Letters

Letters to the editor dated July 19, 2021

| Updated on July 19, 2021

Need for bipartisanship

Expectedly, the monsoon session of Parliament had started on a stormy note with the Opposition upping the ante by raising issues confronting the country such as surging inflation, unprecedented rise in fuel prices and alleged mismanagement of Covid-19 by the Centre. While the Opposition does have every right to raise issues of public interest on the floor of Parliament, forcing adjournments and creating ruckus will hardly serve any purpose. Parliament is the tallest forum of democracy for it represents the will and sovereign of the people. Constructive debate and discussion on issues of public interest. are its hallmarks. At a time when country confronts myriad of challenges on the economic, public health and national security fronts, political parties across the spectrum need to shun their differences and put up a united front. Politics of bipartisanship and not politics of confrontation is the need of hour.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

Managing time

The article titled ‘Time management is passé’ (July 19) is helpful and insightful, especially to the youth besieged by digital distractions. Even with many digital tools that purportedly aid productivity improvement, we find ourselves battling interruptions and diversions. Essentially, our smartphones have become double-edged swords. Many of us who fear missing out are tethered to our phones. The best work has always come from undivided attention to a problem or task at hand. We tend to believe that multi-tasking is the way to stay on top. That practice has only led to sub-optimal outcomes and mediocrity. It’s time we take control of our limited mental resources to engage and disengage at will.

Anand Srinivasan

Bengaluru

Monsoon woes

This refers to the editorial ‘Whimsical monsoon’ (July 19). Even though the South-West monsoon arrived on schedule, the Southern peninsula received above-normal rains. But the monsoon vagaries increased the risk in growing crops in eastern India regions. The erratic rainfall due to shrinking of monsoon period is the key reason for droughts. The rainfall pattern is changing with spells of abnormal rains for a few days. Hence there is a dire need to rely on contingency plans for agriculture given the monsoon vagaries. Centrally sponsored irrigation schemes including drip irrigation, timely availability of agro inputs and short duration crops are the ways out. Cluster farming with efficient water usage must be done in the North-East region with short duration drought and flood tolerant varieties of crop. But weed infestation and socio economic constraints are the stumbling blocks there. Combatting climate change are the need of the hour.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

The fuel price conundrum

This refers to “Oil prices and Indian fiscal federalism” ( July 19). Fuel pricing was administered before 2010 (petrol) and 2014 for diesel. It was subsequently deregulated to pass on the benefit of fall in prices to consumers.

In reality, when there was a drop in international prices, instead of passing on the benefit, the government tampered with taxes to maintain the same price level. In the garb of rationalising the domestic fuel price structure, all that happened post deregulation was to treat tax revenues as “cash cow” as there was an unabated price rise. At least when administrative price mechanism was followed, the price structure was uniform with minimum volatility which is not the case anymore.

In March 2020 when global crude oil price was at around $30 per barrel, instead of passing on the benefit to consumers, taxes were raised to maintain the then existing price level and the domestic price rose in sync with the surge in international crude oil price. This type of “exploitation” can be curtailed only when the entire fuel pricing is brought under GST.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Published on July 19, 2021

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