Friday, 11 November 2016 08:24

The Tata soap opera: Act 2, scene 1 unfolds

The Tata Sons tragedy is about the slugfest in public domain and the delicacy to disclose corporate information We had seen the possibility of the Tata soap opera unfolding about a fortnight ago. The plot has since then thickened. But this is a bigger tragedy than what appears. The tragedy is about the slugfest in public domain and the delicacy of making public, corporate information. The future alone will establish which way the wind is blowing. What is not a secret is that TCS has been the main stay of Tata Sons for decades. Going back to the times of Faqir Chand Kohli, who nurtured the infant organisation to its adult shape, Subramaniam Ramadorai took forward the tradition brilliantly. I recall his supporting a PhD work in Pittsburg on analysing the cultural aspects of project work in TCS. Chandra (the popular name of TS Chandran) was nurtured by both Kohli and Ramadorai. He proved to be a worthy inheritor. That is another story. However, the impression needs to be resisted that under Cyrus Mistry, all the companies started sinking, save TCS. TCS, for long years, was a division of Tata Sons essentially because Tata Sons wanted exclusive control of the…
Ratan Tata’s return and Cyrus Mistry’s sacking are stories the Indian corporate stuff is made of. We wait with bated breath The removal of Cyrus Pallonji Mistry as the head of Tata Sons is news beyond boundaries. Business, however, in India, has taken a fresh turn with this kind of move. Let us get some fundamentals right. There is no such thing as the Tata family, anymore, in the conventional terms of Indian business. This is not the best place to get into the pedigree and family tree analysis. However, the first significant break in the family tree continuum took place with the succession of Ratan Tata to the chairmanship of the Tata Sons board. JRD did not have a biological successor. Ratan Tata himself never married. This, therefore, was itself a significant departure in the succession pattern of family businesses. Consider the major family houses in India. Without naming the significant ones, the succession has almost always been by blood groups of biological descent, following the law of primogenitor. Sitting on the board of a major business family which had been successful for over 70 years, when I raised the issue of investment and diversification, the octogenarian chairman and…
Friday, 14 October 2016 08:18

Makings of a working Indian economy

To understand the Indian economic system, one must stop believing in the make-believe world of modernism The general economic outlook across the world, to put it mildly, has consistently been a low key affair over the last six months. Growth in Europe has been like a trickle to say the least. Whether it was the threatened exclusion of the Greeks from the European Union or the exit vote of Britain, not to talk of rumbling in smaller States of Europe, the state of the European Union continues to be mixed. The financial year started with the European commission foreseeing 1.3 per cent growth this year. This was modest by European yard sticks. However, the question of European reform was not much in the air. Notwithstanding the ambitious announcements of the European Central Bank of assets management in January 2015, nothing much has changed on the ground. The structural primary Budget balance continued to be vague. The uneven application of the European Union’s financial rules was not of much help. While Europe was getting heated, a good portion of the breed of economists were at its favorite’s game of wanting to outguess the economy. For one year, China’s economic growth has…
The world economic order is changing in many unprecedented ways. While the economist still fancifully pursues a demand and supply trade off, the critical issues of the day are structural evolution and sound thinking on regulatory dispensation. Many continue to talk of mobilising capital and revenue streams when the ground action is in the domain of drawing talent and working on it with the mission of making the talent feel committed. The environment of perennial, “loose cannon”—transience, attrition and movement is good for no one, certainly not the individual, nor the organisations and the firms. It encourages tendency to hoard cash and to hedge. The emphasis has to be on investment and boosting income to create a higher level of meaningful activity. The tendency to cut down on public spending in the name of economy is as dangerous as over expenditure. At the national level, the question of keeping a balance between public and private investees requires recognition, design and operation of two distinct approaches to enable growth. Few governments have been able to even recognise this, let alone work on it. The fiscal which needs to be designed for this requires an insight into domain, which begins only where…
Saturday, 01 October 2016 22:10

GST : negotiating the bumps

The coming in of GST has been generally hailed, from likely and even unlikely quarters. P. Chidambaram as usual has not disappointed and has predictably threatened to let people know 'what negotiating advantage can be' from the point of view of gaining importance for Congress. So be it. As a person in the domain, there is little cheer that it took 10 years to arrive where we are today in the month of September 2016. One does not want to be a wet blanket but there are many concerns which have not even been flagged for public review - notwithstanding, of course some luminaries' potential at monopolizing the limelight. A quick review will help. GST paid on procurements is to be available as credit against output GST liability. There are separate credit pools for 3 different types of GST - integrated GST, central GST and state GST. These would have to be maintained for each state. A quick number crunch would show that a company operating say in 15 different states would have to maintain 45 different credit pools, and 45 different output tax accounts. Currently the number of credit pools and output tax accounts are by far fewer. Similarly…
Saturday, 26 November 2016 22:05

The nature of the ‘beast’

Earlier attempts at demonetisation as an instrument of economic policy do not seem to matter. There is something unusual about the Indian finance and economic scene which makes it, perhaps, the only one of its type in the world. What makes it unusual is a long list. We can perhaps begin by talking of the banks which are at the centre of all activity of, perhaps, all Indians ever since 8 November. Whether they have measured up to that role or not is a moot point. One recognises that they are there and there is no replacement for them in that role, as of now. Even before one come to that, like in many things Indian, there is a huge debate raging on the results of the current experiments with currency. The debate is a big one but has yet to enter the public psyche. The debate is: whether decommissioning of large currency notes was “demonetization” or “compression”? However, as of now, this will have to take a back seat. This is so because a lot of lives are so twisted out of shape by the present currency situation that conceptual battles appear a luxury. There is no clear cut…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 21:59

Going beyond the obvious

The Indian media runs at many levels. Without brandishing the numbers of the number of newspapers channels or getting into the breakups of their national reach; regional reach; local reach, it is obvious that their views and selection of fact are often, determined by the interests of the promoters. The government itself has been relegated into the position of a promoter of news. This is sad because whereas the government has the legitimate role of promoting the duly identified policy it need not be a daily player amongst contending points of view. In the present situation government is both a promoter and a regulator of news. Perhaps, among the biggest needs in the running of institutions in this country is the need to quickly and clearly think through the definition of the regulator: its boundary conditions and indeed the teeth which it can be armed with. Freedom of expression, as is widely recognized cannot become a license for expression. Furthermore, no collective can run only on the compliance enforcing capacity of regulatory agency. What moves the wheels is a reasonable understanding of the regulations and the ability, of those affected, to comply willingly. A simple illustration will clarify the situation.…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 05:20

Makings of a working economy

The general economic outlook across the world -to put it mildly- has been consistently low key, over the last 6 months. Growth in Europe has been like a trickle, to say the least. Whether it was the threatened exclusion of Greek from the EU or exit-vote of Britain, not to talk of rumbling in the smaller states of Europe, the state of European Union continuous to be mixed. The financial year has started with the European commission foreseeing 1.3% growth this year. This was modest by European yard sticks. However the question of European reform was not much in the air. Notwithstanding the ambitious announcements of European Central Bank of Assets Management in January 2015, nothing much changed on the ground. The structural primary budget balance continued to be vague. The uneven application of European Union financial rules was not of much help.While Europe was getting heated a good portion of the breed of economists was at its favorite’s game of wanting to outguess the economy. For one year, China’s economic growth has been at its lowest point since 2009. Whether one is China watcher or not the economic health of that country impacts a very large part of the…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 05:16

About the digital dream

There is a great push for the digital era. This is perfectly understandable given the lure of a technology driven ambience. It fuels an understandable scramble for modernity. A look at the lay of the land in general and going-ons in the electronics world may be in order. Technology in the consumer electronics domain has its roots in the American / Japanese /English/ German experience. The Economy of these countries is in-a-manner-of-speaking a ‘replacement economy’. The life of the gadget is over not by a natural wear and tear but when the corporate manufacturing brand decides to phase out one set of equipment with the invariable claim of an up scaled version. Very often up scaling is token, if at all. However the specification of the part is suitably altered to make sure maintenance/replacement of parts becomes an outdated concept. This obviously lubricates the wheels of the producer’s investment and a feeling of well-being is generated amongst investors. The backup of this economy has certain financial assumptions. Poverty is not seen as a factor. For another these countries do not rank 98th in the human hunger index of a survey of 113 countries, as does India. There is no premium…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 05:14

Restructuring Financial Services

The Banks in their modern incarnation have been in India for well over a century. Punjab National Bank; State Bank of India, to name just two, could well spell out the economic history of parts of modern India. They have had also been periodically re-invented. The more subtle changes came which the government walking the path of liberalization from the early 90’s. The changes that were ushered in that period were essentially with reference to the regulatory system, with a definitive quotient of enabling foreign investment. If there was any blue print of the recasting of the mould of the Public Sector Banks, it has been a well-kept secret. The result has been like 2 negatives rolled in one. The rich and the powerful dominated the regulatory system before 1992 and have done so since. The result was evident in the high-jacking of banking financial resources in surrogacy of the socio-politically powerful. This is bad finance. When this was topped up with politically convenient decision, of those in public life, wanting to make it good, with the twin instrumentality of loan melas and writing off of loans, the narrative of disaster was complete.Finance minister after finance minister were all individually…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 05:13

Living the Budget

Quite understandably the media has been flooded with opinions and commentaries on the budget. As is the pattern, some of them are professional others are political. It is obvious that the budget itself is a product of a political system. Much has been made of the demonetization process and the scrutinies to follow. This is an administrative domain and is best left to the administrators to handle. The administrators will obviously have an opinion but will be guided by the policy direction the political masters give. Be that as it may, certain gross realities are not determined by politics. The real world has to contend with it and is affected by it.It is no secret that the level of clarity in Income Tax and Corporation Tax laws needs to improve many folds. Drafting new Income Tax law cannot be a factor of the street smart individuals with correct foreign antecedents and impressive domestic linkages with the people who matter. What is not often noticed is how the Chairman of some of the important finance related committees have a track record of significant political bias and have not been exactly the models of cleanliness in their financial track records. As we…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 04:42

Financial Sector Choices

While the average Indian is trying to grapple with shortage of currency notes there are few, busy experimenting with financial entrepreneurship of hood winking the law through crafty transactions There are far more deep changes in the offing .Perhaps some are on the way. Non-banking financial companies (NBFC’s) who have been none too popular are quietly hoping that the changing financial horizons will bring them good.The problem is more fundamental than what public rhetoric can digest. Put simply, the nontraditional lenders also use data points to access credit risks. This domain will be experiencing a boom. As the transactions increase on the digital platform the foundations of financial dealings would have been reconfigured in many ways. If this be the case, the digital lending cannot be far behind. This is going to see the end of many professions and radical redeployment in others. Mercifully, all this will not need the intervention of the Ministry of Skill Development! Organic processes have strange origins and stranger growth points. Preprogrammed interventions in a very structured manner, often, have to stand on a limb. As a large part of the society will become familiar with issues and commands of on-line payments and on ramp…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 04:40

Financial Planning and Budgeting

An interesting aspect of the planning process is that its composition and contents take time to register. In one of the sacred texts, the Prophet rued “For you have eyes that see not and ears that hear not”! The problem that sensitive professionals face is that many people have attention that “registers not”. This impedes understanding and analysis. The budget can be no exception. Especially when the wise reflect on a situation the attempt by some is to show how brilliant they are rather than how much they can contribute to take the dialogue forward. To my understanding, the features of the budget which need to be flagged for further reflection while the parliament is in a discussion mode on it , are several. This require the art of both omission and commission. Many aspects of the budget are sound and no reason- not even populism should be allowed to tinker with it. Illustratively the holding period for availing long term capital gain tax (LTCG) on sale of listed securities etc. has not been touched. Similarly the foreign portfolio investors have been protected in terms of paying tax for indirect transfers. The market flagged both these issues. The national leadership…
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 04:35

