Showing posts from April, 2013

PSU chiefs may get fixed minimum tenure of 3 years - Business Line

PSU chiefs may get fixed minimum tenure of 3 years - Business Line Online comments posted: In the recent past, we have been observing long delays in filling of top positions in government and statutory/government-owned organisations. Often, at the eleventh hour, procedures are rushed through and the aspirants who are kept on tenterhooks till the last minute, become functionally ineffective at least for the initial few months. Viewed from this perspective, a longer tenure for top posts is always welcome. Centre should think in terms of putting a system in place which will take care of filling up of top positions and smooth transition of job from one incumbent to the other. Considering a sprinkling of younger people at the top, making the tenures longer and allowing inter-mobility from the position of EDs (or equivalent positions) and upwards following transparent norms are some areas which could be considered to improve the functioning of government and public sector organisa

No evidence of money laundering, says Kochhar | Business Standard

No evidence of money laundering, says Kochhar | Business Standard Online comments: M G WARRIER Hasty denials do not make the public wiser. RBI Deputy Governor Chakrabarty had done just that immediately on hearing about the sting operation. While initial denial to restore public confidence in the system might be justified, frequent denials even before enquiries are complete or reports are examined may not improve credibility. After all, it is not about procedural lapses alone.

Chinese invasion: Can India put an embargo on trade? - Moneylife

Chinese invasion: Can India put an embargo on trade? - Moneylife Online comments: We are going through a tough transition phase. Delhi has to rise to the occasion and restore domestic (first) and international credibility. Time was, when governments at national level could pursue a policy of ‘wait and see’ and many issues could be swept under carpet, as time passed. These days, thanks to faster communication, better overall awareness and many stakeholders being not very much concerned about ‘history’ quick responses, quicker solutions are needed. We should learn from countries like Japan which have lived through more agonizing relationship issues with countries and learnt to face each issue on merits. We too should handle trade, relationship issues including border disputes and cultural and social interactions without too much mix-up. M G Warrier

Defined pain or undefined gain? - Business Line

Defined pain or undefined gain? - Business Line Online comments: No one can dispute that we need large long term sustainable foreign investments and in this context discussion with pension fund and sovereign wealth fund managers as also other large fund endowments abroad is a right initiative coming from the finance minister. But, any prudent pension fund manager toying with the idea of investing in India would be naturally curious to know what is happening to domestic pension funds in this country. From the management of government pension to the New Pension Scheme thrown open to the public, our style of handling will invite many embarrassing questions from those who are interested in the safety and a reasonable rate of return on their investment. GOI or state governments have no pension funds. They believe in a principle called ‘Pay as You Go’. To circumvent a suggestion from the experts that GOI should make a beginning in providing against an estimated ‘present liability’ of arou

RBI asks banks to pay 8% interest for delay in crediting pensions - Moneylife

RBI asks banks to pay 8% interest for delay in crediting pensions - Moneylife Online comments: This move is a comfort for pensioners. The principle should be further extended with appropriate modifications in respect of various other categories of depositors and savers. Some banks have an ‘auto renewal’ facility for Fixed Deposits kept with them. Now that the country is moving aggressively towards financial inclusion and everyone having something to do with money will have a bank account, even before AADHAAR, it should be the aim to link any financial transaction to a bank account. Any payment, as and when it becomes due should get credited to the bank account of the client, if s/he has provided details of bank account. Delay in credit after due date and normal reasonable administrative delay (say, seven working days), should entitle the beneficiary to receive interest at rates comparable with those paid on long term savings.   M G WARRIER

This is no way to manage public debt - Business Line

This is no way to manage public debt - Business Line

JPC draft says CAG made India look ‘most corrupt’ - The Hindu

JPC draft says CAG made India look ‘most corrupt’ - The Hindu Online comments recorded on April 24, 2013 The blame game, under which political bosses take shelter to avoid facing the ‘judgment day’, continues! We are going through a tough phase in the country’s history when all institutions and statutes devised to protect public interest are being raped. Legislatures and creations of legislatures including parliamentary committees are evading responsibility by either digging in the past or making irrelevant comparisons. The committees work overtime and produce volumes of reports covering everything except clarity on issues they were to examine or suggestions for avoiding mistakes that led to losses or failures they were expected to examine. M G Warrier

“It will take thousands, not hundreds, of years to clear the pending cases” - Moneylife

“It will take thousands, not hundreds, of years to clear the pending cases” - Moneylife Online comments: Constraints are there. But it has to be accepted that the vigilant and alert judiciary is one limb which is sustaining the basic features of our Constitution.  Here are some suggestions, keeping in mind the inadequate infrastructure and manpower to handle the 3 crore odd pending cases across the country: • Pending cases which need to be decided within a year should be segregated and taken up on a priority basis by designated courts selected from those now in position. • The remaining cases should be given to the remaining courts and new Special Courts should be put in place at all levels depending on the number of pending cases. Timeframe for final hearing of cases should be decided based on transparent norms. • The present practice of listing cases should be replaced by IT-enabled system, out of turn hearings becoming exception rather than the rule. • It should be ensured th

FinMin for cost-to-company pay structure in state-owned banks | Business Standard

