This is further to your editorial “Opening up mining” (December 10). Global free market economies demand open competition rather than excess restriction in commodity movement. Despite the change in the government’s policy stance from protection to market competition some of the activities — in this case mining — is still bound by trade restrictions with limited market exposure. There is a slowdown in the economy and it can be put back on track only when market movement is stimulated and made competitive. Importing commodities that are already available in surplus is akin to wasteful expenditure. In this context, the introduction of “no end use” in the mining sector will encourage foreign investment and partially dissuade foreign investors from leaving the country. It will, in turn, promote product quality.
Nevertheless, the government's authority should not be totally compromised. For this, a stance of aggression mixed with caution has to be pursued. Additionally, the growth in non-performing assets in public sector banks should not be considered a deterrent in financing mining activity. But stress thus should be laid on meaningful rather than reckless lending. C Gopinath Nair Kerala
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