Letters

Letters to the editor dated July 5, 2021

| Updated on July 05, 2021

Making a deep hole

It is intriguing to observe that the petrol price has been hiked 35 times in two months. But sadly, there seems to be no light at the end of tunnel, as the fuel prices continue to rise and the government conveniently turning a blind eye to the woes of the common man. Mind you, the state-run oil marketing companies have relentlessly been toying with their revenue-centric game plan (obviously at the Centre’s behalf) ever since the declaration of the West Bengal Assembly election results. Significantly, the petrol has already crossed the ₹100-a-litre mark in 14 States and Union territories and Delhi and Kolkata may soon join this ‘august’ list. It is a different matter that neither the Centre nor the States are reportedly willing to part with their currently ‘overflowing’ revenue coffers.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula (Haryana)

Saving small savings

This is with reference to the Editorial ‘Saving grace’. Such are the low expectations from the Finance Minister to do anything to help the common citizen, that untouched interest rates is regarded as an achievement.

The plummeting interest rates and the zooming rise in the cost of living has made survival impossible for those dependant of interest income like senior citizens. The interest on their bank deposits must be exempt from TDS. This would provide some relief to the beleaguered senior citizens.

Anthony Henriques

Mumbai

With reference to the editorial ‘Saving grace’(June 4), while the small savings scheme is one of the prime avenues available to households to invest their hard-earned money, sustaining the ruling interest rates is a great relief to the savers, more particularly to the senior citizens.

Zooming prices of essential items, fuel and other commodities are not only pushing the consumer and wholesale price-based index inflation but it is affecting the savings of middle class and weaker sections.

The funds available from the household savings through the small saving schemes of the government are vital for investment in the public sector. As such, rewarding a higher rate of interest on these saving schemes is critical to the growth of investments, besides compensating the savers from the declining purchasing power.

Secondly, the safety, liquidity and margins on the savings schemes of banks and other financial intermediaries are exposed to the effects of the quality of the assets created by those entities, and since the saver’s risk-bearing capacity is poor, it is, therefore, imperative to keep the rates of interest remunerative to attract more savings into the small savings scheme.

Thirdly, the riskier financial assets available in the stock markets and the variety of other savings products aren’t a safe and preferred avenue to the middle class and vulnerable sections because of their lack of financial literacy and limited means and hence the government must maintain a reasonable rate of interest on the schemes irrespective of the downward changes in the bond rates and monetary policy rates.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry

Satellite potential

With reference to the article on Satellite Broadband, India's economy can grow by leaps and bounds through reliable and fast access to the Internet. With the enormous potential of the IoT and smart manufacturing, Indian Industry can harness their benefits and achieve growth sustainably. We need high-quality infrastructure to connect people and things through the internet.

The government would better serve India's hinterland through the provision of broadband. Education and healthcare, to name two areas, can be improved in our rural areas.

Given the high costs of setting up a digital infrastructure on land, our government should seize the opportunities of satellite broadband to leapfrog to the next generation just as we did by embracing mobile telephony without the widespread adoption of wired telephone lines.

We must bridge the digital divide on a war footing to create opportunities for all.

Anand Srinivasan

Bengaluru

Published on July 05, 2021

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