Letters to the editor dated July 22, 2020

| Updated on July 22, 2020

Waste management

This refers to the editorial ‘Virus waste’ (July 22). The discussion on waste management is quite relevant now due to the huge amounts of Covid-protection materials in use, most of which have to be discarded quickly. The fact that 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste are generated every day proves that there is an urgent need for special units and a separate department to collect and dispose such waste. There should also be a special study to see whether plastic is necessary for such materials. The suggestion that ‘the Centre needs to stitch together a national protocol ….’ is a valid one and meaningful, which the government and local bodies should take note of without delay and organise what is required.

TR Anandan


MSME loans

Apropos ‘Information gaps in MSME lending’ (July 22). The article highlights NPA rates in the MSME sector for different categories of lenders. The huge difference in NPA rates clearly points to inefficiencies in loan appraisal as well as monitoring by public sector banks. Despite the gaps seen in information dissemination, NBFCs and private lenders are able to keep their NPAs at markedly low levels compared to public sector lenders. Although data in this regard are not widely available, new-age lenders such as fintech start-ups and online marketplaces/peer-to-peer lenders may have better recovery rates for MSME loans.

The solution lies in scientific and unbiased appraisal systems and strict monitoring once loans are disbursed.

Navin Bhatia


Agricultural reform

Apropos ‘Future agri trends’ (July 22). Indeed, the Central government’s agriculture reforms via three ordinances rejuvenate the moribund agriculture marketing and release the sector from the grip of APMC regulation. With farmers srambling to find buyers, storage space and fulfil their logistical needs amid the lockdown, the ordinances may be able to facilitate the trade of agricultural produce countrywide, and increase participation from the private sector. The reinvigorated contract farming laws reduce the gap between the farmer and the agro-producer.

Though these measures have to come via the ordinance route, skipping parliamentary debate, they are vital for resurrecting agriculture and should be implemented properly to power the agri-market engine.

NR Nagarajan


India-US ties

Apropos ‘What a Biden win means for India’ (July 22). Over the years, India-US relations have been influenced more by the personalities of US Presidents rather than their political affiliation. Narendra Modi has worked with both Democratic and Republican presidents, but had a special relation with Donald Trump, perhaps because both share a dominating leadership style and world view.

Trump is a pragmatic and vociferous leader. It is doubtful if the present Democrat candidate, Joe Biden, would extend candid support for India’s fight with China the way Trump administration has done.

However, Trump is unpredictable in deciding his priorities. The result of the upcoming US elections may bring more challenges for Modi.

YG Chouksey


Wrong step

The Finance Ministry’s move to decriminalise cheque-bounce offences is inappropriate under the present circumstances, wherein the recovery of loans by banks as well as financial institutions has become tough. Many organisations, including banks, have warned that decriminalising the offence would lead to further deterioration in enforcement of contract, especially in terms of honouring acknowledged debt and liability. Small and medium enterprises and NBFCs would be the worst hit. Finance companies that provide motor and consumer loans using the cheque facility would lose a lot of business.

The government’s bid to decriminalise minor offences to improve business sentiment and unclog the legal system may well end up hurting businesses. In the post-Covid era, financial institutions are expecting huge NPAs and are scrambling to solve this problem.This move will add to their woes.


Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh

Published on July 22, 2020

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