Apropos the news item ‘Fodder availability will be primary concern in coming days’ (September 15), it is disturbing to note the concerns raised by the Union Agriculture Minister that there is a looming shortage of fodder for animals and called for the advice of policy-makers and entrepreneurs to resolve the issue.

Animal food experts can think of experimenting with the stubble available in plenty during harvest season to process it and make it available as part of grain supplement, forage and pasture.

This could resolve the seasonal issue of burning the stubble wastes in farm lands and the resultant air pollution.

RV Baskaran


Atmanirbhar in coal

According to a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) report, India will need a further up to 28 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power generating capacity by 2032, in addition to the under-construction coal-based plants with a capacity of 25 GW, with the demand for power rising to 8.66 lakh MW in the year 2031-32.

The domestic coal requirement in 2031-32 has been estimated at 1018.2 million tonnes (mt), an increase from 527 mt in 2021-22. According to the Coal Ministry, India holds geological resources of coal of 319 billion tonnes and proven resources of 108 billion tonnes to meet its demand for decades. Still, India imported 209 mt of coal in 2021-22.

So India’s dependence on coal-fired plants for power generation will only increase over the years; self-sufficiency (atmanirbharata) in coal production looks a distant dream.

At the Glasgow summit last year, India pledged reduction of one billion tonnes by 2030.

However, the draft National Electricity Plan states that total CO2 emissions will increase from 910 mt in 2020-21 to 1180 mt in 2031-32. Faced with the galloping demand for energy, India’s immediate aim has to be to attain self-sufficiency in coal supply.

Haridasan Rajan


US Fed imperatives

This refers to ‘Growing ineffectiveness of monetary policy’ (September 15). The opening remarks of Fed Chairman at the Jackson Hole meet, clearly gives a clue on the future policy measures of US regulators.

The US policy makers erred in their assessment when Covid was at its peak by prioritising ‘growth’ over inflation and resorting to an ultra-loose monetary policy by bringing down interest rates to a record level. Now Fed is raising rates to curb inflation. This has put all emerging market economies including India and their policymakers in a tailspin.

The RBI is using all its ammunitions to tame inflation keeping an eye on growth. As rightly indicated by the FM in a recent seminar, inflation need to be jointly tackled by synchronising monetary policy with fiscal policy without sacrificing growth.

Rather than using repo rate alone to control inflation, it is time for RBI policy-makers to look at measures like providing export incentives and using other tools.

Srinivasan Velamur


Tread with caution 

The government of India will be virtually throwing the SBI under the bus, if it accedes to the FIEO’s request to make that bank as facilitator for rupee trade with Russia. State Bank of India is the biggest commercial bank of the country with a large international presence.

A sizable portion of country's forex payments and receipts as also international business is transacted through SBI. If the bank were to come under Western sanctions as a consequence of its acting as facilitating bank for rupee trade with Russia, it will deal a body blow, not only to the bank , but the country too. There have been instances in the past when the bank faced difficulties in conducting business in the US and dealings with Federal Reserve following the bank’s continued transactions with Iran when it was sanctioned by the West.

The government should carefully examine FIEO’s proposal. It would be advisable for the government to choose one of the banks with limited international presence.

MP Muralidharan


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