Regulations
Government passes ordinance to amend Land Acquisition Rules

Unable to legislate in the Rajya Sabha due to insufficient numbers, the Modi government has passed an ordinance to pass another important reform

 

The Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the land acquisition act here on Monday, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters at a briefing. The ordinance is aimed at easing the rules for land acquisition and auctioning minerals.

 

The land acquisition laws were blamed by industry for being the main impediment in progress on projects worth about $300 billion or nearly Rs20 lakh crore.

 

Reports suggested that the push had come from states to simplify the law so that stuck projects could be cleared. As per the changes after the ordinance, the compensation to be given to the farmers remains the same. However, the consent requirements will become more relaxed.

 

“There is a need to strike a balance between farmers' interests and industrial development,” the Finance Minister said. He also said that, “The changes in Land Acquisition Act have been done after extensive consultations with states.”

 

The current government has already used the ordinance route thrice in its 6 month term, the route is reserved for extreme cases where a law is unable to be passed for the time being.

 

The previous ordinances dealt with the increase in foreign investment limit in insurance and the commercial mining of coal.

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Nifty, Sensex in no man’s land – Monday closing report

A close below 8,215 will increase the chances of a decline

 

In Friday’s closing report we had mentioned that the S&P CNX Nifty will come out of its downtrend at least temporarily if it closes above 8,213 on Monday. Today the index opened two points above this level and moved higher.


The S&P BSE Sensex opened with a gap at 27,266 while Nifty opened at 8,215. The benchmarks went to hit a high at 27,507 and 8,279 respectively. Sensex closed at 27,396 (up 154 points or 0.57%), while Nifty closed at 8,247 (up 46 points or 0.56%).

 

NSE recorded a volume of 60.78 crore shares. India VIX fell 0.43% to close at 14.5825.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said manufacturing continued to be a concern, despite reforms initiated by the government. The conditions would not drastically change till radical steps are taken, he said.


Inflows of foreign direct investment into India rose by about 25% to $17.35 billion in the April-October period of the current fiscal, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.


Aban Offshore (17.43%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Credit Analysis and Research Ratings revised credit rating of bank facilities by 3 notches to BB- from D.

 

Revision takes into account improvement in capital structure consequent to mobilisation of fresh equity during FY14 (refers to the period April 1 to March 31) and H1FY15, improvement in the financial performance during FY14 and H1FY15 and completion of refinancing of debt at the group level.


Essar Oil (2.16%) was among the top six losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It recently said that it will convert over USD 1 billion worth of rupee loan into dollar debt by March to reduce its cost of borrowings and will acquire group firm, Vadinar Power Company, for Rs 2,100 crore.


Sesa Sterlite (3.81%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. Kotak Institutional Equities upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'reduce' as the stock now offers favourable risk-reward for investors.


Bharti Airtel (0.80%) was the top loser among Sensex 30 stocks. It informed BSE that in view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT players including VoIP, it has decided not to implement the proposed launch of VoIP packs.


On Friday US indices closed in the green.


Asian indices showed mixed performance. Hang Seng (1.82%) was the top gainer while Seoul Composite (1.04%) was the top loser.


According to reports, China has cut its target for the growth of external trade to 6% for 2015, compared with a 7.5% target this year. That is considerably slower than the official growth rate of the entire economy, which expanded 7.4% from a year earlier in the first three quarters, reports added.


Japan's Cabinet approved 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) in fresh stimulus on Saturday, 27 December 2014 for the ailing economy, pledging to get growth back on track and restore the country's precarious public finances.


European indices were mostly in the red while US Futures were trading in the red.


The Greek government failed to elect a new president, increasing the chances of early parliamentary elections in the country. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' preferred candidate failed to gain the 180 votes needed to win the election.

