Make in India, mobiles

This refers to the report, ‘Full mobile number portability by March 31’ (October 16). The government should also bring in portability for landline numbers, the big brother of mobile phones. Landline phones are more reliable than mobiles, in an emergency. Besides, the landline phone bill is accepted as proof of permanent address by banks on KYC norms and for opening an account.

The government should also make efforts to revive the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), to manufacture landline phones. When we will see indigenous mobiles, as Finland-based Nokia has suspended operations at its Chennai plant due to problems. Isn’t it ironic that right from a paanwallah to the chief executive of a company, everyone uses mobiles but these are usually Chinese, Japanese, or South Korean made? Such a big domestic market for mobile phones and no Indian company is bold enough to Make in India. To think that we recently celebrated MOM’s achievement, but are unable to make our own mobile phones.

Deendayal M Lulla

Time for electronic vote card

 One out of two eligible voters did not cast his vote in Mumbai. Casting one’s franchise does not take more than a few minutes in today’s digitised  world and declaring a holiday on election day was not required. Such holidays are a national waste, as thousands of crores of rupees in revenue is lost on account of the day off and people find ways to subvert the purpose of this holiday.  Why can’t eligible voters have an electronic voting card, like ATM cards, which can then be used at special voting machines installed in public places, railway stations, office areas and so on, so that, people can exercise their democratic right without unduly having to put themselves out? Also, penalise citizens who don’t vote, so that people feel compelled to do so. Most importantly, out of deference to the law-abiding members of the public, candidates with criminal records should not be allowed to contest.

S N Kabra

Mostly pain, no gain

‘End of the road for inspector raj’ (October 16) appears to be anti-worker. The labour laws mentioned in the editorial are from the British era and do not fully guarantee the security of the workers, yet they gave millions of workers some relief and continue to be helpful. You have mentioned inspector raj, but let us not forget that almost all inspectors were pocketed by factory owners in and around Mumbai, leave aside the nation. You have mentioned faster growth, but whose growth? Huge production is not national growth unless the workers working in such factories are also paid well. Already Congress governments both at the centre and in the states have introduced contract labour laws and those factories employing less than 100 workers are beyond this law. Owners can hire and fire employees at will. Today there are no fixed working hours for workers and in many factories, employees are not even given appointment letters, talking about PF is a step further. Many employers change their company names almost yearly just to save income tax.  Their annual returns are managed by so-called chartered accountants just to evade tax. Both Gujarat and Rajasthan are states are well-known for breaking labour laws and allowing industrialists to loot and underpay workers. PM Narendra Modi, it seems, has become the stooge of capitalists all around the world. The world’s businessmen want to come into our country just to make huge profits at the cost of Indian labour. Unfortunately, today we do not have labour leaders of yore, like Bhai Dange, George Fernandes, Datta Samant and their ilk.

Marcus Dabre 

In absentia MPs

It is given to understand that the honourable Rajya Sabha members Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha are actively engaged in the ISL–Football League and acting in a new movie respectively. They can hardly hardly find time to attend the Rajya Sabha and some generous provisions ensure their memberships are not cancelled or they are not dismissed.  Apart from negligible attendance, they have hardly shown any propensity towards offering some service towards issues of vital concern to the public at large, in particular, that of housing and health care at affordable rates. Our Bharat Ratna has not stopped endorsements and appears in ads which are unbecoming to the sanctity of the title conferred upon him. Further, Rekha must refrain from acting until the duration of her RS term. Both these celebrities can always exercise the option to step down as MPs in order to better pursue other goals. When scores of people struggle, strain their every nerve and sinew every day to make ends meet and diligently pay their taxes, how can we allow these above-mentioned privileged people to shy away from meeting the responsibilities conferred upon them as MPs?  Heavens are not going to fall if these two are not RS members and if their seats lie vacant.

T M Uday Shankar

Confusion confounded

In all the countries of the world, the apex bank which regulates the monetary policy of the country and also issues currency notes, is named Central Bank, except in India, Australia and the USA.   In India and Australia, this apex bank is called Reserve Bank and in the USA, it is called Federal Reserve Bank. But in India, this Reserve Bank (RBI) is always referred to as ‘central bank’ by the media. Even our Prime Minister and finance ministers call it ‘central bank’ in their Parliament speeches too. This has always caused confusion among the general public because there is another Mumbai-based public sector commercial bank, the Central Bank of India (CBI).  So this CBI, which is in a low eighth position businesswise, is wrongly presumed by the common man to be the apex bank of India – RBI.  The merger of weak PSUBs with strong banks is on the agenda of new Modi Government. So, the merger of strong and weak PSUBs will facilitate a change in the name of the CBI and remove this confusion with the RBI.

Prasheesh K Sinha

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