Apropos ‘Own goal’ (June 24). The H-1B system does enable some employers to replace high-wage US workers with cheaper foreign employees, and so they switch from in-house tech support teams to tech service contractors. In addition, in science and tech fields the US faces a mismatch between the skills demanded and those held by US workers, resulting in a surplus of workers in some areas and a shortage in others. Major interruptions do always displace workers whose skills fall out of demand. And the US, unlike developing economies,has long neglected retraining people to keep pace with those changes.
What the US forgets is that the coronavirus is a major socio-economic jolt. The return to normalcy will increase the demand for more honed skillsets to handle realigned logistics, boost efficiency and save costs to offset months of idleness and loss. More importantly, the very architecture of many existing business and work models must change to be able to survive, and that would require far higher levels of talent. The US will realise soon enough that it requires more, not less, of these visa approvals.
This refers to ‘Own goal’ (June 24). Since the US elections are due in November, President Donald Trump’s move of suspending non-immigrant work visas is nothing but a politically-motivated show to please his voters. But in a larger context, it is not a smart move and has obviously been criticised by most corporates in the Silicon Valley and by other countries. Without a doubt, the US may have to pay a price for this.
A large part of the economic growth and development of the superpower is thanks to the migrants and skilled workers. How the US will compensate for the gap created by the absence of these workers is anyone’s guess.
This is with reference to ‘Self sufficiency in bulk drugs is a must’ (June 24). The author nails the fact that India should end its dependability on China for active pharmaceutical ingredients which are imported because of the lower cost. The time has come to think beyond cost and indigenise the manufacturing of APIs in India.
The Indo-Chinese stand-off at Ladakh blows the whistle for extricating the pharma sector from Chinese hold, with government financial support.The Covid pandemic also highlights the need to maintain a distance from China in both economic and social spheres, and a concrete pharma policy for self-reliance in APIs must be brought to reality.
This refers ‘Small-savings schemes may see further reduction in interest rate’ (June 24). Cutting down the interest rates on various post office saving schemes is imprudent and ill-timed in the current scenario. The rates are already at an all-time low, and any further reduction will badly hit savers, especially the superannuated section, which is solely dependant on interest income. The cost of medical expenses is shooting through the roof, oil prices are rising by the day, and tenants are not paying rent. It is apparent that the government is bereft of ideas to shore up its falling revenues and is resorting to scapegoating hapless people. The government ought to put more money in the hands of the people to boost consumption and spur the economy.
The post-Covid time is perhaps a difficult period, especially for the ordinary people and those living in rural areas. During the lockdown period, production of various materials would have been halted, and the resumption of the work might take some time. There might be also other problems rendering day-to-day life difficult. Though the government has taken steps to meet the needs of the people, they are not enough. The district administrators should take it upon themselves to solve the problems. A suitable panel of district officials should meet people periodically and ascertain their problems and find solutions.
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