Letters to the editor dated October 11, 2021

| Updated on October 11, 2021

Edible oils pain

It is time for the government to stop using ad hoc measures like limiting stocks of oil and oilseeds to control the price of edible oils. Such measures and their exemptions for select categories give much scope for corruption. With so many modern tools like Artificial Intelligence available for predicting demand, the government should be able to ensure an adequate supply of edible oil without much difficulty well before reaching a crisis point.

Everybody knows that demand spikes during the festival season, and why the government does not take the required steps well before the peaking of demand is hard to understand. Perhaps, there are other factors at play which ensure a kind of loot from the pockets of the citizens.

Anthony Henriques


Air India: Poised for take-off?

Apropos the editorial ‘Maharaja takes off’ (October 11), the strategic sale of Air India has finally come to an end with Tatas winning away the bid and taking their airlines back home.

Though the government can now heave a sigh of relief for having completed a complicated and debt-ridden deal with its coffers getting filled with ₹2,700 crore with cash, and the winner Tatas are happy in getting back their favourite airlines after close to seven decades, the underlying worrying fact is that the government is still saddled with a debt of close to ₹45,000 crore.

On the buyer’s part, they need to squeese themselves in bringing back the Airlines in spreading its wings with much ease and comfort. All said and done, we should acknowledge the services rendered by Air India in bringing back the stranded Indians during Covid-19 pandemic and during the Afghan crisis.

RV Baskaran


The editorial ‘Maharaja takes off’ (October 11) has highlighted the success of the government in this crucial disinvestment. It takes a huge burden off the government’s back.

As for Tatas, there are surely challenges ahead. To begin with, one hopes that the buy is based on a sound business case and with shareholders’ long-term interests in mind, and not on emotion or nostalgia. As in all such cases, the reactions of the political opposition and employees are along familiar lines. All said and done, the Maharaja with solid brand equity, now under Tata management, has the potential for providing fliers a much enhanced experience and therefore the customer could become the real Maharaja.

V Vijaykumar


Coal conundrum

This refers to the news report ‘Have ample coal stock’ (October 11). It is shocking to note that the country which claimed surplus of coal supplies three months back is now reeling under severe shortage in 107 power plants.

Shortage of coal is a recurring problem despite ample coal reserves thanks to the ministerial policy paralysis and the huge coal scam in selling coal mines. The hike in imported coal prices, hampered coal mining due to rain and absence of visionary coal mining policies worsened the crisis. Power plants struggle to maintain even four days stock against a prescribed 22 days’ stock. The government seems to resort to ad hoc policies instead of arriving at a long-term solution for this festering problem.

Measures need to be adopted on a war footing and this man- made problem can be solved with increased coal production and much-needed policy correction.

NR Nagarajan


Published on October 11, 2021

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