Letters

Letters to the editor dated December 2, 2020

| Updated on December 02, 2020 Published on December 02, 2020

Covid vaccine

The emergency authorisation for Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s vaccine for Covid-19 by the UK and that the vaccine will be available from next week for its 20 million people marks a significant development in the humanity’s relentless battle against the raging pandemic.

While Russia and China had earlier approved their indigenously developed vaccines, not much has been known about the efficacy and safety of their vaccines. However, the affirmation by the UK regulator that the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech had met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness is reassuring.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Digital currency

Apropos ‘Encrypting the rupee’ (December 2), in December 2019, the RBI announced that it was holding internal discussions and consultations with other central banks on the possibility of launching India’s own digital currency. But, thereafter, nothing more was heard on the subject. The apex bank’s antipathy towards global crypto currencies like the Bitcoin is understandable, given their wild value fluctuations and use in financing nefarious activities.

A ‘Central Bank Digital Currency’ would carry several advantages, such as curbing the scourge of black money, money laundering, tax evasion and corruption, with the traceability of every transaction, in a centralised database, in real time. China is reportedly testing its soon to be launched ‘Digital Currency Electronic Payment’. With the EU, too, indicating its intent to follow suit, the RBI cannot indefinitely postpone its own CBDC. Though in a country like India, with a predominant rural population, digital currency may not replace physical rupees overnight, it would still be prudent to take steps to introduce the former, with adequate safeguards and then popularise the same by incentivising the transactions.

V Jayaraman

Chennai

Inflation concerns

This refers to ‘Monetary policy can do with a slight reset’ (December 2). In spite of the well-calculated monetary policy of the RBI, there is the problem of inflation affecting the daily life of the common people. Especially in these pandemic times, the RBI should monitor closely the prices of various consumer goods and step in if the prices begin to show a rising trend. There is, indeed, a clear disconnect between the formulation of the monetary policy and its implementation.

TR Anandan

Coimbatore

Rightness of farmers’ cause

The hot-button issue of the new farm laws has taken centre stage in national politics. No matter what the government and pro-market economists and analysts say to defend the laws, the fact remains that they could result in dismantlement of the government-regulated mandis, monopolisation of the agri-markets by corporate behemoths, sale of agri-produce at prices fixed by big agri-businesses and hoarding of agri-produce.

The lucre of corporate benefits and higher standards of corporate governance are mutually exclusive for farmers to be sure of fair prices. The role of government as a regulator-cum-protector is much needed in the agri-market. These laws do not set conditions fair for farmers to get what MS Swaminathan recommended

Farmers have no alternative to agriculture as a means of livelihood; they must be assured of procurement at prices that enable them to meet the cost of input, reward their labour and ensure their subsistence. If the new laws are intended to boost farm incomes, there can be no difficulty for the government to make the MSP a legal entitlement.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

 

Reconsider RCEP

Fifteen countries have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the largest free trade agreement in history. India and the US kept away from this accord. We need to rethink this decision. We may feel diffident to join the RCEP amidst the US-China trade war. But Australia and Japan, with us in QUAD, have since embraced it keeping trade and commerce insulated from their geopolitical issues.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on December 02, 2020
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