Beyond currency ‘compression’

The current currency situation may be a welcome development in certain aspects of its impact. Typically, its effect on terror funding or elimination of forged notes are laudable. The moot question which has not been asked is about the prices paid for the use of this option and whether other options, at lesser costs, had been eliminated before this was chosen. Obviously answers to questions which have not even been asked, must remain in the realm of speculation.The ground condition in the situation is more serious than is being grasped. The multifaceted hardships from the time spent in returning/replenishing cash to deaths in the queue cannot be costed. Depending upon where one comes from, much can be said- like in any controversy-on all sides. The relevant part of the story is: what this is going to do to the economy and how long life will take to get back to normal and development to restart. Here again, opinion is divided. The recovery time to normalcy of currency flows is being rated anywhere from 7 weeks to 7 months. Questions have been raised about the security features of the 2000 Rupee note, put into circulation. I recall an interview by an…
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 22:21

Curbing Black Money-the way forward

I can understand the dilemma of the Government. After all the election hype on black money; after Ram Jethmalanis of the world deciding to go noisy on it, (not to over look the frontal assault by Subramaniam Swamys ) the Government does have an obligation to appear active on the topic. The really powerful are so powerful that the ruling dispensation cannot afford to risk their wrath. The poor are so poor that they can barely subsist. So both are a ‘no,no’ option .The hapless 70% of the 223 million pan card holders then have to be made to bear the cross by atoning for the sins of others. Hence the bearers of the tax code (pan card) are the obvious targets of the campaign against black money. It cannot be any body’s case that those with black money should be spared. But it carries more credibility and conviction if the bigger advantage-taker is targeted first. Nowhere in the world, or at any point of history, hitting soft targets have really won a war. There is a simple law of regulation,” Intelligently guarded freedom to any one, achieves objectives better than a closed regulatory regime.” Those who have dealt with…
Sunday, 20 December 2015 18:26

The Emerging Financial World Order

It is obvious that there is a new financial architecture emerging globally .It is not quite clear what the parameters are like or for that matter what would be the contents. However, the child of Bretton Woods has run its life. The present financial indicators, globally, are not very rosy. Europe is deep in debt and dependent on exports. There is a huge hole in corporate profitability and evaluation in US because of the rise in wages. The emerging economies are finding the need to realign the relationship within themselves and between themselves. Of the BRICS countries the news from Brazil and Russia is not too encouraging. Indeed the Chinese economy may be slipping faster that what has been imagined. Japan is struggling to get inflation to get under control. The overall scene is mixed and that itself is an understatement. The fact of the matter is: people are trying to debate is whether a recession is round the corner. There is a good reason for the above. On Dec 17 US has announced a hike in federal rates. The latest rate cut in China, with its resultant ebullience; it continues to have to negotiate with excessive financial sector debt.…
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 20:02

International Banking: an avoidable debacle

On Oct 30th I was in Cairo when the news came of the Deutsche Bank axing 35,000 jobs. The net loss of the Bank was US $6.6 Billion for the third quarter. It had paid US $2.5 Billion to settle Libor case. Clearly things were not right. This became the talk of just about every second conversation with the group which came from 28 nations. Some of us tried discreetly to find out how this situation emerged. The response which we got was simple:“It was consequence of poor historic behavior”. Organizations do not sink overnight. They sink over a period of time where symptoms of a malaise are not treated. They sink when the organization cannot answer basic problems, respond to common issues and keep talking of big things. Organizations also sink when the leadership is immune to efficiency considerations in deference to personal relationships. The Bank has to set aside billions to pay for fines and legal settlement in several cases. This included the rigging by a number of banks of the key interest rate benchmark known as the London Interest bank Offered Rate or Libor. The Bank had to settle dues with regulators in Britain and United States…
Thursday, 15 October 2015 21:23

