Letters to the editor dated September 4, 2020

| Updated on September 04, 2020 Published on September 04, 2020

Demand revival

This refers to ‘Case for a three-pronged demand push’ (September 4). For migrant workers, affordable housing is the most critical cog in the wheel as it will give them much needed dignity in living and enable building of a database so that in the future they don’t have to face the kind of ordeal they saw during the recent lockdown. Coming to the middle class, in the last three-four months many people have lost either their jobs or seen severe salary cuts.

There is no doubt that a vehicle scrappage policy will help not only because it has a huge market size of approximately ₹43,000 crore, but also because it will create more job opportunities within the industry. But having said that, at present, the commercial vehicle market has a capacity overhang, and there seems to be no revival of demand in sight at least for the next one or two quarters. The government must time such a policy correctly.

Bal Govind


Shareholders’ interests

This refers to ‘Are virtual AGMs really effective?’ (September 4). AGMs provide a platform for company shareholders to express their opinion freely, indulge in thread-bare discussions on crucial issues and approve or reject proposals. Inspite of the ease in norms by SEBI and the Coporate Affairs Ministry during the pandemic, which facilitated virtual AGMs, the subdued participation of shareholders in the meetings as reported is unfortunate. Ineffectiveness on this front may jeopardise the interests of the shareholders. The suggestive measures to boost the sentiment of shareholders for effective participation in virtual meetings, by improved means of communication and alternative institutional arrangement for examining the agenda papers and so on are pragmatic.

Additionally, it is desirable to make it mandatory for companies to obtain further approval of meeting decisions from the duly constituted stockholders’ committees as a prudent corporate governance measure.

Sitaram Popuri


Healthcare focus

Apropos ‘Battling rare diseases’ (September 4). The author aptly advocates for augmenting the managementof rare diseases which often lack due attention. Indeed, the field of rare diseases is complex, hetrogeneous and incessantly suffers from inadequate research; the National Policy for Rare Diseases (2020) is only a baby step in this regard. The way forward is to define the field properly with concrete parameters, and create a steady flow of funding for treatment. Companies’ CSR responsibilities may include the funding for rare diseases as a vital channel and taxes on drugs for rare disease treatment may be done away with. Ministerial governance and public-private participation are needed for creating strong medical infrastructure to treat rare diseases.

NR Nagarajan


Economic policy

The first quarter of FY2020-21 was mostly under complete lockdown, and most economic activities were shut. Therefore the steep fall in GDP was on expected lines.

However, the present economic policy needs to be completely overhauled by making people self-reliant rather than spending a better part of revenue on providing meaningless cash relief like or freebies. If policies are so framed that people and their families may become self-reliant, nation will automatically become atmanirbhar.

However, old wrongs like the adopting of a credit culture should be discouraged and a liberal one-time-settlement scheme may be introduced for all loans that turned NPAs from December 31, 2019, global start of the pandemic. In the future, any further financing of NBFCs by public sector banks may be stopped. Banks and NBFCs should be liable to close loans by acquiring mortgage assets rather than forcing any further recovery.

The tax structure, both direct and indirect, should be completely simplified and rationalised by having minimum rates under the GST. A maximum income tax rate of 30 per cent must be restored, with permanent a voluntary disclosure scheme introduced at the maximum income tax rate on any unaccounted disclosed income.

Madhu Agrawal


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Published on September 04, 2020
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