Letters

Letters to the editor dated May 10, 2021

| Updated on May 10, 2021

Vaccine inequity

The world has now vaccines in its arsenal to keep the Covid-19 pandemic under control, but the grim reality staring it is vaccine inequity. While the rich and developed world have piled up vaccines, poor countries have been mostly left to fend for themselves . Their persistent struggle to vaccinate its citizens owing to non-availability of vaccines is glaring.

Following the justifiable pitch for waiver of Intellectual Property ( IP) protection for vaccines against Covid-19 from countries like India and South Africa, US President Joe Biden lent his country's support for IP waiver. No doubt, it is a momentous development in humanity's fight against the virus. The waiver of IP will not only enable the manufacturing of vaccines in bulk but also end the market monopoly of pharma majors and bring down prices. It is time international community stood united on IP waiver of Covid-19 vaccines.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

Move on patents

Apropos the editorial ‘Patently right’ (May 10), the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every country. Every political leader of the country knows that vaccinations and medicines are the immediate need to end the casualties. Big Pharma likes to cash in on the opportunities to mint billions or trillions of dollars.

Several countries including India invented medicines and vaccinations but the pace is no match with the increasing number of casualties, as the field is fraught with several hurdles like non availability of required raw materials etc in manufacturing large quantities of medicines.

It is time for the Big Pharma to listen to the cries of humanity, adopt a flexible and humanitarian approach in extending a temporary waiver of IP on vaccines

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Farm incomes

With reference to the article ‘Doubling farmers’ income:It's still a long road ahead’ (May 10), the PM assured the farming community that his government would see that their income is doubled by 2022.

The government constituted an inter-ministerial committee in April 2016 to examine issues relating to the doubling of farmers income, which submitted its report in September 2018.

The government in March in the Rajya Sabha said that it is banking on annual budget allocation, foodgrain production, MSP and procurement to increase farmers' income. The Budget allocation was increased to 5.5 times between 2013-14 and 2021-22. The government increased the MSP for all crops based on the weighted average cost of production. But the farmers question the cost calculation formula and allege that the actual cost of production is much more than what has been factored into the formula.

The Shetkari Sanghatana says that farmers should have freedom of access to markets and technology. They say that the government interference in the market is also is a cause of concern. Under these circumstances it would be incredibly hard to double farmers’ income by the fast approaching 2022 deadline. Of course the Covid situation has diverted the government’s focus from tis issue.

TSN Rao

Bhimavaram (AP)

Powering InvITs

With reference to the article "More power to InvITs' (May 10), the recent IPOs of Indigrid and PowerGrid have evoked lot of investor interest. InvITs are very good instruments to monetise investments and utilise funds for other projects or liquidation of debts. Through this mechanism, retail investors can invest in completed infrastructure projects and generating cash and avoid project risks. However the return is not assured as cashflows may fluctuate and valuation of units may move accordingly.

Instead of confining InvIT to one corporate the feasibility of combining assets belonging to many companies may be explored as this cluster approach is likely to mitigate cash flow risks to some extent. Metro rail projects, water treatment plants cogen power plants, waste management facilities etc are some areas where InvITs may be explored.

M Raghuraman

Mumbai

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on May 10, 2021

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