(August 27/28, 2016, No. 35/2016)
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
Opening Remarks
Rajan II @ Mint Road
Days before appointment of Urjit Patel as RBI’s 24th Governor, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told media persons that they should not be inquisitive about the process of selection to the governor’s post and they would come to know when a decision was taken. He was, indirectly making the point that we are yet to put in place transparent processes and procedures for selecting candidates for top-most positions and if most of the time we get the right persons for the right posts, that could be attributed to the good luck of the country. While deciding on the appointment of the present SBI Chairperson also something similar happened about the ‘processes’ of selection.
Now that there is certainty about a smooth ‘change of guard’ at Mint Road, which will also ensure continuity of policy stances of the central bank, many are inventing new directions in which RBI should move from September second week. I too will join the debate. But, for now, let Rajan complete his present tenure.,
The elevation of the senior-most Deputy Governor in whom the outgoing governor had so much of confidence and with whom Team RBI loved to work, has several advantages which need not be listed. The icing is, there is no need to wait for the next Monetary Policy or the new governor’s first media interaction for the world to know Urjit Patel’s mind. Except for the added serenity and grace the person will derive when he enters the sanctum sanctorum of India’s central bank, Urjit Patel may be Rajan II for all practical purposes as far as the stakeholders are concerned.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Recent responses
Savers’ concerns*
This refers to :Institutional credit to rural sector must get more attention: President” (The Hindu Business Line, August 24). During the three years Dr Raghuram Rajan has been heading RBI, India has seen several reforms initiatives in the financial sector, both on institutional and infrastructure fronts and on policy and perception relating to savings and credit management. Rajan era saw RBI asserting that it would be the central bank’s objective to bring all institutions doing banking business within its regulatory and supervisory ambit. It is another matter that if Dr Rajan had explained his objective so transparently, the conversion of some of the NBFCs as banks or setting up of Postal bank would not have seen the light of the day.
The unfinished agenda left for Urjit Patel in streamlining processes and procedures in banks and institution building by the outgoing governor is huge. This is in addition to certain areas like rural credit management and revamping the banking channels(cooperatives and RRBs) in the rural sector which did not get adequate attention since the beginning of economic reforms circa 1991.
While referring to the trust savers repose in banks in regard to expectations about safety and a reasonable return, in fact President was voicing the concerns of the majority of millions of middle class savers who provide the resources for banking business. To restore common man’s faith in the banking system, measures like improving recovery of loans, reducing costs in management of funds by banks and ensuring that the workforce remain secure and satisfied are all important.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*The Hindu Business Line, August 25, 2016, Letters
Encashing need and greed
Quoted below is the concluding observation from RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s opening statement to the post-policy press conference on August 9, 2016:
“If you get an email from me or any future governor promising to transfer a large sum of say ₹ 50 lakh to you if only you send a small transaction fee of ₹ 20,000 to a specific bank account, delete the email. The reality is such emails are not from me and the RBI does not give out money directly to ordinary citizens, even though we print plenty of it. While the emails usually contain very convincing reasons why you have been chosen to receive money, ask yourself why I cannot simply deduct ₹ 20,000 and send you ₹ 49.8 lakh. If you think for a moment, you should not fall prey to such emails.”
Recalling this in the context of a report relating to an FIR filed by police after duped kidney ‘donor’ tried to end her life published in a leading newspaper on August 25, 2016. The report, inter alia says:
“The Borivili police on Wednesday registered an FIR in connection with the case of a 23-year old woman being defrauded by a kidney agent, driving her to attempt suicide. The agent had offered Rs 35 lakh to the woman if she agreed to donate her kidney. The catch was that she would first have to pay up Rs 80,000 as fees for registration and medical examination”
I think, media should give wide publicity to the parting message given by the outgoing RBI Governor which in essence means that if someone is going to give you something free or intend to make a huge payment for whatever reason, one need to remember that it is ridiculous for the giver to collect in advance a relatively small sum towards expenses like registration fee, medical examination, handling and forwarding charges etc. The person can as well give a gift of smaller value or make the payment after deducting costs.
Let us not allow others to encash our need or greed!
M G Warrier, Mumbai
PS: An edited version appeared in The Business Line on August 26, 2016. Every day people are offering themselves for being cheated by unscrupulous guys…
 Distorted priorities
This refers to the interesting piece “What’s in a name? Plenty” by two lawyers Arvind P Datar and N L Rajah (The Hindu, Legal eye, August 24). I have no views on the subject discussed in the article. My quarrel is with waste of resources like time, media space, professional expertise of lawyers, courts’ working hours, taxpayers’ money and so on, on issues like this (change of names) at a time when several more important matters from recovery of loans to serious criminal cases (including those which affect lives of prisoners awaiting trial and their families) are kept pending at various levels in courts and government offices.
A citizen is being framed for sedition, for saying something like ‘there are human beings like us in the neighbouring country also’.
May be we need to consider:
·        Building consensus to segregate cases before courts into two categories, one, which directly affect lives of people and two, those having only historic importance or are of just academic interest. The second category can wait till pendency of cases in the former category reaches a manageable level.
·        The legislatures, from Parliament down to panchayat level too can have a similar approach in taking up legislative measures.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
‘Call’ for change
This refers to Pulapre Balakrishnan’s excellent article “Looking for some change, Governor” (The Hindu, August 23). Once one completes reading, the concluding observations lingers on and the smiling face of S S Tarapore who regularly wrote a column (Maverick View) in The Hindu business Line comes to my mind. I am referring to the skill with which Pulapre has woven common man’s concerns into the fabric of economic theory and monetary policy. Tarapore would have presented the case same way, in a more piercing language which he considered his prerogative, probably because of his long association with RBI.
Loss of focus on research and more importantly the institutional confidence to speak out central bank’s mind really did get diluted since 1990’s. The HR background for this can be traced to the treatment meted out to professionals working in research departments in RBI. The general side had an aversion to specialisation, something similar to the caste system in government where a particular class (IAS) looks down upon other services, defence and foreign service personnel, scientists and economists. Definitely, change is in sight for the better in the outlook of post-1990’s entrants.
The evolution of the role of RBI as a central bank in the Indian context brought out in the article need to be taken note of by those who are making effort to redefine RBI’s responsibilities. Minting and making available coins of smaller denominations (irrespective of costs involved) will send out a positive message down the line about the concern of GOI and RBI for the common man. More importantly, GOI and RBI should prioritise mapping of idle resources lying idle in the vaults of private organisations including religious bodies and social outfits doing commendable work in supporting charity. It is not just about possibility of corrupt practices. A nation has the right to know its real net-worth.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Revelation of cosmic form*

