Russian President Vladimir Putin’s short visit to India for an annual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again affirmed the enduring strategic partnership between the two countries despite India’s growing pivot towards US in recent years in the backdrop of Chinese military belligerence along the LAC.
The fact that more than 28 agreements and MOUs were signed and the programme for technical and military cooperation was extended bears a clear testament to India’s commitment to assert itself as an independent and sovereign power by ignoring sanctions threat from US for inking defence deals with Russia.
This refers to the report “Nov Bollywood releases inject life into box office” (December 7). Like tourism, the film industry suffered heavily due to corona effect. Not only releases but restrictions on film shooting for underproduction movies were an additional blow. Despite only a few releases in November, the industry’s box-office collections were almost close to those of 2019. This shows how strong the hold of Bollywood movies is on the public.
Focus on inflation
The Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI, which is meeting again, can no longer keep assuming that inflation is a transitory risk. Globally, central banks are fast realising this as inflation keeps creeping up.
According to the IMF, the average global inflation in 2021 has increased to 4.3 per cent, although, the inflation in India has moderated from 6.2 per cent in 2020 to 5.6 per cent in 2021. But it is perilously close to the upper limit of the RBI’s tolerance level of 6 per cent.
High commodity prices have resulted in manufacturers across the board passing on the price pressure to end-consumers. While the inflation was attributed to supply bottlenecks so far, with growth momentum picking up, the demand side pressure would increase.
It is, therefore, unlikely that the RBI may be able to hold the rates at these levels for long. It will probably have to act sooner than later and address the elephant in the room.
N Sadhasiva Reddy
Many media reports say that Omicron is quickly becoming the dominant coronavirus variant, with a few cases now being detected in India. It is important now to introduce the booster dose — like 30 other countries have — to prevent further outbreaks and loss of lives. Most people are seen wearing masks on their chin, without covering their nose and mouth properly. Such careless behaviour will only lead a spike in cases. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Save food crops
Weather vagaries like droughts and floods have been causing damage to food crops across the world. International media houses have long been highlighting issues like the risk of rising food shortage and poverty.
Many parts of the world have been losing crops to torrential rain from time to time. In India, there is need for a large number of modern storage facilities. The UN and other global bodies should come together and find ways to save food crops at the earliest.
P Senthil Saravana Durai
Assist informal workers
This is with reference to ‘More than 10 crore unorganised workers register on e-SHRAM portal’ (December 7). Covid-19 is a wake-up call to the government that the unorganised sector in the country needs to be taken care of.
There should be more schemes for the benefit of informal workers, including disability cover, accident insurance, health and maternity benefits, pension, old-age homes, education of children, etc. Corporate houses should assist the government with funds from their CSR budgets.
On their part, the citizens can help by buying items made locally. Nations are built by their people.
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