Letters to the editor dated December 1, 2020

| Updated on December 01, 2020 Published on December 01, 2020

Testing blues

The latest decision of the Delhi goverment to reduce the price of the Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Test used to detect Covid-19 to ₹800 from ₹2,400, though well-meaning, has come a bit late. The new scheme also provide that the ‘home collection’ of these samples will now cost ₹1,200. However, it was quite surprising to learn that the prevailing cost of conducting these tests, at the private labs, varies across the country. While Karnataka and Uttarakhand have fixed it at ₹800, Gujarat and West Bengal charge ₹1,500 and UP ₹1,600. Kerala, Telangana, Assam and Rajasthan charge above ₹2,000. This implies that various State governments have different 'threat' perception about the Covid-19.

Based on a recently filed PIL, seeking a cap at ₹400 with the plea that the cost of the testing kits has now come down to ₹200, the Supreme Court has sought the Centre's reply within a week. Let us hope that much needed “uniformity” in charges becomes a reality soon.

Vinayak G


Farmers’ anger

. No amount of technological change or fine-tuning of the subsidy mechanism can impact rural development until we reform the institutional structure linking the producer and the consumer, through farmers’ organisations owned and managed by them . The Bills have no doubt tried to address a few, but in select parts under a bureaucratic garb.

True development of farmers would mean placing in their hands, the requisite instruments for it .Our agro marketing policy is of 2003 vintage. Policy must evolve upwards from the field to the secretariat, not the other way round.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Education pressures

With reference to the article ‘The alarming rise in education costs in New India’, this increase is not a good sign. Cost of food and education are two most critical factors for both the middle classes and people living in rural areas. The pandemic has already dealt a blow on livelihoods That education in government institutions too are expensive is proof of the sorry state of affairs. The tragic part of this survey is that a labourer has to shell out almost 40per cent of his monthly earnings in educating his children. So the government must look into this aspect before children from the underprivileged sections start dropping out of schools.

Bal Govind


With reference to the article ‘Capital reaping the whirlwind’, the government may have enacted farm laws in the larger interests of the farmers but the message that is filtering down is the opposite. Why are the farmers unable to trust the Prime Minister despite his assurances to them? It is clear that the BJP is in no mood to buckle under the pressure. The main problem with ruling dispensation is that it believes that every unilateral action it takes is sacrosanct, be it demonetisation, GST, disinvestment drive et al and are in the larger interests of the country. This credo is buttressed time and again by its election victories resulting in clouding of vision and inability to think dispassionately. However this time around it appears to be cornered and how how it wriggles out of it remains to be seen.

Deepak Singhal


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Published on December 01, 2020
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