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A letter to the RBI Governor on indiscriminate lending by PSBs

With Mr. Subhash Sawant and others questioning the prevailing unfettered, unquestioned disbursing of public funds by Public Sector Banks at "Will" - theirs' or their political masters', a new chapter has begun in the public space

 

Social worker Abhay Desai, has been working with former union leader Subhash Sawant, on the issue of the unfettered and unquestioned loan sanction to borrowers, especially those with connections. Desai wrote a letter to the RBI governor about how citizenry and the arms of government and regulators should work together to stem the tide of bad loans and crony capitalism. The text of the letter is as below. Do share and spread the message:

 

 

The Governor

 

Reserve Bank of India

Mumbai

 

Dear Dr Raghuram Rajan

Jana Mana, Jana Dhana

 

Thank you very much for bringing the issues of "funds-of-the-people" disbursed as they are, by the "custodian bankers" to "the-center-of-the-stage" of public debate. Across all the media platforms English and vernacular, terms such as NPA and Crony Capitalism are beginning to be understood and make sense to a commoner like me as well. This very knowledge that financial literacy among the populace is spreading fast has stirred a few in the PS Banks to bring to public notice & debate the very existence of this malice and thus seek greater participation and support of and from citizens.

 

Many among us thought that the bankers were doing their job with diligence. This was the prevailing perception harboured by many like me. This perception took a conscious shift with the surfacing of the curious case of bank employees raising their voice on the streets of Mumbai as "principal custodians" of not only "peoples' funds" but "their faith" as well. As the days passed, an innocent event carrying on its shoulders serious cause - the one mentioned above, turned the management of Central Bank of India hostile towards the organiser/s of the Morcha. In the beginning the Morcha seemed Prima facie another episode of "cat and mouse" game between the two players. As the details emerged, the fine print revealed that the Bank in question did not appreciate "one among" them going "public" with issue of good governance and questioned their practices. It questioned their very doctrine of prudence as practiced by them - The Bankers.

 

With Mr Subhash Sawant leading the pack and questioning the prevailing wisdom among the Bankers - unfettered, unquestioned right of disbursing public funds by the PS Banks at "Will" - theirs' or their political masters', a new chapter has begun in public space. By initiating a process that may deny pension benefits to him, the Bank lost an opportunity to make him & them a partner in the ongoing campaign of "Swatchch Banks". What comes to mind is that CVC had in September formed a four-member advisory board, headed by former Vigilance Commissioner Ranjana Kumar, to assist it and CBI in examining matters related to PS Bank' commercial and financial frauds.

 

Last year, CVC had imposed punishment including administrative action in 153 cases involving officials of Bank of Baroda, 127 cases involving SBI, 110 Syndicate Bank, 80 Punjab National Bank, 77 of Union Bank of India, and 73 cases involving Vijaya Bank. A total of 7,365 complaints of alleged corruption were received against Banks' officials by the CVC last year. In September, the Commission had advised major penalty against 53 officials of banks for their alleged involvement in corruption, according to the CVC's monthly performance report. The CVC has decided to expand its pool of officers drawn from PS Banks to help it probe corruption complaints in the public banking sector.

 

The CVC has written to several PS Banks - State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce, among others, asking them to send a list of interested officers of Deputy General Manager (DGM) level who can serve as advisers in the commission. I will appreciate if the Governor of RBI can engage the CVC and urge it to include public spirited ex-employees as well of PS Banks irrespective of their position during the tenure - management or staff, to be included as advisors.

 

One can depoliticise the process by mandating that every such advisor not be a member of an alliance, affiliation or a union at the time of consultation or thereafter. One should not have any reservation about such an arrangement because one has to look up to the judiciary and politics to emulate. Members of the Bar are encouraged and invited to be Judges of the High Courts. A practising lawyer becomes an amicus curiae at the urging of the Honourable Justices. Even a politician becomes The President of The Republic of India - contesting candidates retire from active politics the day campaigning ends. If there is an iota of conflict of interest one just recuses self. Let us build this robust mechanism. I urge you to express views of your office on public fora and/or issue an advisory on the issue of participation of employees (Ex or serving) of PS Banks in their informal or formal capacity in a transparent Banking ecosystem.

