Showing posts from April, 2016

In Kerala village, MGR’s childhood home in ruins

In Kerala village, MGR’s childhood home in ruins : While the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) continues to invoke M.G. Ramachandran’s popularity to boost its prospects every elections, the ancestral home of his mother in this village... HERE LIVED... Stories like this should inspire local authorities  to look back and preserve memories, not for just promoting politics,  but for ensuring economic development of places where people  who contributed to various sectors of economy/social life in different ways lived even for short periods. M G Warrier, Mumbai

Bad loans of private banks balloon 62.5% in Q4

Bad loans of private banks balloon 62.5% in Q4 : RBI-mandated review reveals ICICI, Axis have most NPAs; outlook for others better... INFUSE EFFICIENCY INTO BANKING SYSTEM Overdues, stressed assets, NPAs or whatever new name we may call it for accounting purposes, are a necessary ingredient in the business of banking. For minimising these and handling them timely, systems and procedures have to be in place and strengthening of this system by RBI in recent times has resulted in more transparency and more effort with GOI support to recover dues especially from wilful defaulters. The media debate is, sometimes, going on a tangent, trying to judge which section of banks are smarter-PSBs or private sector banks?- where the effort should be to make banking system more efficiently. Governments and political leadership should allow all financial institutions to function professionally and guidance should get limited to specifying goals to ensure economic growth and provision of credit to pre

Cartoonscape — April 30, 2016

Cartoonscape — April 30, 2016 : Cartoon from 'The Hindu' Hats off to you, Surendran...Those who have given lesser than 5 stars have missed the stone...or have forgotten the old story...or have not cared to understand the present water situation! M G Warrier


WEEKEND LIGHTER: FEAR OF DEATH (April 30/May 1, 2016, No. 18/2016) Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to I Opening remarks: Fear of Death All of us are afraid of death. This wisdom dawned on me during early 1990’s when I was persuading my colleagues to opt for a pension scheme introduced in Reserve Bank of India in lieu of THE then existing Contributory Provident Fund (CPF) Scheme. One day when I mentioned to a friend that ‘even if you die, because there is Family Pension, there is some financial security for your family, if you opt for pension’. We had to stop that day’s discussion then and there, as my friend was not willing to ‘discuss death’. Next day, I could proceed with the discussion and convince my friend about the advantages a pension scheme has, over CPF. That day, we started the discussion with my introductory sentence, ‘See, if I die after pension option being

Much maligned, more misunderstood

Much maligned, more misunderstood : Despite being weighed down on many fronts, the performance of PSBs commends itself on the world stage... My VIEW: Excellent analysis. PSBs have been at the receiving end because of their commitment to serve the purpose for which they came into being. PSBs' management never protested when they were denied a level playing field vis a vis the private sector banks or were burdened with responsibilities in social sector which the private sector refused to touch. The result is private sector banks are making merry with a stagnant 'below 30 per cent ' share in India's banking business. RBI is aware of this game and GOI is acting ignorance. M G Warrier

Lead article by Pulapre Balakrishnan on Kerala political situation: Bracing for the status quo in Kerala

Lead article by Pulapre Balakrishnan on Kerala political situation: Bracing for the status quo in Kerala : The only thing new about the is the speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has had no seats in its legislature thus far, may actually open its account this time. However, apart from... WITHER 'KERALA MODEL'? Excerpts: "Kerala’s politicians have long ago lost their grip on the ship of her economy. For over four decades now it has been sucked into the vortex of globalisation in the form of an offshore boom located in the Arabian Gulf. This has meant that labour has exited the State, raising the wage and rendering domestic production uncompetitive. Remittances have also pushed up the price of land, making it an object of speculation. As the returns on holding land have soared, all other forms of investment are rendered less attractive financially. Services which cannot be imported now remain the only viable economic activity, and it is in this segmen

Readers' Editor column on The elusive consensus

Readers' Editor column on The elusive consensus : , declared the intention of his paper — “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, which still appears on the masthead — fulfilling everyone’s needs remains a utopian goal. Last week, it was my turn to reopen... MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HIDU DATES BACK... Please read my online comments... M G Warrier


Consolidate this position : The RBI deputy governor’s assertion that a nudge from the government may be one way to ensure consolidation among PSBs hits the nail on the head (‘Consolidation among PSBs must be based on synergy of operation’, April... Think Gandhi The piece on Mahatma Gandhi (‘The Other Need’, April 27) by C Gopinath was excellent.If Gopinath’s sense of guilt while paying a bar bill with a ‘Gandhi note’ is real, the Mahatma may not mind his photos being embossed on credit/debit cards also! During the 1970s I visited my uncle in Madras; he showed me an enlarged, life-size photograph of his father (my muthassan, maternal grandfather). My uncle asked, “Do you remember muthassan’s face?” I said yes, even though he had gone when I was young. Uncle said the photo did not resemble his father, adding, as if he was consoling himself: “Most of the people who will see this, ‘framed and hanged’ would not have seen him alive!” So, Mahatma Gandhi will be safe on coins and currency no

