This refers to the Quick Edit “To lend or not to lend,” Mint, 3 January. Your support of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) diktats against the use of strong-arm tactics on defaulters is incorrect. RBI has no field experience in giving retail loans or recovering them. Commercial banks (private, public and foreign) are reasonable. Their verbal and written reminders as well as inspections/frequent visits by bank officials go unheeded by borrowers. Bankers are held accountable for non-performing assets. In fact, RBI’s directions, though unintended, go against the public. Banks might ignore retail loan applicants in the future. As you’ve rightly stated, such people with low or unstable incomes are often ineligible for bank finance and resort to street loans from money lenders.
- K.V. Rao
Bharat Karnad has really hit the nail on the head in his article, “Count Pakistan as a blessing”, Mint, 2 January. Few of us appreciate that what may appear to be a state created out of nowhere gives us strategic depth. We have a neighbour who has to contend with Afghanistan and Iran, two countries that are always in the news for the wrong reasons. Congratulations once again for seeing things from a different perspective. Hope someone in the North/South block understands and appreciates your article!
- Major M.P. Singh
Here are a few thoughts on your editorial “Young guns”, Mint, 2 January. Your hopes of the “cloistered realms” of the Union finance ministry getting a whiff of fresh air by the induction of student interns is misplaced, if you see the gradual easing out of economists, the latest being Parthasarathi Shome.
If some undergraduate interns of business schools should have a grounding in public administration, why not lead them into municipalities, district administrations or state governments which are nearer to people and projects than the exalted finance ministry.
Further, when you say the proposal stops at internship and proceed to advocate extending internship to jobs, it amounts to an attempt to short-circuit the established recruitment process, where there are more eligible candidates than the elitist one restricted to business schools students.
A few months back, your paper reported the proposal of an international business school to send its students to advise state legislators on how to formulate schemes that would serve their constituency and people, as if these green-horn undergraduate students can have a grasp of even the topography of the assembly constituency, leave aside the myriad problems its people face than the politician who lives there and knows the problems of his people.
In short, these moves are half-baked and fancy. They need wider and informed public debate.
The proposals of the government, the Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India need to be issued first as consultation papers, inviting public and expert views, before embarking on them.
- S. Subramanyan
Our finance minister, P. Chidambaram, at times and sometimes once a week, tells the people that India will achieve a gross domestic product growth rate of 9%.
He also further tells that he is thinking of a cut in tax rates, with so many “ifs” and “buts” and “provided thats”.
Another pet subject on which he speaks frequently is some direct code Bill, which will replace the present Income-tax Act, but this code is stated to be ready and will be presented along with a discussion paper which is not yet ready.
I do not understand what is the need of speaking on these subjects repeatedly. Will it make a difference if he keeps quiet and speaks only after implementation?
- S.C. Aggarwal