Balance welfare with growth
Ashok Gulati and Pritha Banerjee write in their column “Taming the 3Fs” (October 28) that the food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies can be cut through conditional cash transfers. This is a more saner poistion to take than calling for an outright scrapping of the subsidies, especially the Food Security Act, that some of your columnists so fondly refer to as the “in-the-name-of-poor” schemes. The problem with the latter group is that they see loopholes in implementation as grounds to question the premise of the policy itself. Every social welfare activity will come at the cost of having a tax-heavy regime and every corporate tax holiday will eat into expenditure on the people’s well being. Academics like Gulati seek to strike a balance between the two while the others just push an ideology and agenda blindly.
A voluntary recall of their cars by Toyota—because of defective airbags—and now Maruti Suzuki recalling 3,796 units of its recently-launched car, Ciaz, for inspection and replacement of faulty clutch parts, shows the two companies commitment to quality. This commendable step taken by the shows that the companies have the courage to accept that there is flaw in their products and are ready to fix these. Like the Western countries, where they have an explicit policy on safety related defective-product recalls,India, too, needs concrete consumer laws on recall of products with manufacturing defect, if they pose safety concerns.
TS Karthik, Chennai
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