FinMin for cost-to-company pay structure in state-owned banks | Business Standard M G WARRIER The next wage settlement in banking industry will have to factor in, among other things, the following ground level realities: i) After the introduction of New Pension System (NPS), there are two categories of employees in banks. The claims of employees covered by NPS for higher wages factoring in the reduction in real wages on account of subscription to NPS and the need to save more to ensure income comparable to the pension available to the employees who joined earlier than them are genuine. ii) Industry parity. Workmen staff/Officers doing similar work in different categories of banks will have to be given comparable wages, additional compensation being provided for extra work. iii) Outsourcing. Let us not forget Maruti experience. Employees who are on regular employment of banks, even on contract, will have to be given clarity about their absorption in the institutions and a living wage

Dividend payout ratio of banks: Is there need for a change? - Moneylife

Dividend payout ratio of banks: Is there need for a change? - Moneylife Online comments: M G WARRIER   2 hours ago The ‘guidance’ from GOI on dividend pay out by PSBs raises the fundamental issue of ‘use of power which is not there’, a game being played by GOI in general and finance ministry in particular. Somehow, for different reasons, those who should make noise when such things happen- opposition, media and the concerned stakeholders- observe a learned silence. This has happened in the introduction of New Pension Scheme. This is being repeated when statutory bodies and public sector organisations, including RBI, LIC, banks, public sector oil companies and so on are made to ‘adjust’ prices, income and profits and their distribution according to the whims of those in power. There is nothing wrong in government evolving a policy and asking organisations to follow. This should be done in a transparent manner, following appropriate procedure and making necessary legislative changes

'SOS' from a Mobile Tower

‘Wage war’ from a Mobile Tower ! M G WARRIER At around 4 p m on April 18, two young men in their 20’s climbed up a mobile tower installed on top of a 10 storey building in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city. Those who would have casually noticed this took it as ‘normal’ taking them for workers doing some maintenance work on the mobile tower. Maintenance workers, they really were. But this time they were climbing the tower to send an SOS from top of the tower. Passers-by and traffic police soon came to know from some friends of these two youth that Suraj and Joy (both 26), both contract workers with a Mobile Tower maintenance company, had negotiated the height of over 150 feet, when their negotiations with their employer for a rise in the monthly emoluments of around Rs8000 fixed 5 years back had failed. According to reports, while taking them on contract, the employer had given a commitment to revise their emoluments upwards on the expiry of five years. Anxious moments

Govt banks may switch from gross salary to CTC for pay hike | Business Standard

Govt banks may switch from gross salary to CTC for pay hike | Business Standard Online comments recorded on April 18, 2013: M G WARRIER Like New Pension Scheme which has dismantled an existing social security system which was available to a small section of government and public sector employees without providing an acceptable transparent substitute, here again, it looks, GOI is planning to stealthily destabilise the wage structure in banking sector. There is no denying that ‘Cost to Company’(CTC) is an aspect that should be transparently packaged in any wage policy. But asking one category of employers(public sector banks) with whom GOI has a master-servant relationship to come out with ‘views’ on the concept makes one suspect the motives. Public sector, if backed with a level playing field as compared to the private sector, right from the Board Room to the junior-most functionary, will function much more efficiently than many of the private sector organisations in India, which, by

Investment pacts can’t be subject to foreign jurisdictions: FM - The Hindu

Investment pacts can’t be subject to foreign jurisdictions: FM - The Hindu This is a timely assertion coming from the Finance Minister when confusion was getting confounded on account of diverse positions taken by central and state governments on issues which had stakeholders abroad. For a long time, it has been a ‘recognized’ practice for international organisations dominated by developed world to impose irrelevant and extraneous conditions while drafting bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements involving less privileged nations. The question “Will you allow the Supreme Court of Canada be subject to jurisdiction of any other court or tribunal?” becomes relevant in this context. One hopes, going by the spirit of the position taken by the finance minister, India will, from now onwards, strive for a level playing field in other areas of bi-lateral and multi-lateral relationships with developed countries. M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram

NEW BANKS Free Press Journal N A Majumdar

New banking could use some old time culture The sting operation conducted by the online portal Cobrapost alleged that three private sector banks - HDFC, ICICI and Axis Bank - had offered to launder unaccounted money. Responding to a question regarding this incident, the governor of RBI, Dr. D Subbarao noted that the operation showed only that the bank executives were canvassing for illegal transactions and that no such transactions had actually taken place. But he stated that the RBI had initiated an enquiry into the whole affair. The concerned banks had suspended their officials and instituted their own enquiries. Following this incident, the chief executives of ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are offering immunity to employees, exposing their colleagues' unfair practices that compromise compliance standards. What is important is not that the fraud has actually not taken place but the bank officials' eagerness to compromise established anti- laundering reg

