WEEKEND LIGHTER: Banking Sector Reforms

WEEKEND LIGHTER: Banking Sector Reforms
(February 18/19, 2017, No.7/2017)
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com

Section III:RBI Calendar 2017

I
Opening remarks
Banking Sector Reforms*
This refers to the report “Big Bank Theory: Merger of SBI, associates cleared” (Business Line, February 16). While the move is most welcome, the sporadic approach to financial sector reforms resurfaces, as GOI and RBI once again refused to even initiate the long overdue measures to consolidate and revamp the banking infrastructure in India. Inefficiency is built-in in the Indian Banking System, mainly because of structural and HRMD reasons.
The Financial Sector Reforms Committee (Narasimham Committee I, 1991) had visualized a structure for Indian banking System with “three or four large banks that could become international in character; eight to ten banks with a network of branches throughout the country engaged in ‘universal banking’; local banks whose operation would be generally confined to a specific region and rural banks (including RRBs) whose operations would be confined to the rural areas and whose business would be predominantly engaged in financing of agriculture and allied activities’. This is an idea whose time has come.
Perhaps, merger of associate banks with SBI could be followed by appropriate mergers at various levels of banks or branches of public sector and private sector banks, keeping in view also the prspective role of new players like small banks, payment banks and Postal Bank now going to position within the system. Once again, we remember with regret the opportunity the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission missed, to go into these aspects, in its anxiety to discipline the regulators and supervisors including RBI which were doing their job fairly well.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*Edited version published in the Business Line on February 17, 2017

II
Recent responses
It makes sense listening to PC*
This refers to P Chidambaram’s BS interview captioned “After UP polls, I don’t know what the BJP will do” (Business Standard, Q&A, February 16). Advocates are trained to focus on specifics of the ‘case on hand’ and Chidambaram is an eminent advocate. Therefore, every word he spoke on various issues here makes immense sense and BJP and its national leaders would do well to take cognizance and start contemplating on the corrective measures which will make that a national movement reminiscent of Indian National Congress of last century. To recap:
(a)  Initiate steps to improve financial and monetary stability. This may need more incentives to increase private investment and exports. (Congress may come out with more constructive suggestions on this as discussion on Budget 2017-18 progresses).
(b) There is immediate need to encourage private consumption, which has s hown negative growth post-demonetization.(Ideas like Universal Basic Minimum Income, increased minimum wage and an across the board wage/pension increase may help).
(c)  Corruption which has been woven into the fabric of public life need to be factored in as a reality and provided for. PC’s observations about capitation fee, bribes and disbelief in PM’s statement of objectives while announcing ‘demonetization’ on November 8, 2016 can be summed up like this.(This may not be acceptable to India as a long term strategy).
(d) Really concerned about what the BJP will do after UP polls.(Not only BJP, all major political parties fighting elections now face uncertainties)
India is fast passing through a transition. It is comforting to see that veteran politicians like PC and MMS who suddenly found themselves displaced are relocating in an advisory role which is most welcome. BJP should take advantage of their experience and wisdom, as PM Modi has always expressed willingness to listen to elders.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*See the edited, published version below:
Business Standard, February 17, 2017
Letters
Sound advice

Apropos Aditi Phadnis’ interview with P Chidambaram, “After UP polls, I don’t know what the BJP will do” (Q&A, February 16), advocates are trained to focus on the specifics of the case on hand and Chidambaram is an eminent one.

Every word he spoke in the interview makes sense. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its national leaders would do well to take cognizance of his words and start thinking of corrective measures. 

In terms of initiating steps to improve financial and monetary stability, more incentives are needed to increase private investment and exports. The Congress may have constructive suggestions on this subject as discussion on Budget 2017-18 progresses.


There is immediate need to encourage private consumption, which has dropped post demonetisation. Ideas like Universal Basic Minimum Income, increased minimum wage and an across-the-board wage and pension rise may help.

Corruption, which has seeped into public life, needs to be factored in as a reality and accounted for. Chidam-baram’s observations about capitation fee, bribes and disbelief in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement of objectives while announcing demonetisation are also notable. There is a question mark over what the BJP would do after the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. This applies to other parties as well.

With India transitioning swiftly, it is comforting to see veteran politicians like Chidambaram, who found themselves suddenly displaced, are now taking on an advisory role. The BJP should take advantage of their experience and wisdom — Modi has always expressed willingness to listen to elders.



M G Warrier, Mumbai


 III

Spirituality, Leisure

1

Reserve Bank of India Calendar 2017

In format and content, RBI calendar this year is different. In the introductory, RBI observes:
"Matters related to money, being pivotal to the conduct of social life, have been contemplated upon since time immemorial and and all related aspects-earning, spending and saving- have received much attention in this ancient land of ours. Through its pages, this Calendar seeks to showcase a sample of that accumulated wisdom".
JANUARY 2017
Kshanasah Kanasaschaiva
Vidyaarambham Cha Saadhayet
Kshanatyaage Kuto Vidyaa
Kanatyaage Kuto Dhanam


Meaning:

Even a moment is valuable while acquiring knowledge and even a penny is valuable while earning money.

2

SAHANAVAVATU (PEACE) MANTRA* 

The "Sahanavavatu mantra" is one of the shaanti (peace) mantras which has its origins in the Taittiriya Upanisad. This mantra is often used as a "universal" prayer, to send the message of peace and prosperity. The mantra may also be used to invoke God's blessings for harmony amongst teacher(s) and student(s).
AUM saha navavatu, saha nau bhunaktu
Saha veeryam karvaavahai
Tejasvi naa vadhita mastu
maa vid vishaa va hai
AUM shaantih, shaantih, shaantih.

Meaning of the Sahanavavatu Mantra

Let us together (-saha) be protected (-na vavatu) and let us together be nourished (-bhunaktu) by God's blessings. Let us together join our mental forces in strength (-veeryam) for the benefit of humanity (-karvaa vahai). Let our efforts at learning be luminous (-tejasvi) and filled with joy, and endowed with the force of purpose (-vadhita mastu). Let us never (-maa) be poisoned (-vishaa) with the seeds of hatred for anyone. Let there be peace and serenity (-shaantih) in all the three universes.
This mantra highlights the nature of the teacher-student relationship that produces ideal results for the student. The transference of mental, spiritual and intellectual energies from the teacher to the student can be achieved through a mutually nourishing relationship which is based on (mutual) respect, joy (of giving and receiving), and absence of malice or negative thoughts.
*Source: Various websites

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