Editors Column

As reported by this paper, the government will soon appoint seventeen executive directors (EDs) at various public sector banks. In the normal course, the appointment of an executive director should not be a matter for involved discussion as it is considered a routine decision. But in this case it is necessary because there has been an extended delay in making these appointments.

The rupee breached 71 against the dollar for the first time late last we­ek. It had started the year at 63.67. The pr­otracted slump is widening curre­nt acco­u­nt deficit, a measure of trade when the va­l­­ue of imports exceeds that of exports, thr­e­a­­tening India’s balance of payments. That India still has $400 billion as forex reserves is comforting.

A robust 8.2 per cent growth in the first quarter of this fiscal is not a mean achievement. It is particularly significant as manufacturing at 13.5 per cent and farm sector at 5.3 per cent growth have fuelled the 9-quarter high GDP performance. Construction, manufacturing and farm sectors that have done very well in the April-June quarter are big avenues for employment.

If Rs 15.31 lakh crore worth of currency, representing 99.4 per cent of scr­a­p­p­ed notes, returned to RBI following the demonetisation of high value notes, the moot question is what did the Narendra Modi government achieve through this huge operation post-November 8, 2016.

Initiating National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings against stressed power assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) norms should be the last option. Stakeholders should exhaust other avenues for debt resolution before the NCLT-IBC process is initiated.

The Mudra scheme, under which loans are provided to micro and small entrepreneurs in order to facilitate opportunities for job creation and kick-start the economy, has met with limited success. Some bankers have, meanwhile, raised doubts about the quality of the loan book which banks are carrying under the Mudra scheme.

Stressed assets resolution in Indian banks seems to have entered a decisive phase. About 70 large bank accounts with total exposure of over Rs 3.8 lakh crore will now be dealt in consonance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines and circulars.

Rationalising costs and total expenses ratio (TER) in mutual funds management should be taken up on a priority basis by market watchdog, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Huge distribution costs, management fees and unannounced under-cover processing charges of mutual funds (MFs) have emerged as disincentives against staying invested for small investors.

Should India avail bilateral aid offered by several countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to rebuild Kerala? The Kerala government holds the view that monetary aid from abroad, like Rs 700 crore offered by the UAE, should be accepted and it has the backing in this from a section of social media users.

The essence of IT minister Ravi Sh­ankar Prasad’s meeting with WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels is that no digital platform or messaging service sho­uld become a weapon in the hands of anti-socials.

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