Somesh Jha

All stories by Somesh Jha

Revealed: Politics behind the long walk home

Revealed: Politics behind the long walk home

Rediff.com4 days ago

The Centre and state governments bonded and then fell apart during the longest lockdown walk.

Why migrant labourers have little choice but to head home

Why migrant labourers have little choice but to head home

Rediff.com26 Mar 2020

Around 81 per cent of the workers constitute the unorganised sector - devoid of any social security cover and outside the purview of a complex set of labour laws.

Bonanza for around 30 mn industrial workers

Bonanza for around 30 mn industrial workers

Rediff.com11 Mar 2020

The Seventh Pay Commission had decided to choose the CPI-IW as the index for adjusting inflation for central government employees.

RBI to rejig financial year in line with government's

RBI to rejig financial year in line with government's

Rediff.com16 Feb 2020

Taking advantage of the RBI's different accounting year, the Centre had started demanding an interim dividend till the time the latter's final balance sheet is prepared (usually in August). To address this anomaly, an expert committee led by former RBI governor Bimal Jalan had recommended aligning the RBI's financial year with that of the government.

Why EPFO blocked accounts of 1 mn employees

Why EPFO blocked accounts of 1 mn employees

Rediff.com6 Feb 2020

The government has found about 900,000 beneficiaries of its flagship job formalisation scheme, the PMRPY, were ineligible in the first place as they were part of the formal economy even before the inception of the scheme. The EPFO has also recovered Rs 222 crore so far from the employers concerned.

Will bank customers pay for higher depositors' insurance?

Will bank customers pay for higher depositors' insurance?

Rediff.com3 Feb 2020

'The banks cannot pass on the hike in premiums to its customers, according to the norms. The premium won't go up substantially in any case and may be hiked to 12-13 paise (per deposit of Rs 100 a year),' Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.

Govt wants Rs 10,000 cr interim dividend from RBI to bridge fiscal gap

Govt wants Rs 10,000 cr interim dividend from RBI to bridge fiscal gap

Rediff.com31 Jan 2020

This demand comes at a time when the government is falling short of its revenue targets due to dwindling tax and low disinvestment receipts. It could account for the dividend in the upcoming Union Budget on February 1. RBI is, however, yet to take a final call on the government's demand and might decide on this at its central board meeting scheduled for February 15 in New Delhi.

RBI plans to put weak private lenders under the hammer

RBI plans to put weak private lenders under the hammer

Rediff.com16 Jan 2020

The banking regulator is seeking an early exit mechanism for private banks under Prompt Corrective Action.

JNU fallout: Professor quits statistics panel

JNU fallout: Professor quits statistics panel

Rediff.com7 Jan 2020

C P Chandrasekhar, who has served on key statistical panels in the past both as a chairman and member, said he was present in the campus when the ruckus broke out on Sunday and found the incident "disturbing" and "unprecedented", and that it further undermined the faith in the system. Somesh Jha reports.

FinMin counters RBI, says stress in banking sector declining

FinMin counters RBI, says stress in banking sector declining

Rediff.com29 Dec 2019

The net NPA ratio declined to 3.7 per cent in September 2019 from just below 4 per cent in March 2019, reflecting increased provisioning.

CBI told to use director identification number in notices to bankers

CBI told to use director identification number in notices to bankers

Rediff.com29 Dec 2019

This, said Sitharaman, would remove the possibility of unauthorised communication "and consequent harassment", which was a cause of concern for bankers.

Gig economy workers may now get insurance cover under ESIC scheme

Gig economy workers may now get insurance cover under ESIC scheme

Rediff.com5 Dec 2019

Gig workers are usually spoken of in the context of the sharing economy, like Uber, Ola drivers, delivery persons for Zomato and Swiggy and so on. This is the first time such workers will be covered under India's social security law.

Govt releases 5 survey reports but holds back study it junked

Govt releases 5 survey reports but holds back study it junked

Rediff.com25 Nov 2019

The government's decision to release the reports comes two days after over 200 scholars from across the globe issued a statement demanding release of all withheld reports produced by the NSO, including the household consumer expenditure survey that was junked.

