Letters

Letters to the Editor dated January 13, 2022

George Verghese 4772 | Updated on: Jan 13, 2022

Deposit rates

With reference to new report This has reference to ‘It’s time savers got their due’ (January 13), the earnings out of deposits after accounting for inflation and income tax are meagre. This has been the case always in a falling interest rate scenario. As against a maximum of about 5 per cent interest rate on deposits, the highest tenor MCLR is around 7.50 per cent plus the mark up of banks, indicating that there is a case for rationalisation.

The pricing of deposit interest rates needs a relook as many people depend on such income only for their livelihood. The way lending rates are linked to MCLR, an uniform pricing methodology is required for deposits. The operating cost on term deposits is virtually negligible vis-à-vis saving deposits and this benefit should be passed on to the depositors. Banks may also offer deposits with interest rates linked to MIBOR (Mumbai Inter-Bank Offer Rate) so that depositors will get benefits of real time rate movements. On the income-tax front more concessions are required for pensioners and senior citizens who depend on deposit interest for survival.

M Raghuraman

Mumbai

Vaccine dilemma

Apropos ‘ Covaxin booster shot works against Omicron, Delta: Study’ (January 13), of late, there are contradictory statements issued by different agencies, both at the national as well as international levels, as regards the efficacy of Covaxin, Covishield, etc., in fighting against the impending third wave led by the Omicron variant. This is causing a lot of confusion in the minds of people, especially senior citizens who have had earlier taken the Covishield vaccine.

The Health Ministry must immediately issue a statement as booster dose has already been initiated in several States. In case Covaxin is more efficient in attacking the Omicron variant in the virus, the Central as well as the State governments should make that clear.

Katuru Durga Prasad Rao

Hyderabad

Govt stake in Vodafone

Apropos ‘Wrong call’ (January 13), it is rather intriguing that the government has chosen to convert the dues owed to equity in Vodafone Idea, especially when it has made its intent clear to get out of other businesses in other sectors.

All the present stress in the telecom sector must be laid at the door of the then CAG Vinod Rai, who, with his ₹1.86-lakh crore presumptive loss theory, has managed to cripple the once booming telecom sector.

The government may want to avoid a duopoly in the sector. But this is not the way to go about it. If privatisation is touted to be the panacea for loss of efficiency, let those who cannot swim, drown.

Anthony Henriques

Mumbai

With the kind of massive operational losses we have seen with government-run BSNL and MTNL, the government is not the most suitable contender to own this private telecom company. Moreover, the government itself is in the process of divesting from divestment in many PSUs, so it becomes highly contradictory.

If we look at the telecom sector it is mainly a duopoly between Airtel and Reliance Jio, so asking any private company to own this shares of Voda-Idea would have been a better choice. But if the government persists, this solution should be looked at as a short-term approach with the government desisting from day-to-day operations any only where the government must not engage with any operational work. Because as when our economy recovers from the pandemic shock is recovering from this pandemic driven shock, the last thing it needs which we can afford is the collapse of this private telecom player.

Bal Govind

Noida

Need for credit growth

Apropos ‘It’s time savers got their due’ (January 13), the proposal for standard exemption for bank depositors will be a populistic move if introduced. Against the theory, the prevailing net negative return failed to boost the consumption led economic stimulation . So the credit off-take is sluggish. At present, banks are having excess liquidity and the credit growth is not enough to suck the available liquidity. Introduction of standard exemption will increase the liquidity level, forcing banks to reduce the deposit interest rate so as to maintain their NIM.

Along with the standard exemption, the government needs to announce the plans for boosting the credit growth. Alternatively, the exemption limit for interest income for senior citizens to be increased to ₹1,00,000. This will help those who are solely depending on the interest income to meet their expenditure without withdrawing their life time savings.

Arunachalam.

Mysuru

Pakistan’s peace moves

Apropos ‘Pakistan’s new security policy seeks peace with India: Report’ (January 13), it goes without saying that Pakistan should not be trusted and taken at face value even as its new security policy reportedly talks about “not seeking hostility with India for the next 100 years” while claiming that the economic security and seeking peace with its neighbours will be the central theme thereof. For sure, Pakistan suddenly trying to turn dovish evokes suspicion. And, who knows, all this could be a part of its yet another hidden game plan in connivance with the expansionist Dragon.

Significantly, Pakistan has not yet provided transit to India’s aid of 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan nor does it permit trade of Indian goods to Afghanistan via its land borders, for which India is understood to have now decided to take the Iran route. Pakistan has some way to go to prove its credentials before it can ever be taken seriously by the world community.

Vinayak G

New Delhi

Published on January 13, 2022

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