Well done, Trai
The decision taken by Trai in favour of net neutrality is certainly a shot in the arm for the Startup India action plan. It puts months of speculations about whether the internet services can be offered at differential pricing at the whims and fancies of certain networks to rest. The welcome move rightly negates Free Basics, the “free internet” gimmick posited by a social networking giant that has resorted to a high-decibel multi-media advertising campaign to safeguard its monopoly and woo consumers by offering ‘free’ internet on subscription. With the mushrooming of start-ups by the day, an ecosystem that hinges on a free and open world wide web, Trai’s ruling couldn’t have come up at a better time—when a level playing field among the multiple network players was the need of the hour for a large country such as India which has low net penetration and usage pattern is still at evolving stage.
R Prabhu Raj
Apropos of the editorial “New labour paradigm”, The Financial Express points out that the wages of the labour force are falling. The fact is that the government itself is relying more on contract workers for jobs like drivers and peons—despite the skills being the same, the contract drivers hardly get 30% of the salary of the regular ones and no security. In spite of all talk of demographic dividend, the basic law of economics, of demand-and-supply is at play. As the workforce increases, demand falls and even candidates possessing B.Tech degrees are reportedly willing to work as sweepers, peons etc. The problem is the rising population which should be addressed on a priority basis.
Loan recovery a must
Apropos of the report, “27 PSBs write off R1.14 lakh crore bad debts in 2012-15” (FE, February 9), despite knowing the fact that write-off is being done to cleanse balance-sheets, and not for forgetting the recovery of the amount, it seems banks are becoming complacent in loan recovery. The government and banking regulator need to put pressure on the banks to go after loan recovery, as any recovery will augment profitability and banks’ capital. Banks must be given due support, particularly judicial, and must be motivated for recovery with various incentives. The accountability of banks in recovering monies owed to them must continue, and the non-achievement of the set target must be taken seriously by the government and the banking regulator. RBI needs to keep a close watch on the progress being made by the banks in recovering debts. Spread of any wrong signal with regard to write-off will negatively impact the recovery of other loans, and as such due care need to be taken. Banks need to be cautious about likely frauds as, in some cases, write-offs may be covering a fraudulent beneficiary. Since the written off debts are a drain on the exchequer, and therefore the public, banks must fulfil their social responsibility by recovering the same.
VSK Pillai Kottayam