This refers to “Keep farm loan waivers out of poll promise: Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan” (December 15). The appeal made by eminent economists led by Rajan (pictured) to political parties in India that they desist from such populist tricks is timely. Whether it is the promise to waive farm loans or provide free television sets and grinders to the poor if elected to power, these amount to taking the electorate for a ride, as ultimately, the expenses are borne by the taxpayer. Such announcements only reveal the reckless desire of the political parties to capture power by hook or by crook in complete disregard for the economic consequences. In the case of loan waivers, the pinch is immediately felt by the state-owned banks, in the form of capital erosion, besides making some borrowers recalcitrant. With such practices in place, blaming the banks for high non-performing assets and poor profitability is like barking up the wrong tree. It is high time the Election Commission of India declared such promises unfair and ensured those making them are disqualified from contesting.
V Jayaraman USA
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