Letters

Letters to the editor dated January 7, 2021

| Updated on January 07, 2021

Banking blues

This refers to the editorial ‘Band-aid for banks' (January 7). It is a very timely though alarming description of the state of public sector banks’ finances. The use of the phrase ‘shabby governance’ sums it up. Years of pandering to lobbies of vested interests and outside interference have led to this state. There is need to retrain manpower. Recruitment process itself is faulty where hiring is through competitive exams which assess ‘reasoning ability’, ‘quantitative aptitude’, ‘English language’ rather than project appraisal skills and economic issues. Recruitment must be from NIBM and other B-schools with relevant courses. The government must reduce stake over time through the strategic investor route. PSBs cannot shun efficiency saying they serve a social cause. They must achieve both.

V Vijaykumar

Pune

Trump era

It was three decades ago that a Republican presidential candidate could win both in the electoral college and the popular vote.

Trump was short on popular vote in 2016 and this time he lost by seven million votes. .

But then many had been buying into his spurious stock to the extent to elevate it to a super blue chip and unwilling to let go even after it being de-listed on November 7, 2020.

In such persistence they have cast an enduring blot on US Inc.

Even its reconstituted board taking over on January 20 may find it a hard task to refurbish the dented image of an entity that had painfully accumulated an envious standing over a span of 200-plus years.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Petro-product pricing

The news on petrol and diesel prices reaching an all-time high leaves one wondering the pricing system followed by the government.

After the transition from administrative price mechanism (APM) to dynamic pricing w.e.f. June 2016 to take advantage of a fall in international crude oil price to help the end-consumer, one could see only an upward trend as far as the retail prices go. In a complete decontrolled environment, the change is supposed to help the end-user.

Unfortunately, the present pricing pattern offers little solace to them. When there is a decline in international crude oil price, instead of passing on the benefits to the end-consumer, Central (excise duty) and State taxes (VAT) are hiked to maintain the price level. The policy of the Central and State governments to treat oil and gas products as a “cash cow” to augment their income need to be stopped forthwith as it not only has an impact on various segments of economy but also on exchange rate and inflation.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Bank dividends

This refers to ‘No case to ban dividend payment by banks’ (January 7). The banking sector is going through a rough patch and fresh credit offtake is yet to pick up speed. And the pandemic’s adverse impact on the borrowers will also come to the light in the next quarter or so. In this backdrop, it is more than essential that banks give a miss to paying dividends to shareholders this time around and save as much money as possible. If a bank has a history of paying dividends then investors will not mind this miss much.

Bal Govind

Noida

A parallel case

Reading ‘Can Viswesvaraya Iron & Steel be revived?’ (January 7), one is reminded Burnpur (in West Bengal) plant of Indian Iron and Steel Company.

A jewel of the steel industry in the1950s, this private sector entity fell on bad times due essentially to industrial relations problems and was taken over by SAIL in the 1970s as a sick subsidiary.

A unique agreement between the five national trade unions and SAIL management was signed for the revival

The Central government later agreed to make IISCO a fully integrated plant of SAIL instead of subsidiary.

If SAIL makes necessary investment to make the unit financially and technologically productive, it will be a better alternative than risky privatisation.

YG Chouksey

Pune

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.

Published on January 07, 2021

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