Editors Column

Being small may not always be beautiful. Small payment banks seem to be conveying this very message as they lose steam. Though they began their operations two years back with lots of hope to achieve financial inclusion and bring the unbanked population into banking space, not much has moved forward.

The constitutional and political crisis unfolding in Sri Lanka may not augur well for India.

The offer by the Ruias to settle 100 per cent debt of senior creditors for retaining control of Essar Steel will have to be seriously considered by banks. It is not relevant to analyse the timing of the offer. If the Rs 54,389 crore offer made by Ruias is credible and workable the banks can surely vote again in the matter.

The Supreme Court directive barring the sale of BS-IV norms-based automobiles beginning April 1, 2020 is a big relief for most Indians suffering from vehicular pollution. In 18 months from now, Indian cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers will have to comply with BS-VI emission norms. This means lower carbon emissions, nitrogenous oxides, sulphur and particulate matter.

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the affairs of the CBI in a midnight operation cannot be termed as a “clean up” act as the action from the top has come a bit too late in the day.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country’s premier probe body, is facing one of the biggest credibility challenges in its history. The ongoing feud between director Alok Verma and his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana even dwarfs the allegations of corruption against two former chiefs, Ranjit Sinha and AP Singh.

It is not only in India that commercial banks are taken for a ride by corporate borrowers. Financial crises and scams around the world are evidence of how borrowers have cheated banks. The Indian experience is that neither bankers, regulators nor policy makers learn from the shocks that the Indian banking system suffers from time to time.

It is that time of the year when farmers in the north Indian plains burn their crop residue to prepare for the next season of farming. It is also that time of the year when people living in crowded, cramped and crawling cities dotting the northern landscape gasp for breath.

The Sabarimala protests have created a situation where implementation of the Supreme Court’s historic judgment of September 28, allowing women of menstruating age to pray at the Ayyappa Temple, has become a challenge. The unfolding events in the Periyar Reserve Forest have the potential to alter the political history of southern India. That religious passions are high is obvious.

Two days after he went on an offensive to defend himself and moved the court with a battery of lawyers against one of the  several  women who accused him of  sexual harassment, junior foreign minister MJ Akbar stepped down even before the brazen fight back.

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