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Letters to the Editor: December 21, 2018

Reduce validity of demand drafts

Reserve Bank of India and Union Finance Ministry should look into the serious issue of black money transactions through benami demand drafts/pay orders where such instruments continue to be exchanged like currency. Even there exist certain firms which act like a sort of ‘banker’ where demand drafts/pay orders made in their names are easily accepted in markets, and these firms give cash after deducting their commission to holder of such demand drafts on a date nearing validity period.

Now, with numerous households connected with banks under ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’, stress should be on banking transactions replacing cash dealings. Validity of demand drafts should be further reduced to 45 days with the compulsion of printing name and account number/address of purchasers on these instruments. Demand drafts/pay orders of above Rs 10,000 may generally not be made from cash. Travellers Cheques and Gift Cheques in different denominations should be re-introduced for ease of carrying and gift money without risk and reducing cash transactions while promoting bank transactions.

Madhu Agrawal

 Two bank strikes to affect badly

Total banking system is likely to be paralysed with bank officers and other staff-unions of public sector banks going on strike on December 21, 2018, and December 26, 2018, with only December 24, 2018, being the banking day with three holidays of Saturday, Sunday and Christmas Day. It is unfortunate that officers and staff unions conspirated to have the strike on two nearing different dates in a bid to paralyse banking system harassing the common public.

Bank strikes have become a usual phenomenon requiring some permanent solution. Recommendations of the Pay Commission should be applicable for all Public Sector Undertakings including banks. Even persons on top posts like the President, Vice President and Supreme Court judges should get salaries and post-retirement benefits equivalent to the highest paid bureaucrat. To overcome extra expenditure caused by bringing bank staff at parity with government employees, complete plan of merger of all the public sector banks in some selected anchor-banks should be implemented at the earliest for drastic cut in overheads due to so many different banks and the further possibility of merger of nearing bank branches. Shortage of staff will turn into excess of staff which can provide much needed seven day per week banking services without any holiday by giving employees two rather than present one and half weekly holiday.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

 Loan waivers are not beneficial

The agenda of loan waivers that the Congress party is pursuing is in no way beneficial to the economy as a whole. Rahul Gandhi said, “We will not let Modi sleep till he waives farmer’s loans”. Increasing loan waivers will mean a greater fiscal burden on the economy and the government which in return may slow down the GDP growth in the long run. In the pursuit of power, the country’s economic development should not be sacrificed.


 All states should give a hand to the farmers

Two days after the newly elected Congress governments announced farm loan waivers in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced a similar relief for thousands of farmers and their families, clearing short term loans of up to Rs 2 lakh from co-operative and nationalised banks. Now the Congress, of course, will have to suffer some difficulties to maintain the budget in all three states, but the step of waiver was the most pressing need of the hour as the farmers are being ignored all around the country. Now, all the BJP-led government states also should come forward to give a helping hand to the farmers who are living under the burden of loans.

FT Mulla

 The Centre is yet to help Tamil Nadu

It was shocking to learn that the Centre is yet to release the Tamil Nadu’s due share of Rs 1,000 crore from the State Disaster Relief Fund to carry out relief and restoration work after Cyclone Gaja. The cyclone has created extensive damage in the state’s fertile delta region. It shows the low priority of the central government towards the suffering people who are yet to get proper accommodation for their survival. Some families even lost their breadwinners in the cyclone. The government should consider that the people of the state, particularly in coastal areas are in desperate situation and so it must provide them the financial support as soon as much.

Mohd Usmani

 Congress should move on

Congress should move on now that the Rafale deal has been dusted, sealed and given a green signal by the Supreme Court. The highest court’s verdict should be respected and the political parties should not waste the precious time of the nation further to debate on an issue that needs no further investigations. It is we, the people, who elect a government and we must have faith in the representatives we elect, more so on matters that are sensitive and cannot be disclosed due to security reasons. Rafale deal made a lot of noise in the media but I hope that the aircrafts remain silent and we never ever have to use them for warfare and most of our border disputes get settled with peace talks. Wishful hoping peace returns and we concentrate on development and progress rather than on arms and warfare in future!

SN Kabra

 Fire in hospitals

Through Afternoon Voice, I have written extensively on fire prevention. The hospitals are not carrying out fire safety audits. Carrying out regular fire drills is very important. In doing this, they may include willing persons who come to care for the patients. I have seen that many such “sage wala” are quite fit and helpful including a transgender, whom I saw caring for others in the ward at Sion hospital. Being alert and active is important. Escape routes must be marked by retro reflective tapes, not very high from the ground. In a smoke laden atmosphere, bend down and escape (not walking or running straight). Be confident and don’t cry or panic.

Mahendra Singh

 I thank ISRO for its incredible job

Really it makes us feel proud to see that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) working hard to equip the country with modern tools, as it launched the GSAT-7A, a geostationary communication satellite, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. This new satellite, along with GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, dubbed the “Indian Angry Bird”, will form the band of communications satellites for use by the Indian military. I extend my deepest congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for this incredible achievement. The entire country feels proud of ISRO to keep on innovating and setting high standards of scale, achievements and success. I wish India to go further ahead in science and technology and to attain all equipment of modern technology.

Mohd Faheem

 Another case of fire

I am totally shaken by this news that at least 10 people, including a 6 months old baby, died and 157 were injured after a major fire broke out at the state-run ESIC Kamgar hospital in Andheri East on Monday. It is also shocking that one victim jumped from the fourth floor to escape the blaze and died after crashing to the ground. A matter of great concern is that many incidents of fire have happened repeatedly in this year, so the administration should take this incident to heart and after finishing the process of investigation the culprits should be punished.

A Zafar

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