Letters to the Editor dated July 05, 2022
This refers to the report “Has the Gig Economy Failed to ‘Deliver’ Female Labor? (July the 5th).
There are approximately 15 million gig workers in India, less than 10% of whom are women.
In addition, female labor is biased.
While beauty, health, wellness, nursing and domestic work have more than 50% female partners, in typical gig economy jobs like food and grocery deliveries, men dominate. This shows that only certain jobs are deemed suitable for women.
Lack of skills in using smartphones, digital tools and knowledge of modern technologies also hinder female workers. But training and flexible working hours can help women overcome these obstacles.
The farmer credit dilemma
This refers to the article “Meeting Farmers’ Credit Needs” (July 5). Despite Nabard’s efforts to secure credit to farmers through regional rural banks, cooperative banks and regular commercial banks, farmers still remain underserved. Although banks offer loans at low interest rates, farmers depend on private lenders who charge exorbitant rates.
Financing of microfinance institutions for further deployment of funds to rural agricultural segments becomes costly for the end user.
A considerable amount of agricultural loans at a subsidized interest rate are diverted for purposes other than agricultural activities, which defeats the purpose of agricultural loans.
The RBI and Nabard should strengthen their monitoring systems and take action against financial institutions that are reluctant to finance farmers’ needs, in addition to preventing banks from obtaining gold as collateral for agricultural credit.
The economic distress of our neighbors Pakistan and Sri Lanka should make us wary of the not-so-rosy picture painted by the article “Are India’s Foreign Reserves Sufficient?” Although foreign exchange reserves may seem sufficient, the flow of dollars out of India should cause us all concern.
Stock market indices were mistakenly considered an accurate indicator of the strength of the economy. When the FIIs withdrew the money, the finance minister was quick to thank the Indian retail investor for his confidence in the markets.
The primary concern of the government seems to be to make the BJP win all the electoral battles. The precarious economic situation is largely ignored with doses of nationalism. This can be a recipe for disaster.
Arrest Rupee Slide
This refers to the editorial ‘Slippery slope’ (July 5). The fact that the Rupee’s depreciation is due to external factors reduces our options to prevent its fall. RBI shifted its gear from “growth” to “inflation management” as rising commodity prices, including crude oil, threatened to derail the economy. Rising inflation has also put pressure on the USD-Rupee exchange rate.
Through monetary measures, RBI has only a limited scope to control inflation and ensure the stability of the rupee. Therefore, the RBI’s monetary measures should be complemented by fiscal policy interventions.
Although other currencies like the Chinese yuan, Thai baht and South Korean won have depreciated more than the rupee, these countries have substantial trade surpluses with China ($676 billion), Thailand ($3.6 billion) and South Korea ($29.5 billion). their stability. India does not have the same luxury with portfolio investments (REITs, FIIs) being of the nature of speculative money.
The depreciation of the rupee should stimulate Indian exports, which should be promoted to fill the vacuum created by the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Additionally, a special drive to attract NRI deposits with competitive yields should bring some stability to the Rupee’s fall.
July 05, 2022
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