Want cheap power? Go solar
This is in reference to the column, “Give us cheap power, Piyushji” (FE, July 25). In the column, the author, Sunil Jain, has advised power minister, Piyush Goyal, to ensure that open access of electricity or power is available to consumers so that they have the choice of buying from a discom of their liking from a fray that includes BSES, NDPL, Adani Power, etc. In the column I could not find why is he demanding cheap electricity or power from the government because electricity for household consumption can be made available for free and in abundance, in every village and in every town. I do not know why Mr Jain is not writing about electricity being produced in every house for consumption by installing solar panels (manufactured and produced in India by CEL). It costs just R3-4 lakh for installing 1 kwp-5 kwp power generation units on rooftops. I think people like Mr. Jain can spend a sum of R50,000 to R4 lakh without feeling the need for a subsidy. This one-time investment will help produce electricity in plenty without any cost. This generation of electricity has been started by me in a village in Haryana without borrowing funds. Efforts are being made to encourage every household to produce its own electricity by December 31, 2016. I hope instead of expecting cheap power from the government, Mr. Jain will advise his friends to produce electricity in their own houses so that they do not have to depend upon sarkari bijli.
SC Aggarwal, Delhi
Protectionism on the rise
Die-hard protectionism is in the genes of the US Republicans. Early in 1865, post-Civil War, the party re-invented itself as a supporter of protectionism, introducing high tariffs with government subsidies for the American industry, essentially directed at taking on Britain, the bastion of free trade. What an irony that the UK has embraced Brexit—that too with a referendum—for a similarly archaic stance! Donald Trump has a staunchly protectionist stand on trade and is hostile to immigration. Such populism will end very badly. The US is the sole printer of world currency, the dollar, and thus carries the onus of being the guarantor of a liberal global order that needs well-informed leadership. The tenets of capitalism spawned the 2008 economic cataclysm under a Republican president and now we seem to have a voluble and raw populist in Trump. The tide of the times may well lift him to the White House in November, precisely when global economics needs a tall leader.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad