Letters to the editor dated January 29, 2021

| Updated on January 29, 2021

Raw deal for depositors

This is with reference to ‘Depositors deserve 'real'istic interest rates’ (January 29). While household deposits contribute a chunk of the resources of the banks at a lower cost than any other source, it is essential to compensate them with reasonable returns and services to avoid the flight of deposits from banks. Among the depositors of banks, senior citizens account for a significant share. The majority of depositors who depend on interest income for their livelihood are earning negative returns when the prevailing consumer price index-based inflation rate is taken into account.

In the present situation of rising NPAs, for the sake of transmitting the reduction in monetary policy rates, banks are resorting to cutting the rate of interest on deposits rather than drastically recovering the bad loans from the defaulters. The transmission of a cut in the monetary policy rate on bank loans and advances must be executed without reducing the interest on deposits. The government must also look for discontinuing the income tax on the interest earned on deposits by the senior citizens.

VSK Pillai


Negative returns

The falling interest rates on bank deposits owing to the systemic imposition of inflation based rate adjustments frequently is a serious cause of concern for majority of the middle-income population. The progressive negative yields from bank deposits impacts the very survival of many pensioners.

The prevailing volatile and subdued investment environment across segments — equity, debt, bullion and mutual funds to name a few — has forced investors to depend mainly on bank deposits. It is, therefore, important that the Budget protects the interests of bank depositors by providing them adequate tax sops.

Sitaram Popuri


Railways in dire straits

This refers to ‘On a troubled track’ (January 29). It is an open secret that the Railways’ operating ratio is nothing to write home about and it barely generates revenues to meet its expenses, forget creating surpluses for the organisation or the government.

Time and again it has been debated how railways can compete with roadways in the freight segment, which should now be more viable considering the dedicated freight corridors across the country. But when it comes to passenger fares, it is time the Railways cut subsidies.

Bal Govind


Raising revenues

The Railway Ministry can consider the following suggestions for boosting revenue. First, hike the long overdue suburban train fares. States objecting to such a hike can be asked to bear the differential cost. Two, concessions granted to medical professionals, press correspondents, sports-persons, MLAs, MPs and Ministers must be withdrawn. Three, the eligibility for senior citizen concessions must be raised from 60 years to 80 years. And, finally, augment AC II-tier compartments and replace AC Ist Class coaches in all the trains.

RV Baskaran


Protect the middle class

This refers to ‘Budget must give the middle-class a leg-up’ (January 29). At a time when the economy is nose-diving and millions have lost their jobs, the Finance Minister must present a Budget that would enhance the income of the middle-class and increase both savings and consumption.

NR Nagarajan


Unproductive debates

This refers to the Supreme Court having reportedly asked the Centre to think about banning offensive channels. That’s a welcome suggestion, but what about the large number of so-called ‘political analysts’ who openly spread venom in the name of their Constitution mandated “freedom of speech” during the live debates hosted by various national TV news channels? Most unfortunately, this has become more a rule than exception.

The apex court may also like to consider making these so-called ‘experts’ personally accountable for what they say.

Vinayak G



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Published on January 29, 2021
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