LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Provide Quality Healthcare To Citizens

The second wave in India since April this year has exposed the lack of timely preparedness to tackle the pandemic and the lack of experience in handling this health exigency affecting the public. As the citizens are battling it out every day to grab a hospital bed or find an oxygen cylinder, the government has hugely disappointed in meeting these essential health factors at this critical phase. The rushed arrangements for oxygen supply in the form of in-house production and receiving foreign aid is a very late move, while otherwise, one should have made adequate arrangements prior to the outbreak of the second wave. A common man is now aghast as the current situation exposes only the vulnerability and lack of a quality healthcare ecosystem in India. The government has failed its citizens, where, on a daily basis one is witnessing a high number of deaths due to lack of timely treatment, improper management of intensive care units and oxygen wards, leading to fire accidents, along with an alarming rise in daily infections. There is now an urgent need to scrupulously fix the loopholes in the system and provide quality healthcare to the citizens regardless of pandemic crisis or otherwise. The people’s trust in the government will only be restored if an efficient and long-term healthcare ecosystem prevails in the society rather than dependence on the ballot box through votes as a mandate to raise the bar.

VARUN DAMBAL, BENGALURU

Double Whammy For PMC Bank Depositors

Lakhs of PMC Bank depositors have been undergoing a lot of hardship and trauma ever since the bank was placed under Reserve Bank of India (RBI) moratorium on September 22, 2019, which allowed a maximum of Rs 50,000 to be withdrawn and a further Rs 50,000 as hardship allowance. Although interests earned on fixed deposits were credited every month into the savings bank accounts of depositors, they remained only on paper, as withdrawals were not permitted. Fixed deposits that had matured were automatically renewed for a further period with compounded interest, but only on paper. Secondly, TDS from interests accrued during the financial year continues to be deducted and a statement of interests earned and TDS deducted sent to the income tax department under Form 26AS. Depositors are, therefore, subjected to a double whammy of paying income tax for income earned, but only on paper and which cannot be withdrawn. It is not known how long such a situation will continue to prevail and why the RBI continues to remain a mute spectator and insensitive to the plight of lakhs of depositors of the bank, even in these hard days of the pandemic and even after being pulled up by the Delhi High Court several times on several counts.

A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM