Paying the price of devaluation
With reference to Gaurav Choudhury’s article Life Line of a Rupee (The Big Story, August 25), the article reminds me of the days when I, along with my father, used to buy 40 seers of wheat flour for just Rs 16. But now the same would cost over Rs 1,000. When I was in school, I used to get two paise as pocket money and yet I was able to save one paisa. The Indian government’s decision to devalue the rupee in 1966 and then in 1991 to increase exports completely backfired. The devaluation of the rupee resulted in an increase in the costs of imports. India depends on oil imports from other countries for its energy requirements and thus the price of oil and transport went up and eventually the price of all essential commodities shot up. It is high time the government took measures to arrest the rupee’s free fall.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh
Politics outweighed economics
With reference to the article Gamble on growth (Chanakya, August 25), a ban on gold and silver imports and curbs on Indian firms investing abroad can help restrict the outflow of foreign currency. However, if we want to usher in growth, we must foster a conducive environment for foreign direct investment (FDI). The fact that Singapore is the most sought-after destination for FDI by Indian companies suggests that India’s economic crisis is also due to domestic factors, including the policy paralysis that led to a loss of confidence among investors. To make matters worse, the food security Bill will now add to the fiscal deficit. It is appalling that the UPA could not strike a balance between its economic and political goals.
Bal Govind, Noida
I completely agree with the measures that Chanakya has suggested to boost investment sentiment. Raising petrol and diesel prices by R 4-5 per litre will help the government pare its deficit, though many eyebrows will be raised over it. Real estate companies should cut prices and make housing affordable. This will not only bring in more funds but will also generate employment. But unfortunately the real estate sector thrives on illegally mined sand and we must not ignore the environmental cost of this. It is time that instead of relying on river sand, we looked at other alternatives like sand dust and fly ash.
Shriram Bapat, via email
The case of the missing coal files
With reference to Indrajit Hazra’s article De-file the system (Red Herring, August 25), the UPA government’s conduct and the numerous scams that have taken place under its watch have proved that truth is stranger than fiction. It is baffling that some files pertaining to coal blocks allocated from 1993 to 2005 have gone missing. This is nothing short of a blatant misuse of power. It is undeniable that the UPA is the most corrupt government the country has ever had.
Ravi Vats, via email
The tough and tumble of his job
With reference to Karan Thapar’s Devil’s advocacy (Sunday Sentiments, August 25), I believe that an interviewer should not be biased because of public opinion and his real job is to test the very basis of an interviewee’s argument. What is the point of asking questions if the answers are already in the public domain? In fact, every interviewer should play devil’s advocate to identify weak points in an argument.
Anshul Mittal, via email
Thapar may pat his own back for cleverly stumping IAS officer Ashok Khemka with uneasy questions on his show but he is still missing the big picture — the gross misuse of power and position.
M Ratan, via email