Look at poverty as well

Look at poverty as well

The India Economic Forum of the World Economic Forum (WEF) discussed many issues in its recent summit in New Delhi. But the forum was silent on the problems of 90% of India’s population. I request the leaders of WEF to discuss its role in removing poverty, at least from the villages where members of India Economic Forum were born. Recently, a television channel showed that even basic amenities were not available in Chorwad village in Gujarat, the birth place of Dhirubhai Ambani.

—S.C. Aggarwal

This refers to the articles on the eve of the Bali conference on climate change, Mint, 3 December.

Several issues come to mind. Let’s not forget that 150 million affluent Indians belch out as much CO2 as France and the UK combined. If these countries accept an emission control regime, why can’t we? Morally, this is not tenable.

The West has prospered because of its industry. We do not share in this prosperity and thereby the ensuing pollution caused when we supplied the goods and services that their extravagant lifestyle demanded. Every product, by and large, directly or indirectly, causes pollution. Both the consumer and the producer should equally share its burden.

In the 11th Plan, India plans to add some 80,000MW to its existing 130,000MW electricity generation capacity, fuelled largely by coal. Around 30% of this can be met if we can reduce our transmission and distribution losses (largely theft) by 20%. This is eminently feasible.

If we really want to control global warming, we should ban the use of all polluting technology, just as we ban drugs that were once effective but are now found to be harmful. A few percentage point dips in our illusory gross domestic product should not deter us. We should be more concerned about human development. Otherwise, it may save us the day but will soon cost us the earth.

—M. Bhowmik

This refers to the story “Talent retention seen as major issue for banks across sectors", Mint, 28 November. It is interesting to see that the top brass of public sector banks are recognizing (though late, as is usual with the public sector) the flight of talented human capital.

Public sector banks have, in effect, become a training ground for officers of private banks. The public sector banks make huge investments to train entry- level officers. But when they are about to become profitable to the banks in five-seven years, these officers jump ship to private banks because of poor salaries and growth prospects.

A great mistake was committed by these banks in the last industry-wise wage settlements when the junior officers of the banks had been rewarded by the worst pay increase in the history.

Yet, the opportunity to reward young talent will emerge since the latest wage settlement for banks is due this November.

—Ravi Kant