M G Warrier's My Page December 2012

M G Warrier’s

My Page

Wishes its readers a happy, healthy, peaceful 2013

A monthly bulletin from M G Warrier incorporating select published letters/articles (and some stray thoughts based on what he read/saw and wrote during the month). Mailed during the first week of every month. Please send your responses and views to mgwarrier@rediffmail.com

Vol II, No 12, December 2012

M G Warrier, MLR-116-B, Mangalam Lane, SASTAMANGALAM-695010 (9349319479)

Dear Reader

Since September 2012, My Page is being posted on Warrier’s Blog at mgwarrier.blogspot.com Links to articles and important comments are posted at the blog as and when they are published. Those esteemed readers who have difficulty in accessing blog can contact mgwarrier@rediffmail.com

(Exrbites members can access Warrier’s Blog by clicking at "Visit Your Group" in the bottom most line of any group mail and then at "Links". You can also Google search "M G Warrier" to reach the blog).


M G Warrier

December 20, 2012

The following articles were published during 2012:

Published in December 2012 (Till December 20, 2012)

1. Taming inflation, December 17, 2012 Moneylife.in

2. Financial inclusion: Surmounting the insurmountable, December 2012, Global Analyst

3. HRM in banks: Talent deficit is the product of deliberate neglect of HR issues, December 2012, Business Manager, HR magazine.

Published till November 2012:

1. Men in khaki did the police proud: Hindu, March 4, 2012

2. Gold management needs a makeover: Business Line, April 13, 2012

3. What ails new pension scheme: July 2012, Moneylife.in

4. Poor human resources management in public sector: July 2912, Moneylife.in

5. Corruption: A challenge for managers: August 2012, Moneylife.in

6. A finishing school for politicians : September 2012, Moneylife.in

7. Strengthen RBI’s reserves: September 2012, Moneylife.in

8. Middleclass at crossroads: September 2012, Moneylife.in

9. Emerging Kerala: Submerged priorities: September 2012, Moneylife.in

10. Money grows underground: September 2012, Moneylife.in

11. Eradicating Corruption: Power to the People, September 29, 2012, Moneylife.in

12. SC verdict on CAG: A step in the right direction, October 2, 2012, Moneylife.n

13. Impact of reforms on food security, October 9, 2012, Moneylife.in

14. Human Development Indicators: Need for a National Education Plan, October, 2012, Moneylife.in

15. Banking Sector Reforms is the need of the hour, October 22, 2012, Moneylife.in

16. Monetary Policy and interest rates, October 29, 2012, Moneylife.in

17. Protect the regulators: It is in nation’s interest, November 2012, Moneylife.in

18. How much of Indian Constitution is for “We, the people”?, November 2012, Moneylife.in

19. Why do ministries interfere with the functioning of statutory bodies?, November 29, 2012, Moneylife.in

Book choice

“splashing in the backwaters of kumarakom….” This happens to be the ‘autobiographic notes’ from my senior colleague and lifetime friend Kuruvilla Cherian, an Exrbite who retired as General Manager, NABARD. The book was released at a modest function in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday (December 9, 2012) which was attended by several friends and well-wishers of Cherian. (claimed to be for private circulation-readers will get some idea why such a claim is made by the author only when s/he starts reading the book!). Author’s own claim about the book is: A diabolic masterpiece; this century’s (2001-100) most controversial Memoirs to be!” Let the ‘privacy’ remain. Those who know Cherian may contact him @Theeram-Chemmarappally, Manganam P.O Kottayam 18, Kerala (0481-2571326). He doesn’t believe in email, this is postal address. The entire manuscript of the book which has come out in 232 pages of small print and priced Rs300 ($20 outside India) was written and re-written by Cherian in bold capital letters! The book is readable, starting from any page-you will find something interesting in any para you select!

Select Letters/Online comments


Shri Nallasivan’s email regarding pension updation case in Mumbai High Court received via Exrbites Group:

“Dear Mohandas

I do not take any more interest in the updation case.

An issue, according to even my poor understanding, that is purely well within the powers, rather prerogative of the Bank has reached the corridors of the High Court owing to the Finance Ministry's intervention where there is no role for them.

The Central Board and the Governor should have shown the Finance Ministry the door at the very beginning.

Now scores of disappointed septuagenarians and octogenarians have already left the scene and many are sadly in the long queue to follow them suit.

We are not people in our prime to take on the heartless mandarins at the Finance Ministry and unusually weak Management who obviously failed their retirees' cause in the unethical battle.

There is no point in blaming the High Court as their Clocks are set to tic with procedural lethargy and our case is clearly a misfit to suit their time table reckoning of decades to see reason.

