Letters

Use PMC bond funds wisely

| Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 27, 2017

This refers to “Clean up act” (June 27). Kudos to Pune Municipal Corporation to raise ₹200 cr through bonds. Now, it is critical that this money is utilised most judiciously in a time-bound manner. As a country, we fare poorly at implementation. Most States’ finances are a shambles and they need something like this to fund their civic infrastructure needs.

Bal Govind

Noida

A prudent move?

The bond issue is slated to cover in time ₹2,500 crore. The first tranche of ₹200 crore must be seen against the loss of ₹156 crore in 2015-16. Is the bond then meant to balance revenue accounts? If so its purpose is seriously flawed ab initio. Bonds are subject to investment ratings by independent agencies and coupon rates would go up as ratings dip. The resultant rise in debt burden would make its servicing tough. The PMC has an annual budget of around ₹4,000 crore. Half of this is salaries. If it has a pension scheme, the liabilities are open-ended. Remember, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy largely on pension payouts. Is there a master plan for developing Pune with a realistic time-frame, to ensure rapid growth and highly enhanced revenue to cover accruing liabilities, be it bond issues or loans from institutions? Hope and enthusiasm are fair-weather companions but raw economics is a hard task master and a merciless usurer.

R Narayanan

Ghaziabad

New education policy welcome

That the Centre has constituted a nine-member committee under the leadership of eminent scientist Dr K Kasturirangan to formulate a new education policy for the country is welcome. One hopes it would be comprehensive and flexible suiting the needs of the job market and the great cultural tradition of the nation. Needless to say, the effectiveness of any educational policy hinges on teachers who are entrusted with the task of taking it to the students and the society at large.

S Ramakrishnasayee

Ranipet

All eyes on Modi, Trump meet

The meeting between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Modi is being watched by the entire world community very closely. From India’s standpoint, the mention of Hizb-ul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin’s name in the joint statement issued by India and US assumes great significance. In a way it vindicates India’s stand that Pakistan is fomenting trouble in border areas and is actively supporting terror activities on Indian soil. It is evident that Modi and Trump have developed a personal rapport which should go a long way in cementing India’s bilateral ties with the US.

K Ashok Kumar

KOLKATA

India’s interests ignored

The interests of India needed to be squared with those of America, given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘India First’ and US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ mantras. How much of it has been achieved in the Modi-Trump summit is not easily quantifiable. The negotiations scripted by US mandarins carefully skirted the major sticking points of H-1B visas to Indian IT professionals, climate change and trade to save the high-profile leaders the embarrassment of having to deal with them.

There was no rethink by Donald Trump of his accusation that US tech companies are using cheap Indian labour, his unfounded charge that India made participation in the climate change programme contingent upon billions in foreign aid and the protectionist trade barriers put up by him. For all his ‘communication skills’, Modi did not achieve much success in convincing Trump that ‘India’s rise is in America’s interest’.

The US has conferred the status of a strategic partner on India with the express purpose of positioning it as a counterweight to China. Washington’s acknowledgement of India as a “victim of terror” was at bottom self-centred – it was to facilitate defence deals and arms sale. India is now all set to procure Predator drones ‘made in US’. It is significant that India-Pakistan relations dominated the India-US talks, deflecting attention from thorny issues between India and the US.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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Published on June 27, 2017
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