Indenting for Business Growth

Almost everyone, including a casual visitor, has a recipe for India’s problem. It is true India has many problems. Most of them are relatively manageable ones. A much bigger concern is the need to understand our strengths and to see the potential of those strengths. Institutional methods of responding to those strengths and developing them in a logical direction are what need attention. A major impediment in that direction is the absence of a sufficiently critical mass of English speaking elite who can articulate a position in a reasonable cohesive, connected and continuing manner. The current writings in the media column on various issues highlight an eschewed tilting of balance. Hence there is hardly, ever a serious debate. A content analysis of leading articles across many of the newspapers and magazines would have one believe that there is something hugely biased in the intellectual slant of the body politic. It borders on a mistaken and strange caricature of a line of thought which was presumably pursued in second quarter of the twentieth century in Britain. The predominant results of the electoral process, however, show otherwise. This gap needs to bridge. This disconnect is serious and can do the country much…
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 19:26

Beyond seeing the “sweet spot”

Like anyone else, one has some habits rated as “good habits “. One, also has some habits which are rated as “not good habits”. This applies almost universally. One of my ‘bad’ habits is to go back to some old write-ups to check how the projections, forecast have rolled out, in actual fact. The respectability attached to concepts originating in the west is well recognized. After all the three key positions in the economic environment in India: the Governor of the RBI, the Chief Economic advisor to the GOI; The Vice Chairman of NITI are all occupied by people of the same type. They all owe their primacy in the Indian environment to their theoretical grooming in the west. One is not opening up the debate on whether they have Indian citizen ship or not. They are quite simply ethnic Indians who made their way to eminence through the western route. That remains, as it always was, the quickest route to significance in India. Be that as it may, the truth of the matter is they are where they are, in India because they grew up the way they did, that is in the west. So, when the Chief Economic…
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 20:59

Emerging Business Futures

It is no discovery that the world of business is changing globally. This is natural, because everything is changing all the time! Only in this case the change is basic and in certain ways dramatic. An observation of the European Union and Asia, flags certain interesting patterns. The constituent states of the European Union have a range of views on their membership of the Union. Often this is driven-understandably-by their inner domestic compulsions. Germany wants to abandon the Euro but not the Union; France has been struggling to recover growth; the anti-European Union sentiments in UK have really never gone away for many people. By the same token in Asia there are large Unions, say China or India. There are other attempts to forge conglomerates as ASEAN or Organization of Islamic States. Tensions, however, remain. The changes taking place in Asia are in many ways more fundamental. The turbulent conditions of India or Indonesia are not ideal to attract investment. Military tensions and armed conflagrations, in other parts of Asia seem to be on the rise, if the base line is taken from 1985. In Asia the ownership patterns are clearly biased in the favor of family combinations and even…
Saturday, 15 August 2015 20:28

The Axis of Finance

It is no news that gold is losing its glitter. However it may be news to recognize that the value of gold is further projected to decline. Strong selling in China and institutional investors and likelihood of higher US interest rates will further, affect, negatively the price of gold. End July the price was at an all-time5 years low. The metal was US dollars 1090 per troy ounce. The expectations is that by the end of the year it may be around US dollar 1000 per troy ounce. The trend is obvious: pull out money from gold and invest in US Government paper. With such fundamental seismic movements the financial world will clearly throw up serial turbulence. The old problem of intermediary institutions such as banks in countries like India will multiply. Even the columns of the newspaper have been talking of turbulence in banks such as at Syndicate Bank or the Union Bank. They are not the only banks in that category. However to remind ourselves that there are others does not mitigate the danger. Nearly twenty years ago when I was a part of selection process of the CEOs of PSU banks my colleagues on the panel used…
Saturday, 15 August 2015 14:48

