Letters

Letters to the editor dated March 25, 2021

| Updated on March 25, 2021

Steel strategy

This refers to ‘Steel off the peak’ (March 25). The pandemic saw India’s steel consumption plunging the most, globally. The current spurt in sales is thus a result of pent up domestic demand, which has caused prices to rise. The price trend will taper somewhat till the proposed big infra spends kick in. There is likely to be a spurt in infra spending globally.

Astute management of steel exports at negotiated prices and tariffs is essential. This also applies to import of quality ore. Also, the production capacity must be monitored and the country must focus on manufacture of valued-added, rather than run-of-the-mill, steel products.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Addressing farm distress

Apropos ‘States drag their feet on farm loan waivers’ (March 25), waiver of loans is no solution to farm distress. For the benefit of the farmers, the government should look to improve rural infrastructure, assist farmers in modern techniques of production, impart timely counselling to prevent farmer suicides, and provide them with alternative sources of income when crops fail.

Loan waivers have put a heavy financial burden on the banking industry which is already reeling under huge NPAs.

Most of the farm loans are waived either with an eye on elections or meeting political demands of various parties.

Banks are custodians of public money and that should be used prudently. In most of the farm loan waiver cases, it is not the needy farmers who benefit but the well-to-do ones who are capable of repaying the bank loans.

Banks must focus on lending to those farmers and small entrepreneurs who mainly depend on moneylenders for their financial needs.

Veena Shenoy

Thane

Loan moratorium

This refers to ‘The right balance’ (March 25). The Supreme Court judgment that moratorium will not be extended further than what was originally stipulated has evoked mixed reactions from borrowers.

Obviously, the apex court is attempting to protect the interests of banks too.

A concession given at the right time on the outbreak of the Covid pandemic needs to be appreciated by the borrowers and should not except further gratis from banks. The Supreme Court ruling thus comes as a relief, especially to banks and the government.

Ashok Jayaram

Bengaluru

 

Burdening the SC

The incidents of entities approaching the Supreme Court on many small issues are on the rise.

Either fresh cases are filed or appeals are made straight to the apex court, overlooking lower judicial courts.

While delivering the judgment on complete waiver of interest on loans applicable for the moratorium period, the apex court’s remark that “it would not intervene in the matters of policy unless they raise Constitutional questions or matters of natural justice” brings cheer to many.

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Vaccination programme

The decision of Centre to widen the ambit of ongoing vaccination programme against Covid-19 by making people above the age of 45 with or without co-morbidities eligible to receive jabs from April 1 marks a momentous step in the fight against the contagion.

The resurgence of Covid in several parts of the country in recent weeks and the discovery of double mutant variants is a cause for concern, but the country cannot afford another stringent lockdown whose catastrophic effects on the lives and livelihoods of multitudes still afresh in the memory of many.

As the threat of a second wave looms large over the country, a sustained awarenesses campaign aimed at removing misconceptions about anti-Covid-19 vaccines among people holds the key to help people shed their hesitancy and accelerate the pace of vaccination on the ground. The message that getting vaccinated doesn't mean one can lower his/her guard and abstain from following Covid protocols must be taken to all sections of society.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

 

Published on March 25, 2021

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