Citizens' Issues
West Bengal too opposes direct cash transfer

Jyotipriya Mullick, West Bengal's Minister for Food and Supplies says the purpose of setting up the Food Corp of India to provide cereals and pulses at subsidised rates to the people would be defeated since beneficiaries could use the cash for other purposes than food

Kolkata: After Odisha and Tripura, West Bengal has also opposed the Centre's direct cash transfer to bank accounts of beneficiaries claiming it would lead to breakdown of the existing public distribution system and closure of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), reports PTI.


"The basic objective of the public distribution system to arrest hunger among the poor will be defeated if the beneficiaries are provided cash instead of cheap food leading to closure of the Food Corporation of India," Minister for Food and Supplies Jyotipriya Mullick said.


He said that the purpose of setting up the FCI to provide cereals and pulses at subsidised rates to the people, would be defeated since beneficiaries could use the cash for other purposes than food.


"The decision is wrong. FCI will close down if cash transfer is implemented," he said.


Noting that only 24% of the population in the state have Aadhaar numbers, he said, "How can it be possible when a large number of people in West Bengal do not have Aadhaar?"


Earlier, Odisha Food minister PK Deb had dubbed the step as impractical saying many people in his state did not have bank accounts.


Tripura Food and Civil Supply minister Manik De had said that he had written to the Food and Public Distribution Minister KV Thomas to withdraw the proposal and clarify how the new system would help the poor.


Bihar black list 13 banks for poor lending

Bihar government has decided not to keep its cash with these 13 banks, who failed to obtain a minimum of 25 marks out of 100 on the basis of performance on priority sector, agriculture credit, KCC and credit-deposit ratio

Patna: Penalising for non-performance in loan disbursal in priority and agriculture sectors, Bihar government has cracked whips against 13 public and private sectors banks and decided against depositing its cash with these banks, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, reports PTI.


"Disbursement of loans in priority and agriculture sectors and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) has been found to be poor by 13 banks as they failed to obtain a minimum of 25 marks out of 100 on the basis of performance on four parameters - priority sector, agriculture credit, KCC and credit-deposit ratio", Modi said.


It was decided that the state government would not keep its cash with these 13 non-performing banking institutions till further orders, the said.


The black listed banks are Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Vijaya Bank, Federal Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, South Indian Bank, ING Vaishya Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank and Tapeshwar Urban Cooperative Bank.


Modi, who holds the finance portfolio said the largest public sector bank SBI had been asked to improve disbursal of credit in the designated sectors as it had just made the cut by obtaining 28 marks out of 100 following review of its performance.


The deputy chief minister, however, lauded five banks - Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank and Canara Bank - for its overall performance in disbursal of loans in designated sectors, but said these banks must further improve their lending rate in all four sectors being assessed by the state government on half-yearly basis.


The next review of the banks' performance about loan disbursal will be done in April 2013, he said.


Sensex, Nifty will have to make a huge effort to keep the rally going: Weekly Market Report

Watch the lows of last week for a possibility of a further decline

The domestic market snapped the three week gaining spree to settle lower this week. The market turned weak as investors were worried about governance issues after Parliament witnessed more adjournments even as the FDI in retail was cleared by both Houses last week. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review, due on 18th December, will give further direction to the market.
The BSE Sensex declined 107 points (0.55%) to close the week at 19,317 and the Nifty settled 28 points (0.47%) down at 5,880. The market will have to make a huge effort to keep the rally going. Watch out for a close below the low of last week for the possibility of a further decline.
The market settled flat on Monday on new worries from Europe and the absence of any domestic triggers. The uproar over the Wal-Mart issue which rocked the Parliament pulled the market down on Tuesday. The benchmarks were down on Wednesday despite the industrial growth numbers for October coming in at a 16-month high of 8.2%.
Pressure from consumer durables and fast moving consumer goods stocks kept the market in the negative on Thursday. Easing of the November headline inflation pushed the market higher on Friday on hopes that the RBI will cut interest rates at next week’s policy meeting.
In the sectoral space, BSE Auto (up 2%) and BSE Bankex (up 1%) were the top gainers whereas BSE Consumer Durables (down 5%) and BSE Power (down 3%) were the main laggards.
The chief Sensex gainers were Bajaj Auto (up 7%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 5%), Tata Motors (up 4%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Hero MotoCorp (up 2% each). The major losers were BHEL (down 7%), NTPC, Tata Power (down 5% each), Bharti Airtel and Hindalco Industries (down 3% each).
Among Nifty stocks Bajaj Auto (up 7%), Bank of Baroda, Jindal Steel (up 5% each), Tata Motors (up 4%) and Reliance Infrastructure (up 3%) were the key gainers. On the other hand, BHEL (down 7%), Tata Power (down 5%), NTPC (down 4%) Jaiprakash Associates and Grasim Industries (down 3% each) settled at the bottom of the index.
Industrial production growth rate bounced back to a 16-month high of 8.2% in October. Meanwhile, the contraction in the industrial production during September this year was revised downward to 0.7% from earlier provisional estimates of 0.4% released last month. Good performance of the manufacturing, power sector and higher output of capital as well as consumer goods contributed in the industrial growth numbers last month.
Headline inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), came down to 7.24% in November from 7.45% in the previous month and 9.46% in the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, retail inflation in November moved up to 9.9%, mainly on account of higher prices of sugar, vegetables, edible oil and clothing.
In international news, the US markets settled lower as the impasse among US policymakers about a budget deal overshadowed positive economic data and the Federal Reserve’s new bond-buying plan. 
Europe witnessed a rise in manufacturing growth in December, HSBC Flash PMI data showed. Eurozone December Composite Flash PMI came in at 47.3 from 46.5 in November. France's December Flash Composite PMI came in at 45.0 against 44.3 in November and Germany’s December Composite Flash PMI data came in at 50.5 over to 49.2 in November.


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