The prestigious and among the most advanced passenger carriers—the Boeing 787 Dreamliners—flying in various countries around the world have been grounded following the Japanese All Nippon putting a ban on flying of its entire fleet of 17 Dreamliners after one of them in the domestic flight was forced to make an emergency landing at the Takamatsu airport. Earlier this year, a Dreamliner of Japan Airlines was parked at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Subsequently, Boeing has halted deliveries of the Dreamliners until the battery concerns are fully addressed (Boeing halts deliveries of 787 Dreamliners, “FE, January 20”). This has severely dented the reputation of Boeing. The lithium-ion batteries instead of the conventional batteries have apparently been provided because they are lighter and also because they can pack more energy and have faster recharging, but they are also potentially flammable. Recently, a top US transportation official said that the 787 would not fly until regulators were “1,000% sure” that it was safe. This has dented the passenger confidence in the Dreamliner. In fact, all the six Dreamliners in Air India’s fleet have also been grounded and some quarters have even questioned their purchase. What the incident tells is that the latest is not always the best.
MC Joshi, Lucknow
This is with reference to the news related to the first Suresh Tendulkar Memorial Lecture hosted by the College of Agricultural Banking and the Reserve Bank of India which was reported by the Financial Express (January 20, 2013). In his lecture “Identifying the poor”, noted economist Abhijit Banerjee, who teaches at a US university, has expressed the opinion that the “self selection method” was the best approach towards identifying the poor and the poverty. Finally, we have a definite suggestion from an economist. But the major point is will Abhijit Banerjee or any other economist try to identify who is poor and how many persons are suffering from poverty, say, in their native or ancestral villages? Although most economists know that PDS is inefficient and FCI is more inefficient, but no economist, whether eminent or not, tells us how to make the PDS system efficient or how can FCI be made more efficient. Let’s think of workable solutions whenever we discuss problems.
Founder, Poverty Trust, New Delhi
Married filing jointly tax option
With respect to the news about taxing the rich a bit more, the government should consider family income, instead of individual income, to identify the rich. The current system is unfair in case there is a single earning member in a family. For instance, say the husband earns R16 lakh and his wife is a homemaker, he ends up paying more tax than a family in which both husband and wife earn, say, R8 lakh each. In US, this is addressed by the ‘married filing jointly’ tax option. It is high time such an option is introduced in India too, to remove unfair taxation.
S Samanta, Bangalore