Business Collaboratives : without prejudice

We live in an era of partnership. We live an era of collaboration. We live an era of an aspirational good sense. The example of Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement including Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, US and the Vietnam, may have missed the attention of the Indian media in the cacophony of dysfunctional parliament. Among themselves the TPP countries cover 40% of global GDP they have been at it since Nov. 2008. India must be the only country in the world where the law makers have operationally insured that GST will be effectively blocked for at least one year. With the coming in of the GST, which is perhaps the biggest tax reform in independent India, the Indian subcontinent would have become the larger market than the European Union! The largest opposition party has been determined to ensure this does not happen. One has only to go through the comments of the Vice President of the party to see how he believes this to be retribution of what he believes that then the opposition party did 2 years ago. Put simply this kind of unacceptable primary school logic or at best teenage logic would…
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 20:54

Enabling Operational Reforms

Each generation has its favorite fashion words. Characteristically today it is the in-thing to talk of innovation, ‘out-of-box’, initiative, leverage, engage, filter, space, interface, team, reform – the list goes on. Nothing wrong with this. However if quality assurance becomes total quality assurance which becomes quality management which becomes total quality management which becomes ISO: it does not necessarily mean that the content has definitionally changed. It may be probably old wine in new bottle. Ever since independence there has been total unanimity, on the need for reform. In terms of ground conditions, there are literally hundreds of laws which are so outdated that even quoting them would evoke ridicule. The laws effecting the ‘couriers’ is one such example. Every political party has promised to annul these laws. And if there is one thing they have all failed to do is even to begin annulling them. Everyone is so used to this rather ludicrous violation of elementary logic that evokes no commentary, far less anything other than a casual comment. Even the television anchors (including those with ‘halo’ around their head), do not even flag it. It does not figure in the list of non-observance of poll promises. The implied…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 09:00

Indenting the Budget

The week following the budget presentation, has over the years, noticed the debates becoming shriller an increasingly defuse. Sparks are few, alternate models projected fewer and genuine contributions to the process of strengthening the economy negligible The time has come to take a step back and take a dispassionate look at the frame works of reference, the general assumptions and the broad architecture of the various budgets. By now most budgets have essentially similar constructs and have been usually crafted by people carrying an overlay of some of the so called intellectual centers of the west and have roughly similar mind sets. Not surprisingly, the outputs in the form of the budget are the same. Some percentages are raised the others lowered and the respective positions of the treasury benches and the opposition are predictably scripted. The Finance Minister is clearly talented and seasoned. In my very limited exposure to him, I have found him having high reality contact. However, no one person in whatever advantageous a position, he be, can alter the flood tide of push by a whole system, run by key players of shared background. The BBC serial ‘Yes Minister’ comes easily to mind. For the present…
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:50

Banking and Economic Health

At the end of the day, there is something to be said for the proverb – “God made man. Man made money. And money made everything”. This statement may not find place in the book of genesis but it is almost a gospel truth. The role of money in creation, if not creativity, is undoubted. Hence it is that financial institutions become almost central to civilized life. Amongst the financial institutions perhaps banks are a key intermediary institution. Their pristine form was meant to protect public money, deploy funds. They are regulated by Reserve Bank of India and where necessary help channelize government funds. A back of the envelope analysis would show that these are all dependent functions and their health is a factor of well-being else where. One of the variables which affect the state of banks is the state of the industry. Investment in the industry is one of the major functions of the bank. The return which banks get from loan is what is partially paid to investors as the return. For the robustness of the banking operations and the welfare of the investment of the customers, it is necessary that those who receive loans should also…
To get oneself heard and to make a mark in one’s own reference group, it is important to recognize one’s own strength and understand one’s own weakness. Periodically there is reference to India’s potential of world leadership and how India can be a power house amongst nations This is projected not just in economic terms but also in terms of overall contribution to global growth Yet listening to the news everyday can be a depressing experience. The incessant talk on and examples of corruption, violence, rape, murder, theft and worse, is overwhelming, to say the least.. It seems on one side we are on the upward swing and on the other we are on the downward way to abyss. Both sides have their protagonists. Those in power keep emphasizing the upwards trend and those who do not like the ones in power talk of the downward decline. Both may be right, but deal with part truths. Something which does not give much credence to a balanced social discourse. Without recognizing the strength, it would lead to depression and without looking at the weaknesses, one would not know what is going wrong and what to correct, let alone how to correct.…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 03:57

