20.10.2008

  • Indian realty sector in real trouble?
    • With reports of some builders being unlikely to meet their interest payments to their financiers and because of this likelihood some banks and financiers asking the realtors to sell their inventory before it is too late, it looks like the realty sector is in for some hard times much earlier than anticipated.
    • Coupled with this is another report that foreign funds which had committed equity investments in some of the projects are considering wriggling out of the deals.
    • Banks and institutions have lent over Rs 75,000 crore to Indian builders. This does not include around Rs 25,000 crore worth of bonds and debt papers which mutual funds had bought. While the total value of land and properties held as collateral is more than the outstanding loan, it’s still cold comfort. If builders start defaulting in a big way, the lenders will be left holding huge tracts of land amid crashing property prices. All these present a frightening scenario of our sitting on a property bubble. Let's hope this will not happen.
    • ET artists have an excellent knack of presenting these frightening scenarios in pictures. Look at it here.
  • What are the measures that the government is contemplating to relax FDI norms?
    • In these troubled times, when FIIs are perceived as taking away or likely to take away their money, liquidity constraints, the falling value of the rupee vis a vis the dollar, the government is reportedly stepping on the gas pedal to speed up reforms in FDI.
    • This graphic gives a list of possible policy measures that are under consideration.
  • EC announces J&K assembly election schedule
    • Having been assured by seven states from the Hindi-speaking belt that they’d be willing to spare personnel for election duty in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission on Sunday set in motion the exercise to elect a new assembly in the northern state as it announced a seven-phase polls, beginning November 17 and ending on December 24. The state had seen a four-phase polling six years ago.
    • Mindful of security concerns and the importance of holding elections in the border state in the global arena, the EC decided to stagger the polls to seven phases (November 17, 23, 30, December 7, 13, 17 and 24). Areas which receive snowfall in the winters will see elections in the early phases, while the cities of Jammu and Srinagar will go to polls in the last phase. The counting of votes for all the 87 constituencies will be taken up on December 28.
  • What is seigniorage?
    • This term is with reference to RBI. The RBI’s profits are mainly the result of seigniorage. That means revenue derived from issuing currency.
  • Language lesson: par for the course
    • This an idiomatic expression.
    • To be expected; normal; common; usual.
    • eg: According to a government minister, the appointments are an attempt to signal a new culture within the banking system, one that is a break from the bonus-driven cowboy culture that had become par for the course during the past few years.
  • India and the global financial crisis
    • After a long time I wrote something in Discover It blog today. Take a look at it here. It is about why we are getting affected by the ongoing financial crisis even though we do not have any of the systemic problems that the originators of the crisis have.
  • CAG wants more teeth
    • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India will ask the Central government to legally enforce mandatory information disclosure norms by which various government departments and state agencies will be required to provide information to government auditors or face severe penalty. At present, the CAG cannot force government departments to give information under any law. Ironically, this is a right which even ordinary citizens enjoy under the RTI Act.
    • Auditor generals across the world enjoy tremendous powers in accessing information, seizing assets and even instituting legal actions against those who do not oblige to requests for information. In the US, for example, the Government Accountability Organisation can institute an action in a district court against any federal department or agency for not giving access to its records, while the National Audit Office of China can freeze accounts and other activities of corrupt individuals and organisations. The CAG has presented different models existing in other countries to the government for adoption. It has also pointed out that in New Zealand, the auditor general can recover cost and expenses of evidence gathering from the public entity to which the evidence relates, while his counterpart in Australia can seek help from law enforcement agencies to seize books, records or assets.
    • Once the suggestion of the CAG is accepted, the audit department also becomes one of those much sought after departments for civil services aspirants.

2 comments:

Hemanth Pallavajula said...

A small correction. Can you please change the spelling of the word "seignorage" to "seigniorage".

ramkyc said...

Yes Sir. Since corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.