Letters to the editor dated September 10, 2020

| Updated on September 10, 2020 Published on September 10, 2020

Misplaced fears

‘Covid’s dark clouds’ (September 10) is a timely reflection on the plight of the serving class whose families’ survival depends on their being employed. Apart from maidservants, there are hair-dressers, tailors, flower-sellers, washermen, waiters and the like whose services have been hit. The people who avoid their services on the pretext of fear of contracting Covid-19 is an ironical example of safety-consciousness, as the same people do not shun from frequenting vegetable markets and malls.

Most workers, especially maids, are conscious about protecting themselves. Depriving them of their jobs is unfair.

YG Chouksey


Informal economy

This has reference to ‘How to save the informal economy’ (September 10). The kharif season has almost ended and the migrant workers who were temporarily employed in agriculture will be now willing to take urban employment. The government has to arrange transportation back to the place of work and the labourers are likely to get employment in ongoing real estate and infrastructure projects.

Other informal labourers, delivery boys, domestic help, small businessmen like street vendors, petty shop owners, etc., are likely to be re-employed gradually once festive seasons open up and all businesses resume. One outcome of Covid is that the value of migrant and informal labour has been well-understood but they need protection in the form of medical aid and availability of ration besides insurance for occupational loss if only their availability has to be stable.

M Raghuraman


Priority sector lending

This is with reference to the editorial ‘Priority concerns’ (September 10). Priority sector lending ought to be dynamic as per the needs of the changing economic scenario. Regional imbalances in the flow of agricultural credit have to be addressed and balanced credit distribution will further strengthen agriculture, which seems to be moving towards normalcy quickly. Giving priority to start-ups, though risky, may be needed to revive the supply chains along with the existing channels.

NR Nagarajan


Banks as growth drivers

One cannot agree more with the Finance Minister when she says, ‘Banks are catalysts of economic revival’, especially considering the contraction of the Indian economy by 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal, caused primarily by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also indisputable that ‘interest earned from lending’ is the primary source of income for banks, provided the advances are recovered.

With the loans under several government sponsored schemes being collateral free, banks not only face recalcitrant and belligerent borrowers during recovery efforts, but also have to make provisions thereon and then face the mortification of being pulled up by the powers that be for the high levels of NPAs in their books. PSBs can still deliver, provided they have, among others, the wholehearted support of the government and the judiciary in their recovery efforts.

V Jayaraman


Boost for street vendors

It was commendable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi found the time to interact via video-conferencing with street vendors who got loans under the PM Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme to tide over the financial hardships due to the pandemic and lockdown. The one-time loan of ₹10,000 is a big amount for people living in penury.

It is no small service that in this time when the ruling elite wish to project India as a land of affluence Prime Minister Modi has pledged to ease the problems of the poor. Given his fondness for digital technology, Modi’s advocacy of digital transactions by street vendors is perfectly understandable. But a lot more is needed to improve their economic condition and quality of life. The “turnover” in their “business” is too meagre to make the transition from cash payment to digital payment worthwhile.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

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Published on September 10, 2020
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