With regards


M G Warrier’s response:

Dear All

S Nallasivan's mail reflects the mood of many among us. As one who has interpreted Bank's Pension Regulations and March13, 1992 circular as having an in-built commitment from RBI to revise pension whenever wage revision takes place (I had circulated a note 'Why I opted for pension' which gave my views initially when pension was introduced and again when option was offered by the Bank), not only I feel unhappy, but I do carry a guilt feeling of having misled my colleagues relying on the integrity of an institution. There were occasions when individuals in the hierarchy had caused personal losses to me. But RBI as an institution always stood by me and many a time more than made up for the injuries caused by some of its officers/executives.

I wish, at least at this late hour, RBI takes note of the feelings expressed by Nallasivan and many others and makes amends.

Let us continue our fight for justice.

Individually, on several occasions, I have pleaded with the Bank focusing on the need to ameliorate the underlying frustration such as now expressed by Nallasivan. I expect others do the same in their own way without waiting for the results of appeals from associations/unions or the final verdict of court.

Warm regards

M G Warrier

parties which are trying ‘coalition’ tactics on a day-to-day basis.

Letters: Law and justice

Business Standard / New Delhi Dec 03, 2012, 00:24 IST

This refers to the report “Centre’s guideline on Sec 66(A) of IT Act has no backing of law” (November 30). By definition, law is “a rule or system of rules recognized by a country or community as governing the actions of its members”, while justice, simply put, is “the administration of law in a fair and reasonable way”. The apex court’s considering taking suo motu cognizance of the recent arrests, and its surprise to the fact that nobody had so far challenged the provision (contained in Section 66 (A)) of the Information Technology Act, points to the catastrophic phase our country’s architecture responsible for dispensation of justice is going through. In the absence of a will to administer law in a fair and reasonable way, guidelines from the government and rulings from court will have limited potency. This will should come as a credible message from the highest level. It will be next to impossible to make laws mischief-proof.

M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

Poke me-ET, December 8, 2012

M G WARRIER (Thiruvananthapuram)

Coalition politics is by itself not a bad idea in a situation where any political party in India growing into a size to muster single-party majority is very remote. But, any game should have pre-decided rules and changing rules mid-way should be avoided. To make things more transparent and credible, political leaderships at national and state levels should work out some formula which will ensure coalitions formed before any election from panchayat to parliament should remain in tact till the subsequent election. Once it breaks mid-term, mid-term elections within six months of such ‘break’ alone should be the alternative before political leadership. But, who wants stability, continuity or a transparent conduct of ‘political business’ or ‘business of politics’ which happens to be the prerogative of certain families across the nation?

BL, December 1, 2012-FM is pushing too hard-Ashoak Upadhyay-Onine comments

An excellent article. As things stand now, future historians of RBI may have to revisit the observation “Perhaps, the RBI will agree and begin the norm-setting effort; but in doing so, it would be acting against its better instincts and its history as one of the most efficient regulators in the world.” appearing in this article again and again! In August 2010, when the discussion paper on new banks was released, I had commented:

“… the issues raised in the paper go much beyond the government’s intention to give a greater role for private sector in banking to promote financial inclusion and reduce government’s financial commitments for running banks. It is quite natural that as a regulatory body responsible for the health of the financial sector, RBI’s concerns go farther from just the net worth of the promoter or his professional capability to run a bank. RBI’s intention to …….. keep the business of banking trustworthy is evident from the issues raised in the discussion paper.”


Posted on: Dec 1, 2012 at 08:55 IST

Business Manager, December 2012

Business Manager, December 2012 carried a ‘Cover Story’ on “People Challenges in Banks” with articles by Dr Anil Khandelwal, Dr K C Chakrabarty, Dr Deepti Bhargava and M G Warrier.


The best development of people is through empowerment. People at all levels in the organization must feel empowered. For this, we need to cut layers of bureaucracy that we have created over the years and adopt an effective way to delegate. We have made some beginning in this direction in the RBI.


The absence of talent in banks today is the product of a deliberate neglect of HR related issues. The ageing top level, problems in succession plans at various levels caused by, among other things a 'recruitment holiday', since circa 1991,during which period 'outsourcing' and adhocism forced distorted priorities in recruitment and skill development are all grave issues affecting the…..

Report in BS, December 10, 2012: “Law of the land should have sanctity: Ratan Tata”

Online comments, December 11

Posted by: M G WARRIER December 11 , 2012, 06:16 IST

This echoes the concern of every Indian witnessing the molestation of governance at various levels in this country today. The goings on in parliament and in many other legislatures and institutions, the open spats between responsible heads of organisations and institutions on the one side and the government or political leadership on the other, continuous strictures from courts directed against executive and the media reports on unethical and corrupt practices by the rich and the powerful to hold on to the wealth and power, are all agonizing. Who, when and how the? irreversible commitment that law of the land has sanctity' sought by Ratan Tata is given will decide the course the nation's further progress will take.

