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Letters to the Editor: 05 June, 2019

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The muck must stop here

Storm water drains are crucial for flushing flood water out of the city during the rains. Mumbai has a vast network of storm water drains. While resorting to recycling and usage of waste to its extinction, the problem of the already accumulated landfill and dumps must be resolved. Experts have suggested gasification as an effective way of converting waste into energy. Such possibilities should be explored to our advantage. Gasification is a process that converts organic- or fossil fuel-based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The goal, within the next 15 days, should be to attain total control on plastic disposal, create a much cleaner environment and release the capacity of clogged sewerage and storm water drains before the onset of monsoon season. It is in our larger interest to participate pro-actively in this movement and watch its progress if government would reveal the relative progress in their monthly reports and monitor progress in the best way possible. However, the muck must stop here once for all.

-C.K. Ramani

Another feather in Sitharaman’s cap

Nirmala Sitharaman is the boldest Defence Minister our country has ever had and we saw her expertise when Pakistan was silenced in couple of days after the Balakot attack. This probably is the reason why she has been rewarded with the post of Finance Minister by the Prime Minister as she comes with a background of economics and capable to steer our country out of the woods at times of economic slowdown. From being the Defence Minister to becoming the Finance Minister is a big leap for Sitharaman and truly another feather in her illustrious cap.

Simplicity, honesty and hard work are qualities on which Nirmala Sitharaman thrives and we should be proud of her achievements. This is a rare honour for somebody to hold the post of Defence and Finance in successive government formations and truly noteworthy for a woman to get that distinction. Wishing Nirmala Sitharaman the very best in her new assignment which I am sure she would carry out with distinction.

-S.N. Kabra 

Hold simultaneous polls for next Lok Sabha election

 After landslide BJP victory in recently held 2019-elections to Lok Sabha, there is large-scale defection of MLAs of other parties to BJP. Apart from this, there is also fear of fall of state-governments with thin majority in state-assemblies for which elections were held in November 2018 except in Telangana.

Prime Minister and many others have always favoured revival of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and all state-assemblies like was the system till the year 1967. The central government should take bold step of dissolving all state-assemblies except those having recently held simultaneous elections in the year 2019, like was done in the year 1977 after landslide victory of newly formed Janata Party with simultaneous elections held in November 2019 with due elections to state-assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra. It may be announced that next simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and all state-assemblies would be in February 2024 with February being most favoured month for holding elections.

-Subhash Chandra Agrawal

Merge public-sector General-Insurance companies

 It refers to public-sector National Insurance Company showing a heavy loss of rupees 2171 crores in fiscal-year 2017-18 while Oriental Insurance Company and United Insurance Company becoming profitable after having suffered heavy losses in earlier fiscal-year 2016-17. Only New India assurance Company showed adequate profit in both the fiscal years at rupees 1008 crores and 2201 crores respectively.

Talks are going on for a long time to merge three out of four public-sector companies engaged in business of General Insurance. Central government instead should merge all public-sector companies for General Insurance into one unified company to reduce unnecessary overheads. If one single public-sector Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) provides life-insurance cover under so many plans effectively, then one General Insurance Corporation of India can also be formed by merging all public-sector Insurance-companies engaged in General Insurance.

Such unified company will be able to compete more effectively with private-sector companies engaged in General Insurance in the manner that no private Insurance-company is presently able to compete with public-sector Life Insurance Corporation of India.

-Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)
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