Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Privatisation won’t solve problems of India’s public sector banks

A selection of readers’ opinions.

PNB Scam

I want to thank Rohan Venkataramakrishnan for writing a very educated and balanced article on the Nirav Modi-PNB fiasco (“Explained: How did the alleged Rs 11,000 crore Nirav Modi, Punjab National Bank scam go unnoticed?”). Every other article I have read on the subject pins the blame squarely on Nirav Modi, without explaining what actually happened. Perhaps they were too lazy to actually study the nuances of the so-called scam.

I am a completely neutral observer on the issue, which has become such a hot topic now. I tried to form my own view on it with the piecemeal information that was available, but grew frustrated at how our mainstream media loves to blame, without having the slightest idea about what’s going on. I guess the blame-game sells much better.

Thank you again for the excellent piece. I hope Venkataramakrishnan continues to stay true to proper journalistic principles: of being objective, unbiased and informative. – Aditya Heble

***

The rate at which non-performing assets are increasing in nationalised banks and frauds are coming to light, the common citizen will have nowhere to keep their hard-earned money. If they keep it at home, the government treats it like black money. The RBI and the government must devise a mechanism to improve the situation. – SC Agarwal

Bank privatisation

Privatisation of banks is not the solution

(“The Daily Fix: Would privatisation of banks have prevented the PNB-Nirav Modi scam?”). How have people so quickly forgotten the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008-’10 that was manufactured by major private banks? The only reason the PNB scam happened was laxity on part of the entire banking communication system that did not tally the LoUs with their records in a timely and adequate manner, and this can be checked only through regulations.

Another argument in support of privatisation of banks seems to be the fact that the heads of public sector banks are amenable to politicians and their cronies. Why are we not having a dialogue about ensuring the autonomy of the RBI and public sector banks instead of selling them off to serve the interests of capitalists alone? –

***

Private banks have developed a high-handed and hubristic manner whereby they push decisions on customers. This can lead to greater problems in the banking system and give undue powers to these banks to do as they please. For instance, a leading private bank linked the Aadhar number of an individual account to non-individual accounts( jointly held) and claim they are constrained to do it without the holders request. They say this is as per RBI circular. I asked for a copy of the circular but got none. Secondly they are forcing us to take RuPay debit cards when we do not wish to do so.

I am sure there is more to come.

Privatisation is surely not the answer. It shows the acceptance of procedural weakness of the fiscal system and might mean much higher costs for the common man. At the most, brilliant bankers from across the board can form a think tank of sorts to help the RBI and the finance ministry put checks in place. They surely need help!

I also think a better culture with regard to client servicing needs to be encouraged so that the average person does not feel harassed. Let us keep in mind that especially the less privileged sections of society are dependent on the ethos of public- sector banking. – GR

Wink and miss

I live in the US and I really like reading Scroll.in to catch up on news around India (“‘This is not a PR stunt’: ‘Oru Adaar Love’ producer on the row over ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’”). But for the last week or so, everyday I see Priya Varrier’s wink and some article related to that song or movie as a cover story or in Editor’s Picks. Yes, she became internet sensation overnight. We get it. But everyday? Isn’t there any other news worth adding to the home page? It’s really getting annoying now. – Pooja Bihani

Anti-national attack

It is high time Scroll.in stops promoting people who have integrity issues with the country (“Watch Shehla Rashid and Jignesh Mevani talk politics with Kunal Kamra (and laughs thrown in)”). One question each for Jignesh Mevani and Shehla Rashid: Why is it that every time Mevani has a rally or speech, violence eupts? The answer is, Mevani has no principles, he is just a provocateur who does not care about our Constitution but is pretending to be its guardian.

What is Shehla Rashid studying in JNU? Why is she not attending classes? Scroll.in, you are promoting anti-national sentiments. – Yogesh Bhide

Trudeau in India

As an Indo-Canadian, I am ashamed to hear of the shoddy treatment meted out to the Canadian Prime Minister (“Delhi did not snub Justin Trudeau but his vote-bank politics is cause for concern: ex-Indian envoy”). He was not met on arrival by a Cabinet Minister. Even during his visits to Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, the chief ministers did not have the time meet him. If they felt so strongly, the government of India should not have I invited him and treated him so badly – a real contrast to the VIP treatment that recent PMs from Israel and Japan received. – Venkatesh Mannar

Exam time

What is the use of board exams (“Testing time: As Class 10 board exam returns, schools are helping children, parents cope with stress”)? Teachers finish a chapter a day, but not all children understand it. Learning levels in a class defer and students who do not grasp as quickly as their peers should get special classes to come up to the same level. School teachers should help such students too. I don’t believe that the board exam helps students in any way. It just adds to their stress. Many children give up on studies because of pressure from schools and parents. Let children enjoy their education. – Shobha

What divisions?

I want to ask Syed Zafeer: who calls you a Pakistani (“‘They call me Pakistani’: A poet poignantly captures the ordeal of Muslims in India. Watch”)? I request him not to get religious sentiments into the picture and hurt Indians. We, the proud citizens of India, never comment on any person unless they hurt us. This excludes all the people who are associated with bad politics, but not all politicians are bad. Scroll.in should stop publishing articles that threaten to break sweet ties between the various religious communities in India. Instead, feature more articles on the friendship and joy shared between different communities. This will help us to build a great and strong nation. – Praveen Mathias

Delicious read

Mrs BF Varghese’s book has virtually been the kitchen Bible for three generations in our family (“This recipe book is still a Bible for Syrian Christian cooks, 44 years after it was first published”). My mother was very familiar with it and tweaked the recipes to suit her taste. I would be frustrated with the measuring units in her recipes but I loved them nonetheless. And now, my daughter can’t do without her books. Thank you Saramma Kochamma, wherever you are! – Maria Abraham

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