Business Line, November 23, 2012

Succession plans

This refers to the report “Gokarn to continue as RBI Deputy Governor till December 31”. When will we learn to implement succession plans for top government/public sector jobs in a graceful manner?

We all talk highly about the virtues of the private sector, but do we really allow the public sector to imbibe its good features? How else can one explain the difference between the selection procedures of successors for Ratan Tata and N. R. Narayana Murthy and those for identifying CEOs and top managers of public sector organisations?

Another point is that it will be next to impossible to attract talent to these government positions, given the meager remuneration offered.

It suits an unstable government to have ‘yours obediently’ people who have no other place to go or those who find the postings as a stepping stone for career opportunities abroad. Not much research is needed to know why it tries to ease out people like D. Subbarao, S. Gokarn and Vinod Rai.

M. G. Warrier


Letters: Make RBI whim-free

Business Standard / New Delhi Nov 23, 2012, 00:07 IST

This refers to the report “New bank licences 8-9 months after enabling legislation” (November 17). If the finance ministry is confident that an amendment in the Banking Regulation Act is not necessary to give the powers sought by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for approving new banks, why is it not trying to convince the apex bank first? The finance minister’s statement that the ministry has “written” to RBI to start receiving applications is absurd. How can any genuine promoter apply without knowing the regulatory environment in which the new bank will function?

In October, RBI Governor D Subbarao had suggested that the powers to RBI should come through a legislative amendment. The powers given outside the provisions of the Act could contain stings, and could also be taken back in a different situation through the same process.

Statutory bodies should not be made subservient to the whims of ministry officials. RBI has faced problems on issues relating to banks earlier, owing to blurred clarity in powers and interpretation of law. Even today, a ten-year-old pension updation issue is shuttling between RBI and the finance ministry.

M G Warrier Mumbai

T N Ninan’s article “Who next?” in BS, November 10, 2012, Online comments:

You cannot so easily make P Chidambaram behave. He would be happy with his present job with freedom to ‘be himself' rather than leading an assortment of good, bad and the ugly which is pet-named a coalition. He can lead arguments, not people, leave alone politicians. So, let us not trouble him with the long list of do's and don'ts to be adhered to during the next 18 months (I am not sure, it will take so long!). You have enough money and people to manage numbers or at least that is what those who are in UPA now think and getting a PM is not that difficult. Rahul Gandhi may like to follow his mother and ‘support' the PM from outside for some more time.


Letters: The missing link

Business Standard / New Delhi Nov 09, 2012, 00:05 IST

This refers to the debate “Has gas pricing policy been mishandled?” (November 8). I wish, even within the limited space, the debate had touched on the wider dimensions of the absence of transparent guidance from the government on ensuring the exploitation of natural resources for public good. Awareness of the pulls and pushes of market forces that are under the control of the rich and powerful globally may have silenced it.

Competition and the “market economy” are not just about winning. These have to be healthy and the success should be sustainable. Our curse is that while ministries in charge of resource mobilization are manned by an elite and efficient BPL (businessman-politician-lawyer) combine that monopolise the government’s decision-making machinery, sectors like social welfare, health care, agriculture and education are distributed among weak and more “accommodative” politicians. In the Indian situation, the time is not yet ripe for a free market economy to function. As long as we are unable to ensure reasonable farm-gate prices for agricultural produce or a living minimum wage across sectors, it is difficult to deny subsidies to the poor.

M G Warrier Mumbai

Online comments: BL article ‘RBI stamps its autonomy’, November 5, 2012

The Finance Ministry has made it a habit of asserting its ‘ownership rights’ over regulatory bodies more often than necessary. This does not augur well especially in an open market economy where more and more controls give way to effective guidance and self regulation. In such a situation, the balance of convenience is in not disturbing the autonomy of statutory bodies like RBI. For ensuring autonomy, a couple of other factors that need immediate review are the selection procedure of incumbents of top management positions in regulatory bodies and their remuneration and service conditions. Where these are kept captive by the Finance Ministry, the possibility of the FMs expecting master-servant equation cannot be ruled out.PM who knows the harm strained relationships between regulators and FM can cause to the economy must intervene and try for a breakthrough. If the buck doesn’t stop there, we will see more and more of controversies like the present one, which can drain out the gains made


Posted on: Nov 6, 2012 at 16:10 IST


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