Letters to the editor dated November 2, 2020

| Updated on November 02, 2020 Published on November 02, 2020

The onion crisis

This has reference to ‘Onion without tears’ (November 2). The imbalance in demand and supply of onions and the resultant spike in prices can be addressed if the government removes foreign trade restrictions and allows free flow of onions within the domestic market.

The supply side is largely influenced by the vagaries of rainfall in the major onion-producing States even as the demand remains inelastic. The idea of selling onions through the public distribution system will serve as a price check. The Agricultural Ministry should coordinate with State governments to improve storage and supply chain logistics.

M Ravindran

Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu

Cold storages

Rain or shine, POT (Potato, Onion, Tomato) becomes news immediately. Reduced production, insufficient minimum support price and damage to the standing crops due to excess/deficit rain are the main factors for demand-supply imbalance. NAFED must draw up a plan to boost cold storage infrastructure. Many public sector banks have special agricultural schemes for building cold storages in rural areas.

The government must also look to: implement administrative reforms to equalise the availability of perishable farm produce in volatile situations; have a centralised data monitoring system to have the data on such staple produce; create more number of food processing units across all States and regions focussing on such perishable items; and disseminate information among agriculturists for balanced cultivation of such staple items.

RV Baskaran


Air pollution

The rapid deterioration in air quality in NCR is a cause for much concern. While the newly constituted commission with 18 members was mandated to foster collaboration among the Centre, States and other stakeholders to tackle air pollution in an effective manner, there are apprehensions that the commission, helmed by bureaucrats, may not be a significant departure from the past. As shown by several independent studies, it is impracticability and insensitivity to ground realities by the pollution controlling bodies, and not enforceability deficit, that have rendered past practices such as bans and penalties ineffective.

M Jeyaram


Talking up the economy

This refers to ‘Rise and rise of Bangladesh’ (November 2). On the one hand, we like to be juxtaposed with developed nations and, on the other, we are lagging behind Bangladesh on various counts. The Government appears to be perpetually in election mode, and keeps presenting a rosy picture of the economy despite the odds facing it. The government’s clarion call for atmanirbhar and, at the same time, inviting foreign investors is sending confusing signals to the business fraternity. While India is doing optics management, Bangladesh is doing serious business.

Deepak Singhal


Financial sector reforms

This refers to ‘Neglected aspects of financial sector reforms’ (November 2). While the financial sector reform measures suggested by the author are worth implementing, the problems faced by Indian financial institutions, especially banks, are unique in nature. It is an undisputed fact that post the 2008 credit crisis, global banks have shifted their focus towards more stringent prudential norms to tide over future credit shocks. The problems faced by Indian banks are a shade different from those faced by global banks to go for macro-prudential regulation. For example, the high volume of NPAs Indian banks has and the reasons are quite diversified, ranging from wilful defaults, fraud, political interference, red tape, etc.

And these differ from bank to bank and, hence, calls for more micro-prudential regulation. Also, there is no inherent mechanism for Indian banks to overcome asset-liability mismatch, especially in the case of infrastructural lending that too when deposit rates are more volatile and bond markets are not so deep in bringing discipline in this area.

Srinivasan Velamur


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

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Published on November 02, 2020
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