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Letters to the Editor: 28 August, 2019

Milking RBI to meet fiscal deficit is easy way out to cover govts inefficiency

Milking RBI to meet fiscal deficit is easy way out to cover govts inefficiency in meeting tax collection numbers & other deficiencies. Transfer of Rs 1.76 lakhs is an staggering amount as well as questionable. RBI money no doubt belongs to the govt of India which is its lone & main shareholder but it is like an adult son using his wealthy fathers money without working hard to earn his livelihood to make both ends meet. It has sent an wrong precedent for future as such transfers would empty RBI coffers in the days to come.

Previous RBI governors including Urjit Patel resigned unceremoniously probably for this very reason & having an RBI governor that follows govt orderes blindly is certainly not good for an healthy economy. The markets are enthused by the windfall money to the govt but this certainly is bad for the long term as we need strong RBI reserves to act as buffer to our economy in situations of emergency. Hope this is an one time event & govt works hard in not just meeting its fiscal targets but also taking measures that helps RBI to multiply its reserves!



Let T-shirts be without Ganaraya’s picture ! 

It has become a practice since last few years to wear T-shirts with names of Ganesha-festival committees printed on them. T-shirts sold for RS.200 – 400 not only fetch funds for such festival committees but festival committee’s separate identity is also maintained when processions are taken out for bringing and immersing Ganesha-idols. Many festival-committees print Shri Ganesha’s picture along with respective festival committee’s name. We find large stock of T-shirts even in markets with pictures of Shri Ganesha printed, on front side, on them. After wearing these T-shirts for processions to bring and immerse Shri Ganesha-idols, they are dumped anyhow in cupboards or elsewhere. These T-shirts are also not handled appropriately while washing. We wear these T-shirts even while going to wash-rooms or other dirty places. Energy of any Deity is active at respective place through principle, form, smell etc wherever Deity’s picture is kept as per spiritual science; therefore, by handling T-shirts with Ganaraya’s pictures in improper manner, we are in a way, insulting Shri Ganesha. On one hand, during Ganesha-festival, we worship Ganaraya with so much devotion and on the other hand, we can unknowingly insult Him through such T-shirts. Festival committees should therefore, avoid printing Ganaraya’s picture on T-shirts while getting their T-shirts printed.

Jagan Ghanekar


Sharad Pawar can bring Congress back to power

Sharad Pawar is the only person who can bring the Congress back to power. He should be made the President of the Congress Party. Only he can save the Congress from falling apart.

Jubel D’Cruz


Permanent solution for frequent complaints about mid-day meal

It refers to shocking news about school-children being given ordinary rotis (bread) and salt in name of mid-day meal at Mirzapur (UP) funded heavily by the government being largest such programme in the world feeding about 12 crore school-children. Such social schemes have in many cases become scandalous with funds or goods allotted for the purpose are swallowed by those involved in managing the scheme at school-level. There are frequent reports of sub-standard raw-material like rice and pulses with lot of foreign ingredients being used to cook mid-day meal in schools. Apart from this complaints of finding deal lizards, rats etc are also not uncommon.

System should be to provide only packaged food within expiry-date as mentioned on packs under mid-day meal programme. It will also take care of peculiar food-habits of some children like food without onion and garlic. Members of Civil-Society have expressed fear that accepting suggestion to provide packaged biscuits procured from private companies in Mid-Day meal-scheme may be on behest of influential private sector lobby. Instead government can motivate companies to provide packaged food under Corporate-Social-Responsibility (CSR) provision for corporates.

Best will be to revive government-owned Modern Bakery with its units set up at district levels where different types of delicious and nutritious baked food-items may be produced not only for Mid-Day meal scheme but also for open market sale. Initial investment on such units can be easily recovered in the very first year of their being set up with land made available free by state-governments for public-cause. It will create employment-opportunity also for people across the country. Or else scope of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) should be increased for supplying packaged food for mid-day school-meal.

Madhu Agrawal


Remembering Gandhi on his 150th birth-anniversary

Prime Minister in his Man-ki-Baat on 25.08.2019 indicated that his government is going to celebrate 150th Gandhi birth-anniversary in a big way. It is evident that new commemorative coins are likely to be issued on 02.10.2019 along with a series of commemorative postal-stamps like were issued on Gandhi birth-centenary on 02.10.1969. But it should be ensured that commemoration of the occasion through coins should be for masses also like was on 02.10.1969 when silver-alloy coins of ten-rupee denomination were provided to general public on face-value right from date of release on 02.10.1969 like commemorative postal-stamps are sold.

It may be mentioned that later system of issue of commemorative coins on face-value was abolished and instead system of issuing only coin-sets at an exorbitant price that also through a cumbersome and unpractical system of advance-booking was introduced where also purpose of commemorating an occasion with coins was demolished with booked coin-sets reaching to aspirants after months of release of coins but only to VVIPs on the date of issue.

Silver-alloy coin-sets should have face-value about double the metal-value at time of release and must be available to general public at face-value through convenient sale-points like philatical-counters, all RBI offices and selected branches of private and public sector banks together with commemorative coins issued in other denominations right from date of release together with coin-sets to make masses part of commemoration through coins rather than only political rulers given coin-sets free-of-cost at the function organized to release commemorative coins.

Face-value of sliver-alloy coin to be issued on 02.10.2019 must not be unrealistic rupees 150, but can be realistic rupees 1000 so as to be issued on face-value. However to prevent fake and duplicate coins, these high-value silver-alloy coins can be packed in tamper-proof plastic-packs with serial-numbers. Likewise Coins with five-gms gold with face-value can also be issued at face-value of rupees 5000 in attractive tamperproof plastic-packs with serial numbers. All such steps will generate appreciable revenue-earning since such high-value coins never come in circulation. Sale of round-shaped silver or gold coins prepared in private sector should then be banned to further prevent manufacture of fake and duplicate coins.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

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

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