A Regulator’s Hypocricy - Moneylife

A Regulator’s Hypocricy - Moneylife

The intolerant Indian - Business Line

The intolerant Indian - Business Line My online comments: The article is thought-provoking. If we go by what is getting reported  and debated in the print and electronic media, the analysis is  indisputably correct. I am tempted to record a dissenting note on  behalf of the majority of Indians who do not have opportunity to read  a newspaper or watch ‘Current Affairs’ channel on television. This  category of Indians still respect the age old value system for which  India is known and about which we take pride. Even among the educated  youth who belonged to the privileged middle class and above, there are  many who do not belong to the category of ‘intolerant Indians’  described here. This category should be guided by those who have lived  through an era when there were avenues for handling ‘intolerance’. The  present eruptions of intolerance are symptomatic of a deeper malady  which is spreading in the system mainly due to the greed of a  ‘successful’ section of society which is supp

A one-stop regulator - Business Line

A one-stop regulator - Business Line The ‘idea’ of UFA mooted by FSLRC doesn’t just sound utopean. It is utopean. The environment that the Financial Sector Legislative Reform Commission envisages for India’s regulatory landscape, to say the least smacks of copying the ‘Mall culture’ which is being developed for groceries, cosmetics and clothes to products in the financial sector. Prima facie, nothing illegal. But the Commission should have listened to the sane voices from within, which have partly surfaced as dissenting notes when it finalized the report. Four dissenting notes in a report signed by seven including the Chairman and the Secretary (it would have been embarrassing for these two to dissent!). The idea of creating a Unified Financial Agency for all financial regulators except RBI, truncating RBI by separating Public debt Management and keeping the agency doing that work (presumably with the same work force) in RBI premises, later UFA subsuming even RBI all give a feeling t

VITALINFO: Ideas can not only ‘change your life’, but can des...

VITALINFO: Ideas can not only ‘change your life’, but can des... :

M G Warrier's My Page April 2013

M G Warrier’s My Page  wishes its readers A Happy Gudi Padwa A Happy Ugadi & A Happy Vishu A monthly bulletin from M G Warrier incorporating select published letters/links to articles (and some stray thoughts based on what he read/saw and wrote during the month). Mailed during the third week of every month. Please send your responses and views to Vol III, No 4, April 2013 M G Warrier, MLR-116-B, Mangalam Lane , SASTAMANGALAM-695010 (9349319479) Dear reader  My Page is also being posted on Warrier’s Blog at 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 Regards M G Warrier April 12, 2013 Articles The following articles were published during February-April, 2013 (Till April 12, 2013) FSLRC Recommendations on RBI: Stop, Look

FSLRC recommendations on RBI: Stop, look and proceed! - Moneylife

FSLRC recommendations on RBI: Stop, look and proceed! - Moneylife The finance ministry and FSLRC, in a hurry to resolve minor issues, perhaps ignored the evolution of the role of RBI and the care with which RBI has nurtured the financial sector. Time is not right for dismantling or truncating the RBI which is doing creditably well as is being admitted in several international forums M G Warrier

Drop plan on new banks, Finance panel tells RBI chief - Business Line

Drop plan on new banks, Finance panel tells RBI chief - Business Line Though the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee   on Finance would appear normal in the present confused situation, they   raise issues much deeper than whether or not applications for the new   bank licenses should be received now or later or who should start a   new bank in the private sector.   The way in which the issue is handled gives a feeling that ‘bank’ is a   product which can be hoarded or sold guided by public opinion   dominated by the will of those who can afford to invest the needed   capital. This position has evolved over time, because of the manner in   which new bank licenses were issued to the so called ‘new generation’   private sector banks.   Those who are responsible for policy formulation should adopt a   pragmatic approach and come out with transparent norms, which,if   complied, should enable any Indian applicant with the wherewithal and   skill and oth

New BRICS for old - Business Line

New BRICS for old - Business Line My online comments: It may be recalled that the idea to set up a new development bank was  mooted by India at last year’s BRICS summit in Delhi. Dr Manmohan  Singh could sell the ‘idea’ which may change the way the rich look at  the poor. Whatever view one may have about Dr Singh’s capabilities in  politics and diplomacy, he is the one person who has successfully  guided the management of both monetary and fiscal policy in India  during trying times. It was not the critics who are once again active  these days, who guided India on the correct trajectory during early  1990’s. A strong BRICS Development Bank will change not only the fate  of economic development in the so called third world, but bring about  a change in attitude and the way in which developed countries treat  the geographical areas, which, now they believe will perennially  remain poor and beg for their mercy for all time to come. That the  World Bank took note of the proposal for ‘

A wake up call from Cyprus for “debt-ridden” states like Kerala - Moneylife

A wake up call from Cyprus for “debt-ridden” states like Kerala - Moneylife

Avoid a U-turn, FSLRC goal achievable without truncating RBI

Super-regulator for financial sector mooted B N Srikrishna commission spares RBI for now A government-appointed panel on Friday proposed a  unified regulator  for markets, insurance, commodities and pensions. It proposed to keep banking out of its purview, but only temporarily. The panel, whose proposals could change the financial landscape of India, also suggested five additional agencies, including an appellate tribunal that would subsume the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). The suggestions were made by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission, formed in March 2011 to rewrite and harmonise financial sector laws. The panel on Friday gave its report to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who said the report would be made public in three to four days, after he discussed it with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The commission,  headed by retired Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna, said RBI was there for monetary policy and enforcing laws in the banking