Editors Column

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.

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has inherited many problems but the biggest are a huge external debt burden and an economy that is besieged with burgeoning current account deficit, revenue deficit and fiscal deficit. A possible payment default stares it in the face while foreign exchange reserves have plummeted to a critically low $10.1 billion.

As reported by this paper, the government is likely to get more aggressive with its divestment programme. A number of IPOs are expected as early as next month, among them of three railways PSUs — Rail Vikas Nigam, Indian Railway Finance Corporation and Ircon International.

Over 3.48 crore people in Kerala continue to face the brunt of torrential rains and floods not seen in over a century that have wreaked havoc in all 13 districts over the last fortnight. A huge calamity has befallen Gods Own Country and life has come to a standstill.

The steep increase in crude oil prices and huge slide in rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar will serve a double whammy on India’s macro-economic fundamentals. A back of the envelope calculation suggests that India’s crude import bill may swell by a massive $30 billion this fiscal if the rupee continues to be stay at 70 and oil prices stabilise at $75 per barrel.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was largely responsible for building the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a pan-India political force, is easily the tallest non-Congress stalwart of modern times –- a great leader, statesman and a compassionate human being loved by his friends and adversaries.

Pages