x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Can Rajan save India's economy?

A reader says it would be too much to expect Raghuram Rajan to instantly fix India's woes. Other letter topics include: Indonesian maids, Syria, competition, Tanzania

A reader feels Raghuram Rajan cannot bring about any radical change to India’s economy. Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg News
A reader feels Raghuram Rajan cannot bring about any radical change to India’s economy. Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg News

Can new reserve bank chief save India's economy?

Amid India's slowing growth and rising inflation, Raghuram Rajan, a former IMF chief economist, will assume the position of Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (Does Raghuram Rajan have the right stuff for the Reserve Bank of India? August 9). He will replace D Subbarao, who ends his five-year tenure next month.

The consensus among industry leaders and analysts is that Mr Rajan is the right man for the job. Let us agree that he is. But will he still be able to turn the situation around for India where corruption and red tape are rampant?

India's economy did not plunge suddenly. It is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption and political apathy. Year after year the government painted a bright economic picture on the global canvas when the reality was just the opposite. The truth had to come out at some point.

Today what we face is the truth. Anyone with common sense will understand that it would be too much to expect Mr Rajan to instantly fix the problems when two veteran economists - Manmohan Singh and Palaniappan Chidambaram - together couldn't.

Nina Nagpal, US

Indonesia's move deserves praise

I am delighted to hear about Indonesia's move to protect its women (Indonesia bans UAE 'trafficking agencies', August 8). These recruitment agencies bring women not only from Indonesia, but also from other countries such as India and Bangladesh.

Women being dragged into the murky world by such recruitment agencies is nothing new. So many lives are being ruined every day.

This step should have been taken a long time ago.

Even though putting a ban on dubious recruitment agents is a good step, it's not enough. I think the government of Indonesia should come up with stricter guidelines for recruitment of women as maids in other countries.

Contracts should be legally binding by the country of the citizen and the host country, so that if a woman is mistreated she can get legal help and the culprits cannot escape so easily.

Other countries facing a similar situation should come together to fight against exploitation and torture of maids.

Sneha Shruti, Abu Dhabi

Syria movement lacked agenda

It is very disappointing to see propaganda terms such as "Alawite-dominated regime" (Support for rebels will help push Syrians away from extremists, August 4).

Hussein Ibish, the author of the article, seems to believe that the Islamist nature of much of the uprising is the product of foreign financial support.

That seems to me rather naive. The uprising has from the beginning been characterised by the lack of agenda beyond "Assad must go".

As that isn't a very good argument, the Islamists and other sectarians - think of Al Arour - have moved in to strengthen the argument. On its own this wouldn't have been enough and the uprising would have petered out long ago.

The role of foreign support was to strengthen this effect. And one can be sure that more foreign support - even if to "moderates" - will lead to further sectarian polarisation in Syria.

Wim Roffel, The Netherlands

Open the market to competition

There is no competition where there is no choice (Du's backdown is a consumer victory, August 9).

Effectively, there are two monopolies. The sooner that people can choose their provider the better. Only then shall we see competition between du and Etisalat. Interestingly, the price increase by du was announced a couple of weeks after it announced a 45 per cent increase in profit.

Stuart Watts, Dubai

The victory of people power. I loved it. The UAE needs to open up such markets to competition rather than limit it to quasi-state companies.

Richard Boyd, UK

Don't tolerate Tanzania attackers

I refer to the news article British teens survive acid attack in Zanzibar (August 9). The incident took place when people were celebrating Eid. The two British volunteers were working in a school. How can someone target such innocent people during such a time?

Acid attacks, however, are common in India and some neighbouring countries. The Tanzanian government should give the severest possible punishment to the culprits so that others do not dare to commit such crimes.

K Ragavan, India