Letters to the editor dated March 18, 2021

| Updated on March 18, 2021

Luring the voters

Apropos the editorial ‘Freebies for votes’ (March 18), the freebies announced by TN political parties to woo the electorates is simply staggering. In fact, a review on the cost aspects of such freebies is stunning. TVs, mixies, two-wheelers, laptops, mobile phones and now washing machines. Crores of rupees are spent on such freebies which ultimately land in scrap shops within a short period.

The State’s debt is close to ₹5.75-lakh crore and with another planned borrowing of ₹84,686 crore, the total debt would swell to ₹6.50-lakh crore. No concrete plans have been spelt out by the State in reducing the borrowings.

If cash for votes is treated as a crime, luring voters by way of freebies should also be treated likewise even if they are given post the results. The winning party would start dolling out freebies in the name of fulfilling their electoral promises, which is nothing but mass bribing. It is time that the judiciary intervened and asked the Election Commission of India and other stakeholders to put an end to such unhealthy practices.

RV Baskaran


Competitive populism

Come Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, the two major Dravidian parties, the AIADMK and the DMK, have no qualms in doling out promises of freebies to lure the voters in the State unmindful of the corrosive effect on electoral democracy. It is no more an exaggeration to say that competitive populism has now emerged as a bane of the political landscape of Tamil Nadu.

While the promises in the poll manifestos of the political parties cannot be construed as corrupt practice under the section 123 of Representation of People Act, its detrimental effect on free and fair poll can hardly be disputed. It is time political parties shun populism and freebies in their poll manifestos and focus more on delivering corruption-free governance and development.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Emulate Delhi model

As widely publicised in the media, the Delhi government is currently providing around 100 home-based public utility services. One has to simply dial a helpline number to avail oneself of the services.

Other State governments should also emulate the Delhi government’s model. In fact, a beginning may be made by facilitating issuance of driving licence, vehicle registration certificate, sanctioning of electricity and water connections online. Such a faceless, hassle-free and people-oriented move will help the States earn themselves a lot of appreciation from various stakeholders.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Covid control

This has reference to ‘Act now to avoid nationwide Covid outbreak’ (March 18). The increase in number of Covid cases is alarming and urgent measures are required to be taken in States like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In order to avoid complete lockdown as before some immediate restrictions may be necessary. All commercial establishments may be closed after 8 pm daily and during weekends full curfew may be imposed.

The offices requiring personal presence may work on staggered working hours. Wearing of masks should be imposed strictly and volunteers should come forward to distribute them freely. Vaccination should be speeded up for all above the age of 45 and corporate employers, banks. etc., should be encouraged to have in-house vaccination programme for their employees and their families. The government should also focus on distribution of nutraceuticals for the vulnerable people to improve immunity.

M Raghuraman


New banking channel

Apropos ‘Neo bank — the new disruptor on the block’ (March 18). Indeed, neo banks offer a wide range of digital and mobile financial solutions. Neo banks owe their rapid growth to technology.

Since they do not have branches, maintenance costs are minimal which translate into low banking charges and dynamic service to customers. Neo banks are a boon for SMEs and individuals who require online financial services.

NR Nagarajan


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 March 18, 2021

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