Letters to the editor dated October 4, 2021

| Updated on October 04, 2021

Surge in DBT beneficiaries

Apropos ‘DBT beneficiaries number hits record 71 crore so far in FY22’ (October 4), it is a worrying factor that around 50 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the DBT beneficiaries category. Among these beneficiaries, about 70 crore are classified as members of priority households who are entitled to 5 kg foodgrains per person per month.

This gives a wrong picture to the outside world that 50 per cent of India's population still depend on free foodgrains supplied by the government.

The surge in the number of beneficiaries needs to be checked for bogus and ineligible categories of beneficiaries.

Besides, the States must be told to increase the number of beneficiaries under MGNREGS, with increased participation in all rural development programmes, to ensure that the government’s financial allocation goes to the deserved categories of people.

RV Baskaran


MPC’s likely stance

This refers to ‘Monetary Policy Committee seen keeping rates unchanged with accommodative stance’ (October 4). Thanks to the the vaccination drive across the country, the likelihood of a rise in the spread of the pandemic is bleak. With economic activities gaining momentum, it is essential to make available short- and long-term institutional credit sufficiently at a lesser cost to induce investment in all sectors of the economy, especially in those which generate more employment and foreign exchange.

In the ensuing meeting, the MPC needs to cut the repo and reverse repo rates to boost credit absorption. The removal of all bottlenecks in the supply of goods and services is critical to control the price levels. The swift operationalisation of the National Asset Reconstruction Company is crucial at this juncture to bring down the level of bad assets and improve the credit expansion capacity of the banking sector. Fast resolution of non-performing assets is imperative and the way forward is to accelerate the bad loan recovery and resolution under the SARFEASI Act and the IBC.

The government and the banking regulator have to extend more support to the banks to enable them tighten their systems for faster recovery and resolution of bad debts.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry, Kerala

Need for sovereign wealth fund

Apropos ‘Time for a sovereign wealth fund’ (October 4), till recently the rupee was being allowed to depreciate to boost exports. Now that the current account deficit stands well managed, the strong forex reserves could come in handy against external political or monetary aberrations. The country’s economic fundamentals remain healthy and this could trigger rapid growth. Perhaps the time is ripe to institute a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) that is built with a mix of foreign exchange reserves, government budget surpluses and privatisation revenues.

Leveraging SWFs for investment requires governance and control architecture, professional excellence, prescience and acumen in risk management. Besides, the fund management needs to be transparent and accountabl.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Boosting tourism sector

This refers to ‘Hospitality sector sees robust demand ahead of festival season’ (October 4)).This will give a boost to tourism, which is a sector that does not require much capital investment but can generate sizeable jobs. If the government provides adequate support, India — with its diverse and ancient culture, heritage sites and historical places — can be among the top tourism destinations of the world.

Many heritage sites in India are badly maintained. The Tourism Ministry should identify such sites and work speedily on their maintenance. The locals in the area should be involved in this activity. Also, experts and intellectuals residing at places of tourist interest should be involved in giving suggestions to help revive local culture, art and handicrafts. It should not be left entirely to the government to give a fillip to the industry.

Veena Shenoy


Published on October 04, 2021

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