This is with regard to “Coal India: All Is Forgiven.” With billions of tonnes of coal reserves in the country, it is time government takes radical steps to decentralise the operations of this mammoth enterprise.
The reserves of this company are huge but are not utilised optimally to develop its mines by import of state-of-the-art machinery and mining technology. The government must become a 26% shareholder by sale of its holdings. Let each of the seven major units become independent entities and let there be serious competition. This will enable higher production and India can reach the ambitious production target of one billion tonnes, in the next five years.
Shareholders of Coal India have not been rewarded adequately, so far. Let there be capitalisation of reserves by bonus issues and let the government volunteer not to take its share of this bonus. Such a move would bring investor confidence and government must also provide incentives to the staff to hold shares and get production bonus on a fair scale.
Such measures will reduce our dependence on imports.
Dr Anantha K Ramdas, online comment
Landed in Calcutta?
This is with regard to “For the Want of a Nail…” by Bapoo Malcolm. There was a case in Calcutta, during the British Raj, of an arrest warrant being issued to an Indian which stated that, should he ever land in Calcutta, he would be arrested. This gentleman came to the city by train and was promptly arrested! In his defence, he maintained that the warrant stated that he should be arrested only if he landed in Calcutta. Whereas he had not landed but merely alighted (from the train)! He was set free by the local courts! Language and grammar do matter in a court of law!
Suresh, online comment
Credibility of Indian Media
A recent survey conducted by The India Iris has revealed dissatisfaction with mainstream media including television and print. The survey covered individuals from IIT, IIM-A/B, University of Southern California, professionals from top firms, including research fellows from IIMs, XLRI, etc. It was conducted online (via email and Facebook) and offline, and had respondents mostly in the age-range of 18-40 years.
A whopping 80% are dissatisfied, as against 12% who are satisfied. For the question ‘Is today’s mainstream media fair or unbiased’, the responses are even more startling. A vast majority (87%) thought that mainstream media are heavily biased. Shockingly, only 4% found the electronic media reliable.
Two recent examples shed more light on the issues plaguing our Fourth Estate today. The first pertains to the controversies surrounding Lalit Modi and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje. Barring a few, all news channels were running live commentaries, organising prime-time debates and arranging special interviews, until a few pictures of Robert Vadra, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi with Lalit Modi surfaced on social media. This raises serious questions on the credibility of media and how it got silenced so quickly.
The second example concerns the death of a four-year-old child in a road accident involving erstwhile actor-turned-member of Parliament, Hema Malini. This too raises serious questions about how media prioritise news. While full attention was given to the head injuries of the MP, the death of the child was largely ignored! In the quest of TRPs! A quick Google image search on this news clearly shows the difference.
Subrahmanian SH, by email
Greed is Universal!
This is with regard to “Will Life Insurers Now Bleed with Fraudulent Claims?” by Raj Pradhan. Medical fraud in the US resulted in the near-collapse of a company called Tenet Health Care, the 2nd largest hospital operator in the US. The fraud was on the Medicare and Medicaid support from the government and was perpetrated by Tenet Health. In addition to performing unnecessary procedures, billing was done for procedures that were not actually performed.
The worst crime, of course, was the performance of unnecessary heart surgeries and angioplasties on patients who did not need it. Human greed is universal!
Ralph Rau, online comment
Buying Most Popular Stocks?
This is with regard to “Tough Job for Fund Managers” by R Balakrishnan. I think, the problem is this: Most of us are under-qualified and do not have enough time to acquire CA-level knowledge of finance and the in-depth research skills needed to locate great stocks. Many people owning stocks do the same ‘herd’ thing: buy the most popular/talked-about stocks. Stocks also don’t have the buffer that mutual funds can provide (averaging losses too).
Anand Vaidya, online comment
Massive Business Cartel?
This is with regard to “Mind, Brain and Drugs” by Prof BM Hegde. We should not forget that Peter Gøtzsche, MD, has challenged the way our medical system works on another front: mammography. He has been the leading critic of systematic screening with mammography for well over a decade. Apart from “The Mammogram Myth” by Rolf Hefti (TheMammogramMyth.com), Dr Gøtzsche’s book Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy is among the few extensive, eye-opening and detailed accounts about mammography. These treatises are the only comprehensive works on the profound lack of science behind the pro-mammogram view and the all-pervasive vested interests dominating the mammogram industry and the ‘scientific’ studies in favour of mammograms. Virtually the entire allopathic medical fraternity is corrupt, by and large. It should be expected because it is a massive business cartel. Understandably, the flip side of Dr Gøtzsche’s impact is that the official powers of big medicine don’t like him.
Pan H, online comment
Support from a Section of the Media?
This is with regard to “Name Games” by Sucheta Dalal. Moneylife and Sucheta Dalal deserve special thanks for persevering in the thankless job of creating awareness about the ‘games people play’ just to mislead consumers with the primary idea of earning profit. Misleading advertisements and brand names get support from a section of the media, as they are dependent on advertisements for revenue. Even government-sponsored advertisements, which are misleading or misrepresenting, are accepted by ‘big’ newspapers and channels that claim to be ‘investigative’. Celebrated artists in film industry and sportspersons who have become popular also do not mind receiving some pocket money, by being part of these games.
No Driving Licence?
This is with regard to “5 Kinds of Financial Illiteracy” by Sucheta Dalal. Admittedly, all kinds of illiteracies are seen in the society. But why and how are these allowed and tolerated? The only reason for the prevalence and proliferation of such illiteracies is due to the laxity in governance standards throughout the country and allowing profiteering, at any cost, ignoring the ethical way of doing business. Who is responsible for this? And why do these things happen? Because of our administrators, governance systems and tolerance of exploitation by the new genre of marketing executives who are given targets for profits exploiting all weaknesses in governance standards. Liberal practise of greed has been allowed and all are paying for the greed of some who have all possible exit routes. Passing on the blame to the end-users of the services is easy. But are there any checks & balances from an effective and efficient administration? It is akin to permitting all to drive all types of vehicles without any need to know driving and having any licence.