Are equity savings fund of any use now, given the LTCG tax?
Yes. Think of it as simple allocation. These funds are around one-third in equity, one-third in arbitrage and one-third in fixed-income. They will be taxed at 10 per cent if you are holding it for more than a year. If you are mounting up a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) from an equity-savings fund, it will still make sense. One-third of money in equity itself brings convenience in re-balancing, without any tax-implications. This in itself is advantageous.
So, I think there could still be a case for equity savings fund but choose a growth plan, mount an SWP and have a limited withdrawal. Over a period of time, due to inflation, it may loose its charm but there still is a marginal case for them purely because of its asset allocation.