Some justified insecurity

Some justified insecurity

It is disingenuous to suggest that banks have failed to take banking to rural India solely due to difficulties in identifying account holders (“Against insecurity", Mint, 30 April). Significant problems exist, including lack of reliable electricity and other infrastructural shortfalls. The UID, or Unique ID, programme (sensibly) is careful to take no responsibility at all for addressing any of these severe problems: As and when we achieve 60% registration, we will find ourselves all dressed up with no place to go. On that note, sadly, we will all be emperors with new clothes of a most transparent nature, for privacy abuse of the UID system is all but inevitable, as the recent phone-tapping case demonstrates.

— Vickram Crishna

I congratulate you on publishing the editorial “Against insecurity"(Mint, 30 April) on the Unique ID, or UID, programme.

In my opinion, even if UID is a threat, there are a number of ways—through regulations—to handle it. And “ensuring that money due to poor citizens reaches them is a much bigger concern" and UID is meant to pave way for this assurance. I am quite confident that, as a bonus, UID will also help in tracking those who have entered our country illegally.

— Anil Gupta

I have generally found the columns by V. Anantha Nageswaran to be fresh, logical and clear. However, I was confused with the arguments in the article, “A state of imbalance" (Bare Talk, Mint, 4 May). For example, at one place, it has been argued that in the case of China, “the easier and more effective solution to raising consumption lies in raising investment income... this will come at a cost, namely, reduced corporate profits and reduced investment, which is what rebalancing demands". Investment income in financial markets is of two types—in the equity market and in the bank deposit/debt market. And, thanks partly to low interest rates, the equity market in China has boomed.

On the other hand, raising interest rates may increase interest income, but would surely lead to losses in the equity market. And, who is to say that interest income would more than compensate for losses in equities, and, therefore, lead to higher investment income overall? Again, one would imagine that raising interest rates could as well lead to higher, not lower, savings in the deposit/debt market.

Overall, it is difficult to accept the proposition that raising interest rates would increase consumption. It would surely reduce investments, further increasing the savings-investment gap and hence the surplus on current account. Is this what rebalancing demands?

Or, is there something which I am missing out?

— A.V. Rajwade

This refers to Raghu Raman’s “Post-Kasab, the war must go on" (Mint, 6 May). The writer rightly points out that giving the death sentence to Ajmal Kasab will not end the 26/11 case. For that we will have to try and get to the root of this, so that all those who are guilty can be brought to justice.

That root is Pakistan. India has given evidence time and again that it is Pakistan’s territory which is being used to nurture and develop terrorists who create havoc across the world.

Now, after the recent event at Times Square in New York, and with the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, at least the US should give serious thought to viewing Pakistan from a different angle. It cannot afford to turn a blind eye to Pakistan, just because they are allies.

What is also curious here is that not only did US authorities arrest this man in no time, Pakistan also did not waste any time in arresting suspects. So why did Pakistan react so quickly in this case—just because it was the US that was the victim, and not India?

— Bal Govind