Letters to the Editor – July 29, 2021

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This refers to “Why CBDC Won’t End Bitcoin’s Reign” (July 29). With many uncertainties about existing virtual currencies like bitcoin, etherium, etc. ).

Some of the main factors negatively impacting economies around the world include money laundering and terrorist financing. If CBDC should not terminate current crypto assets, it is like having illegal money (without central bank control) with legal money.

Another issue is that the CBDC does not earn any interest on deposits. If so, how will the erosion of the currency’s value due to inflation, etc. be taken care of?

Even if the US Fed is unclear on the merits of the digital currency, it will be too early to think in terms of a CBDC float.

Chennai

This refers to Air India’s assessment process (July 29). Even though the successful bidder only has to absorb 23,000 crore of debts of 60,000 crore, this is by no means negligible given the problems faced by the sector.

For this large portion of the debt, an equity investment of at least 20,000 crore is required to keep the gears comfortable, and in addition, funds will be needed for business development, aircraft acquisition, etc. and servicing the debt will be a challenge and could take many years.

To strengthen sustainability, the government may need to extend some non-monetary measures, such as reserving certain routes for the airline, and continue to hold hands for a while. It is also unclear what the government will do with the 37,000 crore parked in the SPV and the taxpayer should not be forced to bear the loss. It should be treated as a loss of portfolio and absorbed by the profits of other divestments.

Bombay

On “Plug and play” (July 29), a concessional import duty for electric vehicles would serve market interest as part of the concerted push to promote electric mobility. Although the entry of a giant like Tesla hurts the prospects of our national players in this space, its impact will be short-lived.

Granted, Tesla’s cars won’t find many buyers given their high price tag; however, having the best of breed on the road will boost the uptake of electric vehicles in the country. Tesla is a renowned brand, and its cars on Indian roads will undoubtedly stimulate interest in this category of vehicles. Ultimately, as foreign manufacturers find traction for their cars, it will inspire domestic manufacturers to strengthen their competitiveness.

Bangalore

It was intriguing that various technical issues continue to hamper the operation of the Income Tax Department’s new e-filing portal. According to the CBDT, various stakeholders may still have to wait until at least mid-August, when the website is expected to function normally. The new IT portal is expected to reduce return processing time from 63 days to one day and speed up refunds. We hope that such a “too ambitious” game plan does not meet the fate of the “much promised”Achhe Din‘.

New Delhi

It is “The Ken-Betwa project needs to be rethought” (July 29). The Ken-Betwa River Link Project will benefit drought-affected areas of Bundelkhand and provide potable water to several districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The project faced several problems such as obtaining an environmental permit and the relocation of the displaced population.

The Ken-Betwa Project crosses the Panna Tiger Reserve, and animal rights activists are demanding a realignment of its route. The other major river link projects await the successful completion of this project.

Chennai


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