This refers to the article, “India’s cops get Orwellian”, Amit Varma, Mint, 6 September. I wish to express my dissent and say that Orkut communities have a responsibility not to misuse democratic freedom. While I have every right to oppose the President or anyone else on ideological grounds, though it is my duty to exercise that right whenever required, I have no right to express my hatred in an undemocratic manner. I have to observe that discipline and only then I will enjoy my freedom. My own experience with many newspapers is that many times, my dissenting views find no place. However, no one has curbed my right to express dissent in a democratic manner. To that extent, Varma is lucky: His views are published in Mint
—Narendra M. Apte
Tamal Bandyopadhyay has made a very valid point in his article, “It’s time India opted for a super regulator”, Mint, 10 September, on the holding company plans of SBI and ICICI Bank on the one hand and RBI’s discussion paper on the other. The holding company concept, irrespective of how these companies are structured, needs to be examined from all angles.
Already, in a newspaper article, a financial sector expert has said that holding companies should be subject only to the Companies Act and not answerable to other regulators. Such a free run for holding companies can lead to scams in the future.
Prima facie, however, it seems that creating such nebulous entities without attempting a fundamental structural overhaul of the current maze of regulators is premature. The ball is firmly in the court of the finance minister, who should make up his mind what India’s 21st century financial super-regulator should look like. Hasty steps in creating such nebulous structures would, apart from giving loopholes for financial sector scams in the future, tend to alter the control and ownership of state- owned banks and financial institutions, thus stepping on a political landmine.
I found S. Mitra Kalita’s column, “Two Indias in the US, too”, Mint, 7 September, very strange. I fail to understand why you would be taking up for illegal immigrants. I also fail to understand what benefit the US will derive from them, in comparison to the better educated immigrants.
Rather than absorbing illegals, (most of whom are not highly skilled or educated), the US would be benefited if it let in more skilled and educated immigrants. They will earn more, spend more and increase productivity.
This is in reference to your editorial, “Green power”, Mint, 7 September, where you argue in favour of price-based incentives for green power.
The first question that comes to mind is: Who is going to pay this premium for the green power?
Yes, it is true that this is a successful model in developed countries. But in a country such as India, where people steal electricity and where the government controls the price of petrol by giving subsidies which result in losses for the oil companies, do you really think anyone will pay a premium for green energy? If the output goal is to make the renewable companies more competitive, then the government should allow full depreciation for the capital goods used, rather than the current 80%.
People in developed countries have huge disposable income. So, they are ready to support renewable energy. But India is a country where 50% of rural homes still do not have access to electricity. In such a scenario, how can we think about premiums? To make the renewable companies more competitive, demand for energy should be increased. The premium will come automatically.