This is with reference to ‘Banks should perform or be privatised’ by Charan Singh (July 8). The fact is, when going is great no one thinks twice; it is only when times are bad that one starts thinking about one’s mistakes. That is precisely what’s happening in our banking sector.

The current NPA and PAT figures are scary and the Government must keep a close tab on this. Recapitalising PSU banks will be the easiest thing to do but not a wise move in today’s scenario. It is high time these banks have performance-driven pay.

Bal Govind


Although Singh suggests privatisation of PSBs as a solution for the increasing NPAs in them, it is easier said than done. Private banks are showing less NPAs and more profits because generally they can exercise a degree of choice in lending to borrowers and are not bound by priority sector lending norms.

They give loans to less risky ventures and carry out merchant banking activity, as against rural borrowers in the case of PSBs. PSBs can reduce their NPAs, if and only if they are freed from the shackles of unscrupulous borrowers and corrupt politicians.

K Ashok Kumar


The history and evolution of Indian banking during the last four decades do not take one to the solution suggested, namely privatisation. With the exception of State Bank of India, Indian banking sector was under private ownership for decades after Independence.

The need to nationalise was felt in the context of the refusal of private sector to cater to the development needs of the country, including taking banking service to semi-urban and rural areas and meeting the credit needs of small borrowers.

Such responsibilities are still met by PSBs. This is evident from the fact that post-nationalisation, the residual and new private sector banks together could, till date, manage a market share of less than 30 per cent in the country’s banking business.

MG Warrier


Taking pulse

This refers to the editorial, ‘Protein plan’ (July 8). Pulses are the necessary provider of protein to the masses, especially to the vegetarians. Also, it is an essential constituent of a nutritious balanced diet.

However, with its continuing high prices, it has become a luxury. It does not augur well for India, being a self-sufficient agricultural economy, to import pulses from foreign markets. Having all the technological know-how, India has the capacity to produce surplus.

The Government must intervene and increase the MSP of pulses to make it more lucrative for farmers. Special agro-based loans can be provided exclusively for pulses farming.

Gaurav Singhal

Rewari, Haryana

The irony is, India is the largest producer, consumer and importer of pulses in the world. This heavily pulse-centric nation also has a very price sensitive market; consumers demand more pulses if incomes rise and vice-versa.

Pulses demand is estimated to touch 26-36 million tonnes in the future. Tackling this demand is very important. Astutely-timed release of government pulse stocks would keep prices controlled.

In addition, strengthening price monitoring to sense market trends and to import earlier than later to pre-empt exporter’s price manipulations would also need a higher level of political will.

R Narayanan



In the report ‘Calcutta Business School to launch two new PG courses, redesign one’ (Kolkata edition, June 22), Akhilesh Kumar, Director, Calcutta Business School, was cited as ‘formerly the Dean at MIT Sloan School of Management.’ The MIT Sloan School of Management has clarified that Kumar has not been affiliated with the institution in any capacity. The error is regretted.

In the report ‘Railways may seek assured container cargo for lowering tariffs’ (July 6), the Global Knowledge Foundation was wrongly named as World Knowledge Forum. The error is regretted.


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