Centre’s latest move could be traced back to the PMC Bank crisis, meticulous supervision of all these banks may turn out be a herculean task.

This view gains more prominence in the wake of the apprehensions reportedly expressed by some finance industry experts concerning the efficacy of the RBI’s extant supervisory bandwidth to supervise 1,540 cooperative banks, since it has already been tasked with ensuring the proper financial health of the commercial banks. Will the RBI be able to fully justify the confidence reposed in it by depositors? Let us wait and watch.

Vinayak G


Covid realities

The Covid-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly and relentlessly in India. We cannot be complacent in the face of the daily rise in the number of Covid-19 cases; we have to brace ourselves for a long health battle. The cancellation of CBSE and ICSE examinations was the right thing to do.

The pandemic is shining a spotlight on the inadequacies of the health sector. The healthcare infrastructure may not be crumbling, but it is certainly struggling to cope with the surge in Covid-19 cases. Hospitals in hotspots like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai are in urgent need of being equipped with more beds, ventilators, PPE kits and drugs. The need for a robust healthcare system is now felt more than ever. Incidentally, India’s public health spending is less than 1 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Poverty, population density, congested neighbourhoods, slum shanties and cramped workplaces, laxity in following Covid-19 safety guidelines and lifting of lockdown restrictions correlate with the spread of the disease. We should do all that is humanly possible to halt the spread of Covid-19.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Published on June 25, 2020
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