Letters to the editor dated September 24, 2020

| Updated on September 24, 2020 Published on September 24, 2020

Digital payments

This refers to the editorial ‘App challenge’ (September 24). Google Pay and Paytm have penetrated the Indian market at all levels, from the pushcart vendor to the departmental store. Though the news of Google investing $10 billion in digital initiatives in India is welcome, there is cause for concern as well.

There is pressure on regulatory authorities to build several security layers for the millions of transactions to happen seamlessly. It is not clear who will foot the bill for strengthening the payments system. The Centre, however, must promote its BHIM app before allowing other apps to exploit the payments market.

RV Baskaran


New labour codes

The passage of new versions of labour codes, with an intent to banish archaic provisions in the existing labour laws, was long overdue.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for ensuring safety nets to the workforce employed in the informal sector as they have borne the brunt of the national lockdown. In this context, the initiatives in the Bill, such as widening the ambit of social security by including inter-State migrant workers and gig workers, direct fixed-term contracts, maintaining a database of migrant workers and an adequately funded social security fund, are steps in the right direction. However, questions remain on how portability of benefits will be ensured.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Stock market driver

Apropos ‘Is RIL now the barometer of stock market?’ (September 24), there is no doubt that the over-dependence on Reliance Industries is leading to concentration risk in the Sensex and Nifty 50 indices. With passive investments gaining ground, a lot of money is flowing into the index stocks. It’s important that the weight of the constituent stocks be capped so that wild swings in index movements are avoided.

However, this has to be done with adequate notice so that sudden churn of investments is avoided. On a side note, perhaps there is merit in RIL being spun off into separate listed entities running their retail, telecom and oil businesses.

Nandakumar V


Data protection

India is yet to realise the full potential of Open Digital Ecosystems (ODEs), although it has taken giant strides in a few years in building its tech infrastructure like Aadhaar and Unified Payments Interface. In a large, populous country like India, digital transformation is likely to acquire centre-stage in solving problems related to health, education, employment, social security, agri reforms, urban and rural innovation, etc.

With Personal Data Protection Bill on the anvil, prior permission of the owner of the data and its protection has assumed even greater significance, as several instances of data leakages of Aadhaar databases over the years calls for a foolproof technology. As the article rightly highlights, without the core principles of security encryption, data protection and proper regulation, the unification of the three layers of ODEs — technology, governance and community engagement — and their inherent potential cannot be realised.

Vijay Adhikari


Rush for IPOs

The market, of late, has been witnessing a plethora of IPOs of different sizes. Some of them have already rewarded investors by means of a premium in listing price and this is likely to attract more investments in forthcoming IPOs/FPOs.

The economic indicators have not been healthy and negative growth in GDP is a big concern. Industries are yet to see business at pre-Covid levels, and if the public issues receive such a huge response in spite of this, it is not because of economic considerations. Excess liquidity in the system, lack of investment opportunities, and falling return on bank deposits have made the stock market more attractive for middle class retail investors. Most of them look for gain at listing only and do not analyse the pros and cons of the issue.

M Raghuraman


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Published on September 24, 2020
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