I agree with the views of S. Mitra Kalita (“Please, Airtel, hear my call”, Mint, 28 August). Not just Airtel, it is the state of every service provider, be it a bank, an insurance company, a telecom operator, et al. She has rightly pointed out that the majority of the chaos is due to execution-level workforce that lacks both the tools as well as quality training for query resolution. The point that outsourced agencies and employees do not have a sense of ownership is also very valid. Outsourcing is definitely healthy for the profitability of the company, but it is high time the service providers realized that in the quest for cost-cutting, the situation is worsening day by day. Service providers need to encourage these outsourced agencies to improve service levels.
— Yogesh K. Gupta
You have upgraded Reserve Bank of India governor’s post by considering it as a hot seat in your excellent edit, “Cold handling of a hot seat”(Mint, 29 August).
Unfortunately, the seat is not that hot or important as claimed in your edit. The Central government has been taking important monetary policy decisions (the nationalization of 14/7 banks in 1969/1980, the big farm loan write-off that happened recently, to cite a few examples) and RBI has been playing only second fiddle to the orchestra. Whether Y.V. Reddy, the present governor, continues in office, or a new appointee assumes the post, does not matter even to CEOs of public sector banks, simply because the government has been appointing CEOs and deciding on their tenures without consulting RBI.
As for the importance of monetary policies (with a view to controlling inflation), this has lost its relevance after fiscal imprudence dominated the Indian economic scene. RBI is satisfied with increasing the bank rate or hiking the reserve ratio to show that it has these instruments to control inflation.
This is of course no reflection on the academic credentials of the people occupying such important positions. Given the political compulsions, the intelligentsia is not allowed to influence policies in our democratic set-up. The most a person faced with the dilemma of accepting a mediocre policy can do is to resign from the post. But the resignation would only pave the way for appointing another person of the government’s choice. Remember R.K. Talwar’s (former chairman of SBI) resignation? T.R. Varadachary succeeded him, which in no way helped in formulating good policies.
— K.V. Rao
Barun Mitra (“A law endangering democracy”, Mint, 21 August) is factually wrong when he says, “Our anti-defection law has made parliamentary debates pointless”. In fact, his contention that “With debates being defunct, inducements in cash or kind become necessary tools to sway legislators” is dangerous as he condones and justifies wrong practices such as “cash for vote” in the name of allowing dissent.
Every legislator standing on a party ticket has to accept and follow the party’s constitution if he wins. After all, he has been the beneficiary of the party’s funds, cadres and brand name.
In case he has differences of opinion with the party’s stand on any policy issues, he has two options available: one, he’s free to discuss the matter with the party bosses; two, if he still feels aggrieved, he’s free to resign from the party/Parliament and stand as an independent candidate or on some other party’s ticket—where again, he has to follow that party’s rules.
Political parties are empowered to maintain discipline like corporate firms. If this system is not followed in the name of “allowing dissent and revitalizing debate”, total chaos and confusion shall result and democratic traditions would be hard to maintain.
— Ashok Gupta