A K Bhattacharya: Much more than numbers

A K Bhattacharya: Much more than numbers : The confusion over whether the growth rate projected is in real or nominal terms has influenced the other targets as well... A SILVER-LINING This  refers to the brilliant take by A K Bhattacharya (Business Standard, New Delhi Diary, April 27, 2016) on  the agenda for action to transform India unveiled by Modigovernment recently.  The positive side is, Government’s intention to rebuild the Planning  Commission, which was described by Prime Minister Modi as a ‘house in disrepair’ needing reconstruction in his first Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2014, is gradually being converted to actionable sub-projects. It would be a great idea to reinvent planning by splitting the present 2032 Vision into three 5 Year Plans, first one terminating in 2021. NITI Aayog since its coming into being has been having serious debates and generating several work papers, involving stakeholders, economists and expe

The other need: Think Gandhi!

The other need : Mahatma Gandhi and the idea of gold savings... THINK GANDHI Loved to read the excellent thought-provoking short piece on Mahatma Gandhi by C Gopinath (The Hindu Business Line, American Periscope, April 27, 2016). Still wondering how this came under a column captioned ‘American Periscope’, though. If Gopinath’s sense of guilt while paying a bar bill with a ‘Gandhi note’ is real, Mahatma may not mind his photos being embossed on all credit/debit cards also!  Reading about Gandhi not really looking straight at the beholder of gold coin, I am reminded of a personal experience. During 1970’s when I visited my uncle (Mother’s brother) in Madras, he showed me an enlarged photograph of his father(my Muthassan -maternal grandfather). The studio in Mount road had done an excellent job by producing an almost ‘life-size’ clear black and white picture of my grandpa’s face. I was not prepared for the question from my uncle that ensued. He asked, ‘Do you remember Mu


The Hindu, FAITH, April 27, 2016 SANYASIN After elaborating on Karma yoga in chapter five of the Gita, Lord Krishna talks about what is needed to understand the atma in chapter six. If one is a householder, he has certain mandatory duties. But he must not do his duties with the expectation of rewards such as svarga (heaven). Such people may be householders, married and with a family, and yet they are sanyasis! So what Krishna is saying here is that sanyasis are not necessarily those who have renounced the world, elaborated Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse. Sanyasa is, in a sense, an attitude. And in the first verse of chapter six of the Gita, this is what Krishna points out. There are do’s and don’ts for a sanyasi. He must have renounced worldly ties; he must not perform yagas. He must not touch metals. He must use only wooden receptacles. But one doesn’t become a sanyasi simply by adhering to these rules. A sanyasi must have jnana over and above all t

Fixing judicial delays

Fixing judicial delays : Attention to problems of India's judiciary overdue... Judiciary revamp The BS editorial "Fixing judicial delays" (April 26) goes beyond fault-finding and finding scapegoats for the sorry state of affairs of the Indian judiciary, symbolically demonstrated by the tears that fell on the dais where Prime Minister Modi was present. For a moment even the Prime Minister must have been shocked which made him search for words and make a guarded official statement that ‘if constitutional barriers do not create any problems, then top ministers and senior Supreme Court judges can sit together to find a solution to the issue’. Knowing the ‘Modi’ way of looking at issues, one would have expected a promise to ensure quick action to fill up existing vacancies in the judiciary at all levels and an assurance to resolve other issues flagged by CJI in a time-bound manner. 30 million court cases pending in various courts in the country, there is urge

RBI Governor clarifies on 'one-eyed man king' comment

RBI Governor clarifies on 'one-eyed man king' comment : Facing criticism from various quarters, including from the Central Government Ministers, on his ‘one eyed man king’ comment made on the domestic economy, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan... AN EYE FOR AN EYE WILL... Excerpts: "While he apologised for the ‘one eyed man king’ comment for the section of people who are blind but also raised the question: “How much of our language is tinged with meaning that is liable to misinterpretation? How forgiving should we be of a bad choice of words when the intent is clearly different?” The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cited the famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world go blind”, and said it was clear what it implied, that the whole world going blind is not a desirable state of affairs. “One might take umbrage since it suggests blindness is an inferior state to that of being able to se

Open Page: Kolkata flyover collapse — The post-mortem nation

Open Page: Kolkata flyover collapse — The post-mortem nation : Two recent major disasters in public spaces grabbed countrywide attention because of their dramatic visual impact: the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Kolkata, resulting in the death of... Excerpts: " The Kerala government’s plea to declare the Kollam disaster a national calamity may appear to be exaggerated, but it is indeed appropriate. But not for the reasons that have been adduced: it exposes the real national calamity, which is the extent to which we have travelled down the road to becoming a “post- mortem nation” and consequently one of the most accident- prone societies in the world." Read full article using the above link. M G Warrier

A desperate situation: Judiciary revamp

A desperate situation : The pendency of cases in India’s overburdened and understaffed judiciary is well documented. The emotional appeal made by responses. But substantive and concrete measures to resolve the twin problem... JUDICIARY REVAMP April 26, 2016 This refers to The Hindu editorial "A desperate situation" (The Hindu, April 26). In my article posted on February 5, 2013, I had observed in a different context asunder: “There is urgency to fast-track justice not only when sensational issues come up and media/ popular protests highlight them. The immediate measures could include: • Segregating cases which need to be decided within a year and taking them on a priority basis by the courts now in position.   • Leaving the remaining cases to new Special Courts to be put in place at all levels depending on the number of pending cases.   • Ensuring vacancies of judges are filled in time • Making it compulsory for government and public sec

Kamadenu: Divyam dadAmi thaey chakshu: - Dialogue with Arjun...

