Letters to the editor

Published: February 3, 2016 1:21:05 AM

Prime minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann ki Baat radio talk, urged farmers to take crop insurance.

Fixing crop insurance

Prime minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann ki Baat radio talk, urged farmers to take crop insurance. Crop insurance is not new, but farmers are either not aware of it or their bad experience with claim-settlement prevents them from paying the premium. Unlike assets insurance, crop failure is an assessment of loss based on an assessing authority’s views. Here, farmers feel let down and cheated as claims payment is delayed and, finally, a paltry amount is paid. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), an RBI subsidiary, that reimbursing priority-sector loan losses of banks and deposit insurance. The claims on loans gone bad were settled upto 75% of the dues. But over time, banks lodged so many claims that DICGC could not meet them as it was short of funds and capital. RBI stopped credit insurance and has continued deposit insurance, but this too is just R1 lakh per depositor per bank. This limit was set decades ago and it has to be raised to at least R10 lakh, or better still, there should be no limit at all as deposit loss is a fixed amount and the very purpose of insurance is to get 100% cover from any loss. Farmers get water and electricity at very concessional rates and still do not pay bills for the outstanding consumption. The government pays for farm losses. Then, why not provide free crop insurance to all farmers irrespective of size of land-holding?

SK Bhave, Mumbai

Future of the young

Apropos of the column “What is the future of the young?”, the columnist offers solutions that are going to worsen the problem. In the Indian private sector higher education, the profit-motive of the founders of these universities (barring a handful) shows very clearly despite education being a not-for-profit sector in the country. If that profit motive was encouraged by the state, there is no stopping private universities from bilking citizens.

Vandana Singh, Ghaziabad

Queer rights

The Supreme Court’s decision to refer the challenge to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to a 5-member Constitution Bench is a major relief to the LGBT community and all progressive-minded people. It must be understood that homosexuality is a trait linked to the genetic make-up and not a deviant lifestyle choice or a disease to be cured. Those who fulminate against it must learn to see it in a neutral light. To rephrase the point more precisely, homosexuals, like heterosexuals, are born into their orientation. Even so, the right to adopt homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle” out of free will cannot be contested. The liberty in sexual matters is sacrosanct and non-negotiable—unless it impedes or infringes the sexual freedom of some other individual, human or otherwise—and it cannot be infringed to satisfy moral prudes and puritans.

G David Milton, Tamil Nadu

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