REFORMS AND FINANCIAL HEALTH

The financial sector has grown in a particular trajectory in the last decade or so. This growth has been concurrent with significant changes in the economy. It has been a period of turbulence and churning. The alignment between finance and economic has been and is taking time. The challenges are within the various sectors, of the region and some important ones are cross border. The home grown problems have been compounded by social aspirations taking time to come to term with economic and financial reality. This has, amongst other things, meant a changing profile of the banker and a changing definition of banking in the country. It was Winston Churchill who once said that in finance everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable. The banker has to deal with such a situation. In the ultimate reality only that survives which is rooted in the soil. Taking the basic parameters from which growth has emanated, in the last 10 years, Indian population has grown roughly by 20%. This has meant a huge rise in the purchasing power of the nation. The growth of the Indian purchasing power peaking was concurrent, perhaps, to the point of…
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 22:56

TOWARDS STABILIZING THE ECONOMY

It is evident that India has migrated from the social lending regime to a market driven lending regime. What is inexplicable is that while responding to international pressure for doing so, no major attempt was made to anticipate and thereby prepare for the impact it would have on the society and the people. As the years have rolled by, the impact has become increasingly clear from the multilayer Indian society spreading over almost continental dimensions of geography. Clear integrative policy parameters are yet to emerge. What is obvious, however, is the growth of financial sector in the country and making it more and more market driven. This is not withstanding the setting up of any number of financial development agencies which have been inspired by the needs of the reserved categories, minority and others. The market driven logic still persists over the need driven propositions. Technically and otherwise even though the individual fortunes are bulging and have become foci of attention almost globally, the Government remains capital deficient. Even as a nation, we have yet to emerge in a full-fledged manner to a ‘developed’ status. This has to be carefully piloted, if it is to happen in near future. The…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 18:14

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC AGENDA – A PERSPECTIVE

To understand the current on-goings is the obvious way forward to a solution to many a complex situation the nation and the global economy is currently riddled with. As the environment becomes more dynamic and turbulent, business becomes fiercely competitive. Competitiveness has reached a point where it is even percolating social relationship. Perhaps a new analysis in socio-metry is needed to understand what people will support and what people will oppose and based on what consideration. Even the time tested bond of ethnicity, inter-marriages seem to be working only when embedded in the comfort of mutually supportive pecuniary gains.. Earlier on acquiring wealth was a measurement of rising social status. Today people want amenity and resources to indulge themselves. Under this kind of a frame work, it is difficult to find stable relationship. This is so because everything gets measured by a different indulgence parameters with varying sources of satisfaction. This is bound to lead to bewilderment in social relationship. The business challenges and issues are today broadly effected by the impact of globalization and the role and content of de-regulation, if any. Here again there is a contradiction. The more there is a talk of globalization, greater is the…
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 18:00

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES AND FINANCIAL HEALTH

It is common place to realize that good economic growth needs a deep, viable and sound financial market. India has a good quality functional market. With respect to other merchant markets, India is also, ahead of many in terms of the financial markets we have. The financial market itself has 5-6 major components : Government Security Market, the Corporate Bonds Market, Equity Market, Foreign Exchange Market, and the Money Market. The Government Security Market deserves special attention. This is for many obvious reasons and certainly so in an era of scam and where Government is providing indirect immunity to foreign exchange holding because of the logic of double taxation. The Government Security Market and its health may prove the future of much not so abundantly endowed family as to have accounts abroad or just about any source which can not be traced to them. It is fortunate that Government Security Market in India is not only pretty old but very well established. Government of India has been borrowing for a long time, a strange fate for a nation which in pre-independence days was not only known to fight to preserve the empire but in many ways to fund it. Somewhere…