Letters to the editor dated August 26, 2020

| Updated on August 26, 2020 Published on August 26, 2020

Lopsided foreign policy

This refers to the editorial ‘The great game’ (August 26). Undoubtedly, relations with our neighbours are at an all-time low. The major determinant for this decline is our lopsided foreign policy.

The government has been playing the Pakistan card to the hilt for electoral gains and concurrently allowed grass to grow under its feet. China is first among equals in military might and, therefore, cannot be downplayed and whose insatiable desire to expand its territory is growing by the day.

Excessively gravitating towards US President Donald Trump is already proving to be counter-productive as the country has alienated Iran and what shall be the fate if Trump loses?

The government ought to have a balanced foreign policy based on merit and the country’s interest and not on personal chemistry between two leaders for the sake of hogging the media channels.

Deepak Singhal


Sino-Pakistan alliance

Following a visible strain in the otherwise robust bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia in the past week, Pakistan had reached out to China, its all-weather friend and an important strategic partner. The recent visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quershi to China for an annual Sino-Pakistani strategic dialogue is significant as it happened at a time when India’s relationship with China has touched a new low following the border stand-off at Ladakh, which took a violent turn and inflicted human casualties on both the sides.

China’s ambitious territorial push aimed at challenging the sovereignty of India had clearly laid bare how India had over-determined the prospects for its own partnership with China and its ability to transcend the Sino-Pakistani alliance over the decades. The deep foundations of the strategic partnership between the two countries now appear to be converged on the single point of containing India through all possible means.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Boosting growth

Apropos ‘Time for fiscal policy to revive growth’ (August 26). The RBI has made it clear that there is no headroom for further funding support to the government from its side. The government has additional commitments on account of Covid and defence expenditure on the border besides the outgo for implementing the New Education Policy. The solution lies in accelerating the economic growth with reduced public spending.

It has to be bottom-up approach and efforts should be taken to revive the rural spending by making money available in the hands of farmers. Uninterrupted power supply will improve cold storage and processing facilities, which will help the rural population. The Covid restrictions may have to be made amenable for small traders so that they are able to do business. Migrant labourers need to be re-employed so that the real estate and other construction activities resume. Road and other infrastructure projects have to be on BOT basis for some time so that the outlay of the government is reduced. All pending railway and irrigation projects also need to be pushed.

M Raghuraman


Curbing frauds on banks

The ‘159% rise in the amount involved in fraud cases reported by Banks/FIs, in FY20’ (August 26) is a matter of grave concern. That 80 per cent of these frauds occurred in public sector banks, predominantly in the advances portfolio, only goes to show the inadequacy of the extant checks and balances. Banks have traditionally relied on the analysis of financial statements submitted by borrowers in credit appraisal. Going forward, there may be a need to equip them with skills and tools like ‘Data Analytics and AI’ for gathering market intelligence.

The RBI has already put in place the concept of ‘Red Flagged Account’ to detect and report EWS (early warning signals), such as diversion of funds.

Though every bank has in place a ‘whistle-blower policy’, there is a strong case for encouraging employees to report EWS in borrowers’ accounts to an independent authority within banks and confidentially incentivise them.

V Jayaraman


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Published on August 26, 2020
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