Business/Economy
Robbing Peter to pay banks - TN Ninan, Business Standard
When the first lot of 14 banks was nationalised in 1969, one of the things said in those heady times filled with socialist fervour was that, with the banks’ resources at the government’s disposal, it might even be able to abolish the income tax. No one thought then that money would flow the other way: your tax money would be used by the government to finance mismanaged banks…because they finance businessmen who then don’t repay the loans.
Sensex sees worst weekly fall in six years; FM says no need to panic - Ami Shah & Anuja, Mint
The benchmark equity index, the S&P BSE Sensex, posted its worst weekly decline in almost six years as global uncertainties and concerns about ballooning bad loans at state-owned banks prompted a sell-off by investors.
Achhe din hinges on reforms - Guatam Mukherjee, Mail Today
This year will mark the mid-point for the Modi government. Right now, FDI statistics are looking good. But there is always a lag. The economy as a whole is still in the doldrums, bettered only to the extent that oil prices have dropped. Petroleum ministry estimates for FY16 suggest that India will buy $88 billion worth of crude, down from $112.78 billion in 2014-15, a 21.7 per cent reduction in the bill.
Go beyond just infrastructure - SL Rao, Financial Express
The Indian economy is being showered with praise today for being the fastest-growing one. In some ways, this is a story of relative perceptions. By comparison with the EU, Japan and even China, India’s GDP growth is better. (We will not discuss the “jugglery” in calculations last year that pushed up the number by at least 1%). Remember, our “better performance” is hardly two years old. China outperformed the rest of the world for two decades.
Govt racing to build highways: Nitin Gadkari - Jyotika Sood, Mint
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has kick-started construction of highways, resulting in reduced pressure on bank balance sheets, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
Band-aid won’t do, banks need deep surgery, says RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan - Indian Express
With the sharp spike in loan write-offs and non-performing assets and a steep fall in profits spooking the banking sector, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan made it clear Thursday that banks “may require deep surgery” to clean up their balance sheets and put stressed projects back on track.
Wisdom in the fog - MJ Akbar, Indian Express
Random thoughts during the melancholy of a fog-trapped Delhi airport: Why is grey darker than black? How does opaque fog immobilise aircraft and blind night permit perfect airline service? Electricity? Lights are available in both conditions. Why does fog defeat electricity? Science must have an answer, but I have no appetite for useless information while trapped in the penumbra of miserable morning semi-consciousness.
Should the government now import wheat? - Tejinder Narang, Financial Express
The probability of a minimum 5-6 million tonnes (MT) of wheat import in 2016 on government account after nine years—the previous import got concluded in 2007—by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) through PSUs is not ruled out both due to apparent and logical reasoning.
Aadhaar beneficiaries to cross billion mark - Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times
With a billion Indians set to get a 12-digit Aadhaar number by the end of next month, the government is finalising the process to give the project legislative backing and remove the uncertainty surrounding the biometric-based unique identification mechanism.
Indian lessons from Wall Street heretic - Subir Roy, Business Standard
Two major vehicles for Indians' long-term savings, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the National Pension System (NPS), can now invest a portion of their savers' funds in stocks. It is, therefore, vital that both their fund managers and the managements of companies in whose stocks the investment takes place have a truly long-term approach.
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