Concern for the common man - The Hindu

Concern for the common man - The Hindu
My response emailed to The Hindu on July 15, 2014:

Concern for common man

This refers to the article “Concern for common man” (July 15). It is very rarely that mainstream newspapers devote space to highlight the problems faced by the category of human beings branded as ‘middle class’ which is really the majority of people sandwiched between the rich and the poor and facing extinction in the near future by migrating downwards to the BPL(Below Poverty Line) category as and when the poverty line is drawn realistically.
Welcoming  the widespread technology adoption by the financial sector, the author has rightly raised the  question,  as to whether  the users, like  bank depositors, are really comfortable with interfacing banks through a computer and mentioned that there is a widespread alienation  and it is unrealistic to  expect all common people to be net savvy. This is an understatement, if one factors in the literacy level across the country with the exception of states like Kerala and some urban areas.
The concern expressed by Narasimhan in the article need to be addressed by the new government by immediate review of the following measures initiated by UPA I and UPA II:
i)                    The withdrawal of existing defined payment based pension scheme for regular employees and introduction of National Pension System which in reality does not have any features of a Pension Scheme as commonly understood.
ii)                   Keeping the concept of minimum wages caged. The fear of increased outgo for programmes like ‘Employment Guarantee’ Schemes and pressure from industries which are now dependent on ‘outsourced’ labour  prevent government even from getting the position reviewed by experts.
iii)                 The concept of making users of services and commodities pay the ‘real cost’ and offering international market price to companies for products like oil, gas and coal without factoring in the advantages they enjoy in India has allowed prices at retail level for all essential services and food articles shoot up. This is not a problem that can be solved by giving an ‘Inflation Target’ to Reserve Bank of India.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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