Consumer spend falls for the first time in over 40 years

Consumer spend falls for the first time in over 40 years

Rediff.com22 Nov 2019

Experts said a dip in consumption expenditure indicated an increasing prevalence of poverty in the country.

This Bill will decide how India Inc hires and fires

This Bill will decide how India Inc hires and fires

Rediff.com21 Nov 2019

Sitharaman said the Bill has proposed giving a legal framework for fixed-term employment through which contract workers serving a fixed-tenure will get equal statutory social security benefits as regular workers in the same unit.

Govt scraps consumer expenditure survey over 'data quality'

Govt scraps consumer expenditure survey over 'data quality'

Rediff.com16 Nov 2019

The findings of the report showed consumer spending falling for the first time in over four decades in 2017-18. The government has, however, termed it a "draft" report, reports Somesh Jha.

Why govt wants to classifying jobs based on skills

Why govt wants to classifying jobs based on skills

Rediff.com13 Nov 2019

In the draft rules, among 681 listed professions, armed security guards, supervisors, surveyors, and carpenters (class I) are proposed to be treated as highly skilled professionals; electricians, tailors and drivers are skilled; cooks and cobblers as semi-skilled and dairy coolies, office peons and sweepers as unskilled.

Mudra loans led to a 28% rise in jobs

Mudra loans led to a 28% rise in jobs

Rediff.com7 Nov 2019

After taking benefit of the scheme, jobs increased by around 11 mn in establishments that took loans.

Pension schemes: Govt owes Rs 9,100 crore, says EPFO

Pension schemes: Govt owes Rs 9,100 crore, says EPFO

Rediff.com21 Oct 2019

Part of the dues has been pending since 1995-96 - the inception year of the Employees' Pension Scheme administered by the EPFO. The Centre also owes the EPFO more than Rs 1,000 crore towards the minimum pension scheme it had notified in September 2014.

New-look FRDI bill to offer higher deposit insurance

New-look FRDI bill to offer higher deposit insurance

Rediff.com17 Oct 2019

The government would be ironing out issues related to the controversial 'bail-in' clause in the earlier Bill, explore hiking the deposit insurance cover of customers, and decide whether the resolution framework should apply to public sector banks.

Sitharaman readies relief package for MSMEs, NBFCs

Sitharaman readies relief package for MSMEs, NBFCs

Rediff.com15 Oct 2019

PSBs have been requested to reach out to MSMEs to provide bill discounting to them against their dues since they suffer the most from shortage of cash.

Did Sitharaman overrule bankers on loan 'mela'?

Did Sitharaman overrule bankers on loan 'mela'?

Rediff.com21 Sep 2019

PSB chiefs tried to argue that liquidity is in surplus in the system and the problem was related to lack of demand in the economy, instead of banks' reluctance to lend, but 'the FM said it is a perception issue that loan is not available, which we need to dispel,', reports Somesh Jha.

Loan 'melas' are back: PSBs to hold credit meets in 400 districts, says FM

Loan 'melas' are back: PSBs to hold credit meets in 400 districts, says FM

Rediff.com20 Sep 2019

The NDA government will be following the footsteps of its predecessor, the UPA, which had introduced the concept of "loan mela" to boost credit by directing banks to lend to people through public meetings.

Universal social security coverage to workers junked

Universal social security coverage to workers junked

Rediff.com20 Sep 2019

In the latest draft of the Code on Social Security Bill, 2019, the government has decided to stick to the current thresholds for providing social security benefits to workers by industry.

Finance secy Rajiv Kumar to meet PSBs on Sep 19

Finance secy Rajiv Kumar to meet PSBs on Sep 19

Rediff.com13 Sep 2019

The government is set to ask PSBs to expeditiously introduce repo-rate linked products "to step up affordable credit".

Why your take-home salary may rise soon

Why your take-home salary may rise soon

Rediff.com3 Sep 2019

The government wants to reduce the rate of contribution - part of the employee's share - for a class of workers depending upon age, income or gender, without changing the contribution from the employer's share.

Banks may seek your OK for fund transfer to your account

Banks may seek your OK for fund transfer to your account

Rediff.com28 Aug 2019

Under the proposed mechanism, the finance ministry has said banks will notify customers when someone tries to deposit money in their accounts, a government official said.

