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There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Streamlining mandatory third party cover Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Why this malaise in medical education? Multi-faceted Venkat Increasing non co-operation of state leaders The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Return to king coal for urea... Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The sea- saw battle continues... Gay abandon in pricing A friendly business group For whom the bell tolls? Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Should we change the official year? Where a state respects its litterateurs… Telangana in top gear… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Mersal magnified Rahman at CIC Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Funding the un-funded Kudos to NDTV... London, London Narayan Sweet news for TN sugar mills Russi Mody – a tribute Medical costs hit the roof... IPL type auction for VCs? 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Another Indian music maestro at the UN When small is no larger beautiful.. The rise and fall of Annamalai University Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara How Air-India loses customs... Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Five star activism stalls development activity All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya More heat than light Valli, they are more marginalised Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Editor's Notes West Bengal: mindless malignancy Mu Sigma – is no more Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Noble nonagenarians... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Making ‘my Amaravati’... Small units prefers to remain small... The brown list of Venkitaramanan GNS - 100: our first subscriber Muffled voices for merit… Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... 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Auto components surge… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad TELANGANA at last…BUT Kulandai was a giant The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Shale gas and its shallow future More tributes to GR L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Intellectual of rare qualities Delhi returns to BJP When Ratan Tata visited SRM F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Silver Years of Madras Musings TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Airlines in India: cost and space Why land prices zoom in TN? Which side are you, Montek? Breaththrough in malaria control The rise and rise of KCP TGS- The king storyteller Roaring Ro-Ro facility Adharma of opposition politics Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Fuel for thought Wise Presidents Waning interest in public discussions… Tax agriculture Modi storms Silicon Valley Towards speedy justice A welcome initiative by the judiciary Plummeting profits of PSBs Shipping woes of Chennai companies CII projects higher growth… Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Vibrant Gujarat Moily’s bold thrust Road development slows down The Swadeshi Trump Tatas moving out of urea production... Secularism and anti-Hinduism Cement prices continue to rise…
 
Readers' Mail
“It’s Raghuram Rajan’s duty to set right the financial position of banks. Evidently he didn’t,” says lawyer C Ramakrishna.

Senior advocate of the Madras High Court,C Ramakrishna (CR), has varied interests. These range from taking up intricate legal issues before the Court, to experiments in horticulture, to poverty eradication and to economic and judicial issues. In recent mails, he has referred to the huge loss suffered by the Punjab National Bank and wonders whether the regulator RBI had not discharged its function effectively: “what was the position of the banks when Raghuram Rajan took charge as Governor of RBI? I think it is his duty to set right the financial position of banks. Evidently, he didn’t. Otherwise it should not have seen this level of loss.”

From Dr. Subramanian Swamy to several others, there are complaints about Rajan’s stewardship of RBI. I notice a facile attempt to blame the RBI for the sluggish economic growth and inadequate job creation too! These are in the domain of the fiscal administrators in Delhi and also caused by systemic deficiencies that have not been attended for long.

Bad loans of banks are largely the result of government’s profligacy, especially of finance ministers P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee, who opted to go for massive borrowings, hoping to prime the economy. The UPA II government announced massive projects for the infrastructure sector - mining, ports, power, roads, transport… without proper linkages of raw materials, tight construction schedules through timely clearances and adequate funding.  Dozens of companies plunged into projects without detailed preparation and plans. Government, keen to show development through spending and with its control over the PS banks, breezily advised the banks to lend large. These landed the public sector banks in serious crisis. N Vaghul provides a lucid explanation of this (IE March 2016).

IE has also pointed to the banks going for settlement of hundreds of loans taken by corporate borrowers at heavy discounts, often on pressure from higher ups to the bank boards.

To be fair to Rajan, through the last three years he has brought about a dramatic, welcome drop in inflation. He took a bold and extremely tough decision to clean the balance sheets of banks by directing them to report honestly the extent of non-performing assets and for making adequate provisions. It was thus that the public sector banks and the SBI, have been showing depressing balance sheets. Thanks to Rajan there is a hope on more scrupulous administration.

There is also a welcome reform related to appointment of chairmen and CEOs of PSBs: the induction of reputed professional bankers as CEOs and renowned professionals of proven merit as non-executive chairmen is also a help in  banks sprucing up their functioning.


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