Letters

Letters to the Editor — October 7, 2021

Lakhimpur Kheri

The Lakhimpur Kheri incident is reprehensible. At the same time, and undoubtedly, the Opposition parties are fishing in troubled waters. Most political leaders would be remotely empathetic and the issue could blow over with time. The irony is that the Yogi Adityanath does not exactly have respect for human rights. The Gandhi siblings are likely to vanish after the so-called clamour. The Opposition should not be selective but consistent (Page 1, “Opposition closes ranks in Lakhimpur Kheri aftermath”, October 6).

Deepak Singhal,

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Rural credit

It is distressing to note that the interest rate charged to the ultimate beneficiary through micro finance institutions (MFI) lending ranges between 22% to 26%. The Reserve Bank of India needs to review the methodology presently followed on the cost of funds (COF) for NBFCs and MFIs. The sole aim of providing credit to the rural population is defeated under the present COF technique.

Small finance banks (SFBs), whose objective is to introduce banking activities to the unserved and underserved sections of the population, appear to be expanding their branches in urban and metro cities. Having tasted profits, a few SFBs have even planned to exit the niche banking model and embrace the universal banking model, thus defeating the very purpose for which they were formed.

Till the early 2000s, all public sector banks had a differential rate of interest scheme to provide credits to poor families (belonging to the economically weaker sections) for productive endeavours; it had a maximum loan ceiling of ₹15,000 with 4% simple interest. This scheme was a boon for the rural poor. In 2012, the committee under the chairmanship of M.V. Nair, recommended doing away with the differential rate of interest scheme. The reasons: nil margin or thin spread available for banks, a disproportionate ratio between the loan quantum vis-à-vis inflationary trend, and the multiplicity of schemes such as the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana. It is time that the credit policy of financing rural credit is strengthened and also regulates the role of private entities (Editorial page, “RBI microfinance proposals that are anti-poor”, October 6).

R.V. Baskaran,

Chennai

Transfer of judges

The transfer of judges from one High Court to another has a debilitating effect. Lawyers accept judgeship on the assumption that they have been appointed to their respective High Courts and will remain and retire from that court. Initially, when transfers were introduced, it was a great cultural shock to the judges so much so that one judge felt his pride was hurt and promptly resigned. Transfer to another High Court, which was an exception, has now become akin to a service condition of a government servant.

Judges have a pride of place in the Constitution and judicial elevations are made from the local bar or from the subordinate judiciary which is very familiar with the local laws and, more importantly, the language of the Court and the local terrain. The elevation was also considered as recognition to the member of the Bar. Now, the present orders of transfer have totally undermined the concept of judges for the respective High Court with their recruitment from the local bar and the subordinate judiciary. With these unwelcome transfers, judges live in a state of uncertainty and fear, which certainly affects their attitudes. A former judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Madan Lokur, recently said that transfers undermine the boldness and independence of the judiciary. A reading of Article 222 of the Constitution clearly explains how cautious, careful and rare the transfer of judges should be because of the different manifestations. The present transfer of judges is not only demoralising but will add to the pendency of cases. It is also experience that if a judge goes through the case files in the local language, there is effective delivery of justice.

N.G.R. Prasad,

Chennai

Faltering campaign

Seven years ago, on October 2, 2014, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched across the country amidst fanfare. But the cleanliness drive is faltering while crores have been poured down the drain, only promoting a certain political figure and a political party. The drive to ensure cleanliness and sanitation has to be a people’s movement and not a political one. Even in tiny Goa it has been a failure as garbage continues to pile up almost everywhere. The capital city Panaji is terrible. The crores squandered on a media blitz for this campaign would have brought smiles to the downtrodden had that money been spent for their uplift.

Aires Rodrigues,

Ribandar, Goa

 

Tiger MDT 23

The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court deserves praise for an animal-friendly decision (Page 1, “Tiger hunt: CJ tells Forest Dept, not to go for the kill”, October 6). Animal lovers salute him as thought has gone into the shaping of the order.

Savitri C.V.,

Chennai


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