No overtime without employee consent

No overtime without employee consent

Rediff.com29 Jul 2019

The Bill states a worker will be paid twice his or her wage if he or she is allowed to work overtime. A majority of workers in India worked more than 48 hours in a week, which is higher than the International Labour Organisation's prescribed time-limit.

Garg leaves without signing off on Jalan panel report

Garg leaves without signing off on Jalan panel report

Rediff.com26 Jul 2019

Garg had refused to sign on the report finalised by the former Reserve Bank of India governor Bimal Jalan-led committee reviewing the central bank's economic capital framework (ECF).

To ease compliance, govt plans major labour reforms

To ease compliance, govt plans major labour reforms

Rediff.com24 Jul 2019

Single registration will be coupled with single licence, along with a single return, for executing projects for five years.

Govt to extend minimum wages to 100% of workforce

Govt to extend minimum wages to 100% of workforce

Rediff.com24 Jul 2019

Under the New Code on Wages Bill 2019, employers will be required to give the minimum wages, notified by either the state or the Centre, to the unorganised sector, too.

Will Modi govt manage to push labour reforms this time?

Will Modi govt manage to push labour reforms this time?

Rediff.com26 Jun 2019

After assuming power in 2014 with a full majority of its own, the BJP-led NDA government started an ambitious process of reforming labour laws in the form of codes aimed at making the framework less cumbersome with a variety of alterations. It had planned four codes each for industrial relations, wages, social security and welfare, and occupational safety, health and working conditions. To this end, 35 central labour laws were to be converted into four codes that would have had the virtue of streamlining labour relations. But none of the proposed code Bills could be converted into a law principally because neither trade unions nor industry representatives came on board. They hold the key to India's low-growth-high unemployment paradigm but the government may struggle to push them through this time as well. Somesh Jha explains why

RBI's new stressed asset resolution is 'practical'

RBI's new stressed asset resolution is 'practical'

Rediff.com17 Jun 2019

'If there is a technical issue and the borrowers can resolve it within 30 days, you don't have to go through the bankruptcy court.' 'If the borrower is expecting a large disbursal of a facility or expecting a payment or receivables, in such cases it becomes practical to give a window for taking care of such circumstances. 'If banks had aggregated the assets and benefited with a long relationship with borrowers and now when assets get into a trouble, it is incumbent on banks to find resolution and take responsibility.'

An insurance plan that will benefit both employers and employees

An insurance plan that will benefit both employers and employees

Rediff.com14 Jun 2019

The scheme, which will be effective from July 1, 2019 would benefit 36 million employees and 1.28 million employers. The ESI Act applies to factories with 10 or more workers and provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to employees drawing a salary of up to Rs 21,000 per month.

'This time, it is about making Modi win'

'This time, it is about making Modi win'

Rediff.com30 Apr 2019

'He has attacked our enemies in their own backyard.'

Unemployment rises across religions, social groups

Unemployment rises across religions, social groups

Rediff.com22 Feb 2019

The problem of unemployment is spread across the economy.

Another shocking jobs data revealed!

Another shocking jobs data revealed!

Rediff.com11 Feb 2019

According to NSSO, more than half of India's working-age population is out of labour force. In 2017-18, the youth unemployment rate was in the range 13.6-27.2 per cent.

Now job opportunities abroad under govt initiative

Now job opportunities abroad under govt initiative

Rediff.com29 Jan 2019

A fresh global skill gap study shows how India can tap opportunities in Germany, New Zealand, Qatar, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and the UK.

New 'secrets' emerge in PNB scam

New 'secrets' emerge in PNB scam

Rediff.com28 Jan 2019

FinMin finally sacked executive directors K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan on January 18. The bank's board, however, had felt they had no criminal intent and it was a case of 'casual oversight'

Should we scrap quarterly job surveys?

Should we scrap quarterly job surveys?

Rediff.com16 Jan 2019

A government panel examined the records of employees surveyed by Labour Bureau's quarterly enterprises surveys and mapped it with the EPFO's subscribers and found "unexplained variations" between the two.

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