Arjuna shares his extraordinary experience of beholding the Lord’s cosmic form which tries to represent and reflect His Infinite Glory that none can fathom. It is awe inspiring in its grandeur and limitless sweep.
So too is the form shown by child Krishna to Yasodha on two occasions which Suka describes in detail, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.
The first time it happens when He is in her lap and yawns very casually. Yasodha is bewildered to see the whole universe in the child’s mouth. But she forgets this vision and sees Krishna as her mischievous child.
On a later occasion, some boys complain to her that Krishna has eaten mud. Yasodha, ignorant of His Paratva, is frightened that He would fall sick and in anxiety chides him.
She asks Him to open His mouth to look out for traces of mud. She is instead taken aback to see an amazing vision in His mouth: she sees the whole of the sphere called earth and also the entire universe.
There are forests, oceans, and spheres such as rasatala, patala, etc, men, demons and celestial beings including everything else that exists.
Yasodha sees all these and also sees Him as the Parama Purusha in the milky ocean, and then as Mahavishnu in the Supreme abode of Vaikunta and again as her child standing before her. It is a vision of the Lord in His numberless forms.
Not content with revealing this cosmic form within His mouth, He also reveals another face and mouth of His with all the worlds and yet another and so on endlessly to indicate the infinite nature of His creation.
But this flash of illumination in Yasodha is only a brief one and soon the Lord brings her back to her role in samsara.

*Source: The Hindu, Faith (For more on this read Chapter 11 of Bhagavad Gita or Google search vishwaroopadarshanam and read “The Yoga of the Vision of the Universal Form”)

S2-4-S2’s PROBLEM!*

I have a simple solution (S2) for (4) Subramanian Swamy’s (S2) immediate problem, which is one of remaining in limelight at the cost of eminent personalities who do not have the kind of idle time to engage in spars in the media. Having accommodated Swamy as a Rajya Sabha MP, his well-wishers should now reserve some media space Subramanian Swamy wasting his time and media space on non-issues.
Incidentally, like many others, I am writing this with the sole selfish interest of finding my name in print, once again!

*Online comments posted@Financial Express in response to a yet another comment from Swamy that Dr Raghuram Rajan has no economics degree. 


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