All stories by Subhomoy Bhattacharjee
GIC Re part of Rs 500-crore insurance pool to cover imports from RussiaRediff.com21 Jun 2022
Overcoming its initial concerns, national reinsurer GIC Re has contributed to the formation of an insurance pool to cover most imports from Russia. While it will be called the fertiliser pool with a corpus of Rs 500 crore, it can be used to cover the risks of oil and gas imports too. This was decided by a clutch of Indian insurance companies, led by the state-owned ones. GIC Re's share is about 40 per cent in the pool. Last month, GIC Re had shot off a letter to all non-life insurance companies that underwrite marine risks not to ask it for reinsurance of cargoes that originate from Russia.
The growing tussle between the govt and CAGRediff.com22 May 2022
In a first, the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) officers reached out to several ministries in the last week of April as part of a confidence-boosting measure. The meeting brought the CAG officials and those from the ministries across the table to discuss the pain points in their relations. CAG of India Girish Chandra Murmu took this novel step because of growing tensions between those audited and the auditor.
Sri Lanka: 'Political stability must be restored'Rediff.com7 May 2022
'For the common man, the economic conditions are not going to get better.'
E-wallets fast becoming the cards of choiceRediff.com22 Apr 2022
In the excitement over the allocation of bank licences for the private sector, a new category of licence offered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year went almost unnoticed. That was when the RBI consolidated the rules for prepaid payment instruments (PPI), popularly understood as e-wallets or gift cards. In the process, the regulator has fast-forwarded a bottom-up card usage industry in India that is completely different from the world of bank-linked credit and debit cards.
The many shortcomings of AadhaarRediff.com14 Apr 2022
Aadhaar is falling behind on technology, missing out on confidentiality and has gaps in its data archiving policy and preserving confidentiality in delivery of the cards to people, says a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The performance report, 'Functioning Of Unique Identification Authority Of India', tabled in Parliament on the last day of the budget session notes, assigning a unique identity to all resident Indians was supposed to be the key feature of Aadhaar. But "There were instances of issue of Aadhaar with the same biometric data to different residents indicating flaws in the de-duplication process and issue of Aadhaar on faulty biometrics and documents". It says close to half a million such records had to be cancelled by the Unique Identification Authority of India up to 2016.
Sagarmala project: Poor planning on container traffic haunting shippersRediff.com31 Mar 2022
Since January this year, Indian exporters have begun to dread the shipping news. That's because most of it would be about another lot of shipping companies deciding to avoid Indian ports on account of delays.
India may not get to play a major role in reconstruction of UkraineRediff.com16 Mar 2022
Reconstruction efforts after the Russia-Ukraine war will be dominated by the heft of the membership of major nations across international organisations. India is hamstrung because it does not play host to any major global institution nor does it hold positions of significant influence in the ones in which it has membership. As a result, the world's sixth largest economy is obliged to follow the rules set by most of them.
IPO Is Right Time For LIC To Take Hard DecisionsRediff.com2 Mar 2022
LIC identifies the problems well, but what the markets will watch is how nimble it is with the solutions.
Record Rs 32,000 Crore Seized in Tax RaidsRediff.com24 Jan 2022
Since arraignment under money laundering is a tougher offence, the CBDT hopes it will also overcome its dismal score sheet to prove satisfactorily to the courts that these cases were genuine ones of tax evasion.
Divestment's Tough Climate Call: The hurdle in govt's fund-raising pathRediff.com4 Jan 2022
There is money to buy the central public sector enterprises, but buyers will need a firm assurance that the disvestment programme will keep environment issues front and centre of their corporate plans.
What does the future hold for NaBFID?Rediff.com21 Dec 2021
This month, advertisements for managing directors and the senior management team for the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development or NaBFID, should be out, signalling the start of a financial institution (FI) like no other the country has ever had. For this and other reasons government managers associated with the NaBFID project are convinced it should remain a 100 per cent government-owned entity. This is somewhat different from what former economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj said when the NaBFID Bill was being tabled in Parliament earlier this year: "To begin with, it will be 100 per cent government owned.
More middle-class Indians making big gains from boursesRediff.com23 Nov 2021
In stock market parlance, "meme stock" was certainly the word of the year. Coined to mean those stocks that gain sudden popularity on the internet with resultant high prices, it was used to derisively describe the behaviour of retail traders globally who entered the market in huge numbers in the two Covid-19 years. A recent study, "Market Concentration and Retail Participation in India", by the National Stock Exchange economics team led by their chief economist Tirthankar Patnaik shows unlike these impressions, the retail investors, at least in India, have not performed inconsistently.
2021-22 Economic Survey may revert to one volume after eight yearsRediff.com15 Nov 2021
The Economic Survey released before next year's Budget could become a single volume, reverting to the practice followed till FY14. "There is so much to write about the Indian economy's performance in the past year. "Most of the exciting themes will be covered in what used to be considered Part II," said a senior government official who is part of the preparations for the Survey.
Why Moody's outlook on India need to be viewed with scepticismRediff.com18 Oct 2021
The improved outlook on the Government of India announced by rating agency Moody's might need to be viewed with some scepticism. There is no doubt the performance of the Indian economy has sharply improved from the deep trough it hit last year. But the ability of the second largest global ratings agency to assess an upside and downside before events make everyone wise about India has been dismal for a long time, as the chart shows.
Who will win the Super App race in India?Rediff.com10 Oct 2021
Unlike the race to buy airwaves by telecom companies, airports by infrastructure companies and city gas networks by energy companies, the race to develop super apps by consumer-facing companies in India has not brushed up against any regulatory issues. Officials at the ministry of electronics and information technology and at other regulators are happy they do not have to meddle in who among the Tata group, Reliance Industries Ltd, Flipkart or Paytm will manage to build an app that sweeps in customers. Unlike separate apps a customer uses on her mobile to order groceries, buy food or airline tickets or just make payments, a super app can perform all these functions.
Govt's non-lapsable funds promote corruption: Ex-CAG MehrishiRediff.com18 Sep 2021
Former CAG Rajiv Mehrishi says Centre has held back a report he submitted to the President, to end what he called "a nightmare of accounts that militates against good governance".
Census operations to resume soon, but no caste countRediff.com9 Aug 2021
The government wants to complete the operations rapidly, including the actual counting of people, by February next year, reports Subhomoy Bhattacharjee.
IBC: The CURIOUS Case of VideoconRediff.com6 Aug 2021
Valuers have found almost no assets to pay for their claims against the Videocon group that entered the insolvency process in 2018. But the dissenters suggest that the money is elsewhere, possibly in the group's oil and gas assets, which are not part of the group's bankruptcy case.
Why ONGC is grappling with existential crisisRediff.com20 Jul 2021
It is rare for Cabinet ministers to tick off state-owned companies publicly, yet that was what then petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan did for ONGC. Speaking at an event on June 29, Pradhan said he has asked India's premier exploration company to find fresh oil acreages fast. "Do it yourself through some joint venture (or) through a new business model. But the government cannot permit you to hold resources for an indefinite time." The reason for this stricture is India's rising dependence on imported oil and gas. Or, to put it another way, falling domestic production (see chart: "Crude truth"), especially from ONGC, which faces a simple problem.
Why Ashwini Vaishnaw is a perfect choice for railways & ITRediff.com16 Jul 2021
From trusted bureaucrat, to Wharton, MNC executive to businessman, and now politician, the man in charge of two weighty ministries is a unique all-rounder with specialist knowledge.