Letters

Letters to the editor dated August 24, 2021

| Updated on August 24, 2021

Inflation drivers

This refers to ‘RBI must drain out excess liquidity’ (August 24). In pursuit of keeping inflation under control, the RBI has been using all tools under its command as part of its monetary policy framework and, at the same time, ensuring an orderly completion of record borrowing programme of the government. There are several factors which act in unison like higher commodity prices with low demand and increase in money supply with subdued credit offtake, which are the main drivers of inflation. The overemphasis on the monetary policy of RBI to take care of inflation and ensure growth when the Covid pandemic has hit the economy hard has made the task of RBI more challenging.

Apart from domestic factors putting pressure on the RBI to revise the repo rate upwards, global factors in terms of US retail inflation continuously ruling high calling for tapering of asset purchases sooner than later adds to the pressure. The government not acting on the prevailing high retail fuel prices further aggravates the issue.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

Monetising assets

This is with reference to ‘Not selling assets, unlocking value: FM’ (August 24). While launching the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), the government claims that it is not selling any of the assets — the ownership would remain with it and only the usage part will be with the intending partners. Recently, the government announced leasing out vacant lands at major railway stations through the Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA).

Putting the idle land parcels into effective use is a good way to garner more resources for the government machinery to run. However, it is not clear whether the RLDA would co-exist during the implementation of NMP.

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Railway reforms

This refers to the editorial ‘Change the track’ (August 24). The Indian Railways requires thorough reforms. Private investment/partnership and FDI should be allowed for improving passenger facilities/comfort.

The funds meant for improvement of the Railways should not be wasted in populist measures/subsidies. New railway lines in backward States like Bihar, Odisha and the North-East must be started. A special board should be set up to draft the reforms required, especially with regard to connectivity, safety and cleanliness.

Veena Shenoy

Thane

Covid testing in Kerala

Apropos ‘Kerala's daily Covid testing falls by nearly a third over two weeks’ (August 24). It is shocking that a highly literate State like Kerala is having the highest number of corona cases. The easing of restrictions by the State government in view of Onam was unwarranted in the present situation.

The State must understand that once the situation goes out of control there will be a surge in hospitalisation, oxygen and other medical requirements. The best way forward is to follow the Centre’s guidelines and not ease the restrictions.

Katuru Durga Prasad Rao

Hyderabad

Freebie culture

Apropos ‘Outrage over so-called freebies unjustified’ (August 24), the question is not whether the same are funded by direct or indirect taxes. It is that the money which should have gone towards promoting healthcare, basic education and building infrastructure benefiting all sections of people goes towards providing ‘freebies’ to the identified sections.

Providing free bus travel to women, when the TN transport corporations are reeling under huge losses, defeats the very purpose of corporatising the department. It does not require a white paper to understand why the State is facing a heavy debt burden. The problem with freebies is that, once provided, these cannot be withdrawn by any government. Elections in India are increasingly being fought and won on the strength of ‘competitive giveaways’. Just because they are predominantly funded by indirect taxes does not mean the pernicious culture cannot be questioned by the middle class.

V Jayaraman

Chennai

Published on August 24, 2021

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