Letters

Letters to the editor dated September 1, 2020

| Updated on September 01, 2020 Published on September 01, 2020

Economic revival

Apropos ‘India must brace itself for a long grind’ (September 1). A contraction of 23.9 per cent in growth is surely a cause for alarm.

Boosting infrastructure development, which contracted by 47 per cent, is to be done immediately. This will spur employment for migrant workers. Of course, safety norms need to be put in place and complied with.

Further freeing up of the containment zones is a welcome step and the norms for social distancing, hygiene and immunity boosting should be in place. The informal and services sector must be buoyed up as it provides productive economic activity.

Gold prices have reached a record high. More attractive incentives should be offered to gold investors to put their holdings to better use in the economy.

The Centre should release fully the GST dues to the States, including the ces. Otherwise, the States may have to levy sales tax on petrol and diesel, and prices may go through the roof.

Ensuring short-term liquidity by putting more money in the hands of the citizens, suspending the FRBM recommendations for a while, will help. Of course, profligacy has to be curbed at any cost.

PSS Murthy

Hyderabad

New normal

This refers to ‘What’s in store for the salaried post-Covid?’ (September 1). The pandemic has wrought some irreversible changes on our way of life. The salaried middle-class is facing an uncertain future but will do well to embrace it as it were and take action. The culture of credit to support one’s lifestyle has to change to living within one’s means. Insurance as a product will get a relook in financial planning. We will have to practise sustainable living without turning a blind eye to the emerging realities of the new world order. Age-old assumptions that underpinned our models of planning for an ideal life may become tenuous. For utopian changes that we could only dream of earlier, this pandemic has reset the game of dice.

Anand Srinivasan

Bengaluru

A tribute

This is with reference to ‘Pranabda: A man for all seasons’ (September 1). With the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee , the country has lost a statesman and a doyen of Indian politics. His rise to the pinnacle of glory can be attributed to his shrewd diplomacy, razor-sharp mind, and administrative prowess.

In fact, with his ability to manage internal divisions, he was able to carve a niche for himself. He cut across party faultlines, even though he remained in the Congress for a major part of his career.

He occupied multiple positions in the realm of political and economic landscape. He was also instrumental in shaping the Indian economy both in the pre- and post-liberalisation period . As Finance Minister under Indira Gandhi, he won admiration for India in the international arena for repaying the IMF loans. He played a vital role in the opening up of regional rural banks, Exim Bank and NABARD.

As FM from 2009 to 2012, he remained in the limelight for his bold decision on retrospective tax. He was also responsible for many tax reforms. As an astute parliamentarian and a votary of constitutional ethics, he left a deep void.

Vijay Singh Adhikari

Nainital

Future of agriculture

It has taken a pandemic for this nation to rediscover that ours is essentially an agrarian economy. Decades of ad-hoc and disjointed policies on agro production, mix, storage and distribution have been leading to excess grain reserves from as far back as 1995, and in 2019 it was far more pronounced. But then it was this folly that helped feed the common man from April 2020 amid the Covid pandemic and the lockdown.

Procurement and harvesting this year were prompt, despite highly inadequate labour. Our bureaucracy must ensure such phenomenal efficiency in decision-making and of owning the problem becomes the new norm. Let us use the rude hint given by Covid-19 to go in for dispersal of wealth creation and consumption into rural heartlands, freeing it from the grip of urban hegemony. Covid -19is an opportunity to reorient our economy.

R Narayanan

Mumbai

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Published on September 01, 2020
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