Pulse of the people
This in reference to the edit “Losing the pulse” (FE, October 20). One thing stands out: onion prices stir vox populi and tur dal, be it at Rs 100 or Rs 200 a kg, has no voice. And that eloquently brings out that the much touted growth of per capita income is still unable to scale the height of the pulses. Not a word from the Opposition, too, with Bihar elections on. BJP is lucky that even the Congress that maintained a healthy pulse during its otherwise indifferent regimes, hardly murmurs. The BJP is also equally blessed with low crude prices that enable liberal imports of key commodities. We need not have had such huge pulse hikes if only the government was earnest with timely imports given it was warned early enough about poor rains. This is another example of the Centre being high on enthusiasm and wanting in experience. In the decade since 2005, availability of pulses—production plus imports—has only moved from 18.5 million tones to 21.8 million tonnes. While farm productivity, crop rotation, etc, are long-term strategies, import when world prices were stable or on the decline was the thing that should have been done by now. The dated import mindset of the 1960s is ruling the minds of our lumbering bureaucracy.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
The needless ban on Maggi
The Karnataka government lifting the ban on Nestle’s insta-noodles brand, Maggi, shows that the ban itself was a red herring which proved a disaster for the much-loved brand. As the number of states that gave a clean-chit to Maggi has reached sixteen, it vindicates the standard practices adopted by Nestle. One wonders what was the hue and cry all about when everything is within the permissible limits. The rider that only fresh stocks need to be marketed shouldn’t deter the company from taking stock of the situation and reaching out to noodle-lovers. The whole episode points to the poor testing facilities and regulatory mechanism that need to be strengthened so that such instances do not recur.
R Prabhu Raj, Bengaluru
Apropos of your edit “Fixing MNC tax issues”, (FE, October 20) the blackmail by corporates, that they will walk away to more liberal tax jurisdictions, needs to be called out. It can’t be forever that industry will look for certainty while it offers the consumers nothing of the sorts. A country, for strengthening its finances, needs to tax its household and corporate citizens. There can be no two ways about it. This call of ‘ending tax terrorism’ given by the Modi government, and kept alive by the corporate, refers to a false issue. The government just needs to step away from appeasing the corporates and focus on generating enough revenue to serve the citizens better. But, there in lies the rub: Who will bell the cat?
Sumona Pal, Kolkata