Money & Banking
Urjit Patel is the new governor of RBI
The government on Saturday appointed eminent economist, consultant and banker Dr Urjit Patel as new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He will replace Dr Raghuram Rajan. 
 
Dr Patel was Deputy Governor of RBI looking after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and right to information. 
 
On 11 January 2013, Dr Patel was appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years. He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding Subir Gokarn to the post.
 
Dr Patel obtained his BA from the London School of Economics [LSE, University of London], M Phil degree from Oxford University in 1986. He received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Kenyan citizen. He was at IMF India desk during the 1991-1994 transition period. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992-1995. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009.
 

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MG Warrier

4 months ago

The decision to appoint Urjit Patel as 24th RBI Governor will be welcomed by all including the outgoing Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan, who was visibly concerned during recent weeks, about unfinished work he would be leaving for his successor. As Patel was associated with most of the policy pushes Rajan initiated, there is no immediate risk of a diversion under pressure from any quarters.
Though 3 years is too short a period, the history of RBI for the current period, when it is written, will have a lot to cover under ‘Rajan Era’. Here, there is an advantage arising from Dr Rajan’s innocence and outspokenness (which, in a way cut short his stay at Mint Road!) for those who will be recording the history. They do not have to wait for Rajan to write his memoirs. They can as well scan the speeches made and interviews given by him during the three years.
One regret. GOI has again gone by a wrong template while appointing RBI Governor. The appointment this time should have been for 5 years’ tenure in the first place. Of course, it would be tough to ignore political pressures at every stage.
In a lighter vein, one is tempted to console Subramanian Swamy that his accusation that Dr Rajan did not study economics at undergraduate level has been taken into account in making a choice as Urjit Patel went for higher studies after graduation in economics!
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Ashok Visvanathan

4 months ago

Is Urjit Patel also a green card holder ?

REPLY

Suketu Shah

In Reply to Ashok Visvanathan 4 months ago

mainly is he prodigy of PC like American Rajan was?

Celebrate Janmashtami without breaking the vertebrae!
It is indeed a welcome verdict by the Supreme Court with respect to the Dahi Handi celebrations: No youngsters below the age of 18 years and the human pyramids not more than 20 feet in height!
Applause. Applause.
 
At our non-governmental organization (NGO), Nina Foundation, we get calls on our HELPLINE for rehabilitation of friends with spinal cord injury. The second highest cause for this after road traffic accidents is falls due to various reasons, and dahi handi celebrations during Janmashtami is one of them. 
 
The challenge is as to how the Supreme Court ruling would be implemented. There are various groups which lure mostly uneducated and illiterate youth (though paid a paltry sum) individually. These groups are registered but what about the team, which travels from one location to another?
 
DahiHandi, Janmashtami,
 
1) It should be made mandatory that the birth certificates and photographs with residential proof be collected and filed with more than one mobile number (parents/ relatives).  The entire details of all participants should be deposited at the respective ward officers of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC) and also specific dahi handi pandals, which they have been assigned to attempt and break. Designated officers to read through this list and check the age authenticity of all participants. 
 
2) Before attempting, the specific dahi handi pandal-in-charge should verify every participant, and cross- check with the file. 
 
3) Each participant should also have an ID card around him. This is as far as age is concerned.          
 
4) Each participant should go through a specific duration of training for the freestyle human pyramid. Each should have a certificate of having been through this course. Many join without any prior rehearsal or training.
 
5) Dahi Handi must be categorised as adventure sport and all safety equipment should be used. Helmets, lumbar jackets and harness. At every attempt, the participants fall down a couple of times and not realising that spinal cord injury is permanent and very expensive. (World Health Organization has mentioned spinal cord injury as the most devastating disability in the world.) Many such patients die due to complications like bed sore and respiratory issues or urine infection.
 
6) At the Dahi Handi Pandal venue, breath analysers should be administered to check that they have not consumed alcohol. In a drunk condition, climbing on human shoulders, they are unstable and have no balance control. Falls are thus inevitable and severe injuries are likely.
 
7) Falling form a height on their backs or heads on the hard ground (mostly tar roads) causes serious injuries, which are irreversible. It should be made mandatory that a paramedic team is assigned to each mandal with a scoop stretcher and an ambulance ready. Dahi Handi’s fun has turned into wails and cries many a times. With the amount of money that most pandals claim to ‘Gift’ as ‘Prize Money’, the above are some precautionary measures worth investing in for truly a joyous celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth.
 
8) In the event that the young participant falls and has a spinal cord injury, head injury or fractures, then complete medical and rehabilitation compensation in total should be borne by the organising Dahi Handi group. This undertaking should be given in writing to each and every participant. The life care expense of living with a spinal cord injury is humongous – quadriplegia- Rs5 lakh month and paraplegia- Rs2 lakh a month. Rehabilitation expenses are separate.
 
 

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COMMENTS

Sraboni Sengupta

4 months ago

The verdict is truly the need of the hour. The celebration should be celebration and not a run for money and popularization of some political party/individuals. Some of the spinal injuries are fatal & has an impact not only on the person's life but on the entire family.

Pratap Hirji Chande

4 months ago

It is the need of the hour.If the rule is not followed or higher then the presribed height just dial 100 and within minutes the police will be there to stop illegal dahi handi organisers.