 

This will be a revolutionary step. Your office is constitutionally empowered to take the lead. Let there be room for many actors to protect the interests of depositors of Banks in India. Let there be a vigilant mechanism in place to protect "The Jana Dhana". Let us create a conducive environment that fosters growth of concerned citizens in numbers, quality of thought and commitment to the cause, so they come forward, take the lead in good governance. Let us nip in the bud the tendencies that breed practices that protects an exclusive club where those not heard become vigilantes as a consequence of not being heard.

 

An episode is still fresh in the mind when interviews were postponed by the Central Bank of India under protest by political parties recognised by CEC and the process was halted sheepishly in Mumbai alone and the issue in question referred to IBPS. It is very interesting to note that Mr.

 

Subhash Sawant and his team did not exert such pressure when they are in a position to do so as well and very well - laudable for an employees' union where no political capital was extracted by the leadership when their very personal interests were cornered.

 

We expect your office to take initiative so that the whispers that have now become articulated opinions find a platform and these find their rightful place in civil society to be discussed and debated. We tolerate the promoters turned wilful defaulters. We accept financials of their businesses without question. We, as a nation should not see, tolerate and allow a system that accepts the bottom line of the passbooks of our citizens with only ciphers when the Banks go under.

 

When crises arise we see the Banks laughing all their way to the Finance Ministry with the confidence that they will be recapitalised - Basel or no Basel. Just before sending this mail came news flash that RBI has reworded the definition of "Non-Cooperative Borrowers". These measures reassure us that Yaksh & Yakshini continue to inspire The Institution to be the Mana of our Republic that guards the Dhana of the Jana.


Thank you for your time, Governor.

 

Thane

December 23, 2014

 

Abhay Desai

 

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COMMENTS

Bhardwaj Satish

2 years ago

Spending rather wasting public money fun for RBI, De La Rue defective substandard currency paper stationary and machines cost 8000 Crore INR, created security lapses more than Abdul Kareem Telgi; what prompt RBI not to threw open this case to CBI? Why none RBI small or biggie fixed for corruption lapses? Public money inconvenience who cares?

Bhardwaj Satish

2 years ago

Spending rather wasting public money fun for RBI, De La Rue defective substandard currency paper stationary and machines cost 8000 Crore INR, created security lapses more than Abdul Kareem Telgi; what prompt RBI not to threw open this case to CBI? Why none RBI small or biggie fixed for corruption lapses? Public money inconvenience who cares?

Raghavan Thundiyil

2 years ago

Finance minister wants interest rates to be reduced. But what about 5lakh crores of NPAs which the super rich of India refuses to pay back. This amount can finance several Govt schemes (which the govt is now planning to do away with- the schemes which really benefits deserving under privileged). Even disclosing these NPAs' names are taboo, but FM wants more to be pumped to willful defaulters, so that it can come back for next election campaign.
Now that the money that has gone into the campaign has started talking in the words of FM, expect more to follow.
The starting point for an action against these NPAs would be a campaign to publish the names of defaulters, which will throw up names of politicians, their benamis & the finaciers of all political parties.

REPLY

T PARAMASIVAN

In Reply to Raghavan Thundiyil 2 years ago

When the Swach PM can induct an NPA Industrialist - Sujana Industries as a Minister, do you think our FM who is all action like Jet Li will apply his mind to take efforts to recover the NPAs. You and I are there to bear the losses created by corrupt CMDs like Jain of Syndicate Bank. The FM is least worried as he is already worth 110 Crores officially .

T PARAMASIVAN

2 years ago

Added to this our Finance Minister has started baiting the RBI Governor just like his predecessor. He needs some excuse for Nonperformance. Anyway, Bank chiefs bend backwards to please the political bosses irrespective of the party color. When the PM can induct a defaulter as a Minister, one shudders to think of the position of our Banks which are being manned by sheer incompetency.

manhar kothari

2 years ago

Thought provoking letter.
Majority of common people believe that few business houses in collaboration of politicians and corrupt bank officials manipulate system to siphon public money.
This issue deserve serious attention of RBI governor and people seating in government and who believes in good governance.

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