Kamadenu: Divyam dadAmi thaey chakshu: - Dialogue with Arjun... : Divyam dadAmi thaey chakshu: - Dialogue with Arjuna. #watercolor #krishnafortoday DIVINE EYE NA TU MAAM SHAKYASE DRSHTUMANENAIVA SWACHAKSHUSAA DIVYAM DADAAMI TE CHAKSHUH PASHYA ME YOGAMAISHWARAM (But surely you cannot see Me with these physical eyes of yours; therefore, I vouchsafe to you the divine eye. With this you behold My divine power of Yoga) (Bhagavadgita, 11.8)

Needed: A zero-vacancy approach to top level appointments - Moneylife

Needed: A zero-vacancy approach to top level appointments - Moneylife Excerpts: "The ‘Modi’ way of looking at the issue should have been to promise quick action to fill up existing vacancies in the judiciary at all levels and assure a solution to other issues flagged by CJI in a time-bound manner   As appointments in government get delayed for various reasons, vacancies at various levels keep increasing. Judiciary’s case is not different. Government and public sector should move forward to a ‘zero-vacancy’ concept sooner than latter." Please read full article using the above link... M G Warrier  

Religious discourse: Path of penance

Religious discourse: Path of penance : Many have taken to austere penance as a means to gain spiritual power, to obtain boons to boost one’s strength, for atonement and so on. When Vasishta is a helpless witness to the atrocity... The Hindu, April 25, 2016 FAITH Path of penance Many have taken to austere penance as a means to gain spiritual power, to obtain boons to boost one’s strength, for atonement and so on. When Vasishta is a helpless witness to the atrocity of the sacred cow Nandini being dragged forcibly by Vishwamitra, she tells the sage that the power of his penance is far superior to the strength and might of the king, said Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a lecture. As a result of the long-standing association with the sage whom she has served faithfully all these years, she knows that even all the might of kshatriyas has a limit. She adds that there is none more powerful than the sage who is steeped in Brahmopasana. She prays to the sage to give her permission to act so

In the august company of RBI pensioners?

Rajan most powerful, but not the top-paid at RBI? : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, currently in the eye of the storm over his ‘one-eyed is king among blind’ remark, may be the most powerful person at the central bank, but he does... In the company of pensioners? The inadequacy of compensation at the highest level in PSBs (not in RBI) was articulated by Dr Subbarao, Dr Rajan’s predecessor when he was in RBI. The RBI Governor and his deputies are in the august company of a few thousand septuagenarian and octogenarian RBI pensioners who are awaiting a revision of their pension since 1997! Pensioners may have to wait longer, but Banks Board Bureau is likely to consider upward revision of remuneration of top PSB executives. M G Warrier 

Why gold refinery consolidation is the need of the hour

Why gold refinery consolidation is the need of the hour : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's decision to cut arbitrage may ensure that the standards of purity of the refined gold in the Indian market meet the global benchmark... GOLD REFINING This refers to the report “Why gold refinery consolidation is the need of the hour” (Business Standard, April 24, 2016). One is not sure, whether this well argued piece, highlighting certain linkages crucial for all the three gold monetisation/investment schemesof GOI/RBI introduced in 2015-16 in different ways will be seen by those responsible for policy formulation and implementation, as the report has been published on a Sunday! We have seen that pessimism has been the hallmark of every move towards better management of domestic gold stock since the budget announcement on the subject. Vested interests planted stories about prospective failure of gold monetisation scheme and Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme. Arrangements conforming


WEEKEND LIGHTER: BACK TO SQUARE ONE! (April 23/24, 2016, No. 17/2016) Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to I Opening remarks: Work and Reward Today (April 23, 2016) is being observed as the 400 th Death Anniversary of William Shakespeare. On this occasion The Hindu Business Line BLink (April 23, 2016) has covered Shakespeare sparing full 10 pages out of its 24 pages ( This issue of BLink has no advertisements!). I do not propose to reduce the significance of the content by giving excerpts. WILL-I-AM Shakespeare comes alive on these 10 pages to watch how fondly people have preserved his work and memories and appreciates Team BLink! M G Warrier II Recent responses 3X5 Year Plan to eliminate poverty Apropos “Govt aims to remove poverty by 2032” (The Hindu Business Line, April 22, 2016), it is comforting to see that the Government’s intention to rebuild the Planning