WEEKEND LIGHTER: I'll revise my priorities!

WEEKEND LIGHTER: I’ll revise my priorities!
(December 31, 2016/January 1, 2017, No.55/2016)*
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
New Year Resolution:I’ll revise my priorities!

*Posted on January 3, 2017. This issue got delayed as I was traveling during the last weekend-M G Warrier


Opening remarks
I’ll revise my priorities!

Last two weekends we were attending two weddings, one in Nashik and another in Wayanad(Kerala). The journeys and interaction with several people in such a short period gave opportunity to reframe my own views about myself and the world outside. Both my own ‘insignificance’ in the whole scheme of things and the love and affection I received from people, with whom I didn’t have any ‘lena dena’ all along, gave me enough reason to ‘be myself’ and continue the journey in the direction I have chosen. After reading the “Eye Opener” (Quoted in Section III here), I revised my 2017 New Year Resolution to: “I’ll revise my priorities”

Recent responses

RBI’s credibility

This refers to your editorial “Regaining credibility” (Business Standard, December 29). The marginalization of India’s central bank by GOI through finance ministry reached its peak when Chidambaram as FM threatened ‘walk alone’, if RBI doesn’t fall in line with Centre’s prescriptions. The then Governor Duvvuri Subbarao has recorded his bitter experiences in his memoirs “Who Moved My Interest Rate?”.
It has to be said to the credit of Dr Subbarao and his illustrious successor Dr Raghuram Rajan, that both took pains to understand the legacy and role of Reserve Bank of India and were quick in responding to any effort from outside to undermine the esteem of the central bank. Their fast and measured responses from inside (policy angle) and outside (through interaction with media and speeches) will be part of RBI’s history for the current decade, when it is written.
The responsibility for the present predicament of RBI has to be shared equally by GOI and RBI’s Central Board. Dr Rajan who had accepted governorship for three years was in India on leave from academia. But during the three years from September 4, 2013, he never ever gave an impression that he was on a tenure-based short-term assignment and had given clear indications that he was willing to continue beyond September 3, 2016, as long as necessary to complete ‘unfinished task’. Of course, demonetization was not being discussed at that time.
By now it is clear that the PM’s advisors in Delhi did not bring RBI on board or did not ensure backward and forward linkages necessary for demonetization turned out to be a multi-dimensional huge project. Though being mocked for repeatedly changing instructions, within the constraints, RBI and banks have cooperated with the GOI initiative and as people were convinced about the objectives, things are still under control. But, time is running out for GOI to ensure better coordination between Finance Ministry and RBI so that there is no disharmony in policy approach. GOI should also 
resist the temptation to deplete RBI’s reserves using ‘demonetization’ as a veil.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Rahul’s charter

This refers to the report “Rahul seeks answers from PM, demands balm for note-ban hit” (Business Line, December 29). Once you are able to ask right questions, right answers will emerge from somewhere. One regrets that the Congress leader waited and watched what happens to the  post-demonetisation India for long fifty days, instead of raising these questions and suggesting solutions when parliament was in session. Let us have a look at the charter he has presented at the press conference yesterday:
i)                   Waive farm loans; provide farmers 20 per cent bonus on MSP: Poor repaying capacity of the farmers and low MSP are issues that existed even before November 8, 2016 and as a responsible opposition, Congress should have raised them in parliament.
ii)                Deposit Rs25,000 in the account of every female listed under the BPL: Good suggestion. Here the opposition  need to appreciate the present government’s initiatives for financial inclusion and efforts to open JanDhan accounts in the first place. How to help those below poverty line could be discussed in the Budget session of parliament.
iii)              Raise the number of days and double wages under MNREGA: This is a straight admission that the scheme doesn’t meet its objective. Again, there should be debate in parliament on resources mobilization for the purpose and restructuring the scheme to meet its objectives.
iv)               Provide 50% relaxation in sales tax and income tax to small traders: Excellent suggestion. Resources can come by rationalizing tax exemptions to corporates and bigger organizations. The budget papers will give an idea about the kind of exemptions/relaxations they have been enjoying routinely(add to this the tax exemption enjoyed by big farmers on agricultural income). All these need serious deliberations in parliament and its committees and their functioning effectively depends on opposition’s cooperation.
v)                 Release a white paper on demonetization: Congress can publish a ‘white paper’ on the basis of information available. Let GOI come out with official view later.
Beyond arguments, the point being made is, a functional democracy needs both treasury benches and the opposition to do their homework and ‘pandemonium’ cannot be a substitute for parliamentary debates.
M G Warrier, Mumbai



Time: Most precious resource


*Source: Forwarded by Madan Gauria, Exrbites Group

Welcome, 2017
Ring out the old, ring in the new
Alfred Tennyson
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife,
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweet manners, purer laws.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Blog Post No. W2493/03012017


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