Jagrati

4 months ago

Can you please publish link for supporting data?

Param

4 months ago

i think the root cause of the issue needs to be addressed first - too many people with too little to do who are willing to risk their life for a chance at fame & money. i wonder how many would participate if most of them had a decent job & something more fruitful to do with their lives. but then again, india being what it is, anything goes in the name of religion...

Chandragupta Acharya

4 months ago

Complete rubbish. The only regulation that is acceptable is not to force minors into this risk.

Banks race to recover dues from defaulting rural women's groups
Two years ago, Nirmala Devaki borrowed Rs 50,000 for a cousin's wedding from her self-help group (SHG), one of 3.9 million across India that offer loans as small as Rs 10,000, including for marriages.
 
To Devaki, a landless farmer from Dastikoppa village in Karnataka's northwestern Dharwad district -- and one of approximately 40 million SHG members nationwide -- the monthly interest rate of 2 per cent charged by her SHG, Gayatri Sevasahaya, seemed easy to handle.
 
Today, Devaki owes the SHG nearly Rs 1 lakh, a sum the widow with five children says she, like 8 million women, cannot pay back. Her family survives on Rs 5,000, which it earns from selling the milk of its one cow. "Being part of a self-help group has become more of a burden than a help," she complained.
 
Across India's villages, over the last three years, Rs 9,000 crore given by banks to SHGs, under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), a government programme set up five years ago to boost rural incomes, have turned into non-performing assets (NPA), or loans in danger of being written off, much like the bad-loan crisis unsettling India's commercial banking system, with more than 5,000 wilful defaulters owing banks Rs 56,621 crore, as IndiaSpend reported in March 2016.
 
At 12 per cent of the Rs 77,650 crore the NRLM has lent over the last three years, the NPA figure may appear low. The corresponding NPAs in the commercial banking system for corporate sector are 5.5 per cent up to March 2015, according to Reserve Bank of India data.
 
The scale of the NPAs in the SHGs pale in comparison to corporate NPAs: Rs 9,000 crore owed by 8 million women is less than the Rs 9,478 crore default of one commercial defaulter, Lloyds Steel, second on the corporate NPA list.
 
The defaults of the women from SHGs are warning signs of similar stress and indicate that the Mission's goal of organising up to 90 million rural households into SHGs over the next decade may have overambitious targets, inadequate safeguards and could jeopardise the very livelihoods it hopes to improve.
 
There are two rules to lend money, said micro-finance expert M.S. Sriram, an economics professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore: One, assess the credit worthiness of a consumer, as banks do; two, penalise defaulters, which means customers can assess their repayment ability.
 
Those rules were ignored by banks lending to India's largest companies, and they are being ignored now, as the NPA crisis similarly grows in rural India.
 
There are two reasons for the unfolding rural debt crisis involving women. One, SHGs are not educating and training rural women on the basics of smart borrowing, how to invest and spend wisely. Money borrowed for income-generating activities such as stitching, candle making or farming, is often spent on personal expenses, from weddings to home construction. Two, banks are aggressively pushing loans through SHGs to meet the government's loan targets, without similar efforts at checking where this money goes.
 
You can hear stories like Nirmala's in rural north India too. Mamta Kanwar, of Niwaru village in Jaipur, borrowed Rs 50,000 from her SHG, Om. She then distributed it to the group's members so they could invest in stitching units. But they spent the money for personal purposes. Today, three years later, the Rs 50,000 has become an NPA.
 
Until June 2016, Rs 9,000 crore in loans disbursed under the National Rural Livelihood Mission had turned NPA since 2013-14, according to government data.
 
Stories from rural India reveal why loans are turning bad: Bankers appear to be scrambling to meet government-set loan targets, sacrificing due diligence.
 
Consider the example of Kalghatgi. The town has 1,907 Stree Shakti (Woman Power) SHGs with more than 25,000 registered members, which is more than the town population of 17,000, according to the 2011 census. This is because each of these members is registered with more than one SHG.
 
"The NRLM is not a government subsidy scheme," said B. Lokesh, senior mission executive (Financial Inclusion), NRLM. "It is basically helping banks increase business. SHGs are a priority sector under RBI (Reserve Bank of India) guidelines, which means banks have to lend a certain percent of their total credit to SHGs."
 
Banks are given targets, starting with an initial loan of Rs 50,000. If this amount is repaid, banks have to finance that SHG with an amount of up to Rs 1 lakh, which can later be raised to Rs 3 lakh. The branch manager decides the final loan, based on a SHG's records, book-keeping and repayment. So far, each SHG has received, on average, Rs 2.5 lakh.
 
SHGs are judged on the basis of regular meetings, regular internal lending and bank linkage. There are no clear instructions or conditions to loan money. "Banks do not enquire about the purpose of loan from the self-help groups," said Vasanth Gowda, a field worker from Ujjivan Mini bank in Dharward.
 
"Members show handmade items to the government official for loans," said Gaourava Ningappa, a member of a SHG in Tabakadahonnalli village, Kalghatgi. "But once the loan is sanctioned, and the money is withdrawn, they will stop whatever business they took the loan for and use the money for personal expenses."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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