Letters

Letters to the editor dated October 19, 2021

| Updated on October 19, 2021

Lifting the textile sector

This has reference to ‘Textile industry proposes grading system’ (October 19). The production-linked incentive scheme for units in smaller centres complements setting up of textile parks announced already by the Centre.

This is good for the industry and should help in creation of employment and regaining the prime position the Indian textile industry had globally. The industry has suffered due to many of the units being below economic size, not having the full value chain and not being competitive in the international market.

The industry historically has had advantages like low labour cost, availability of cotton and huge domestic demand, and the proposed incentive scheme covers man-made fibres and technical textiles which is welcome. Further, countries like Bangladesh are aggressive in exports and our textile industry should be competitive both in terms of cost and quality in the international market and technology upgradation is the buzzword.

M Raghuraman

Mumbai

Sustaining capex

Apropos ‘Capitalising on spending’ (October 19), it augurs well for the Indian economy that most States have recorded an increase in their capital expenditure in the June quarter of the current FY. It however remains to be seen if the trend is maintained. Sustaining increased capex requires political will — to rein in the well-entrenched freebies culture, besides gradually reducing and withdrawing the subsidies provided to unproductive public services.

While none would grudge the truly poor benefiting, universal subsidies like free public transport or free power supply to all members of a group are not good economics. There needs to be an all-round realisation that there are no free lunches in economics and the ‘governmental gifts’ only create an illusion of prosperity. Genuine progress is achieved only when jobs are created in a growing economy.

V Jayaraman

Chennai

Govt expenditure

Clearly, a large chunk of government budget goes for salaries, pension and allowances of government employees, leaving only a paltry sum for social sector and development activities. The Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, since gladly accepted by its beneficiaries, the babus, adds to the fiscal overkill.

India spends 8.15 per cent of its GDP on emoluments of government employees, both at the Centre and in States, while on health it is a depressing 1.3 per cent. That should explain why we have one doctor for 1,500 Indians even as 23 lakh apply for 368 posts of peons in the UP secretariat.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Prices of food items

This refers to ‘Retail tomato prices skyrocket up to ₹93/kg in metros as unseasonal rains damage crop’ (October 19). While the government attributes the rise to the sluggish arrival in mandis amid reports of crop damage owing to unseasonal rains, the worrisome situation is more the handiwork of powerful brokers’ lobby/commission agents, who virtually controlling the supply chain.

However, one should not even mistakenly assume that our farming community is gaining as a result the current spike in prices. It is the brokers’ lobby which has all along been manipulating the demand-supply position of various food products and enriching themselves.

Vinayak G

New Delhi

Vaccination drive

This refers to ‘India administered over 98 crore total vaccine doses’ (October 19). The milestone of administering one billion doses is likely to be achieved soon. The vaccine drive has managed to overcome challenges like ensuring availability of vaccines, pricing, adequate spacing between doses and setting up mechanisms to ensure that it reaches all sections of society, so very essential for the resumption of economic activities.

The drive has to guard against the risk of plateauing and complacency setting in. Export of vaccines should not be at the cost of their availability at home.

N Sadhasiva Reddy

Bengaluru

Published on October 19, 2021

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