Free Press Journal
  • Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra farmers, electricity due, Nationalist Congress party, Sharad Pawar, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, agriculture

    Power-for-all would not be that easy

    The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has decided to call for a review of the power sector. Contrary to what he had been told by the power administration, this sector has not performed very well. Unfortunately, the impression that the power sector was doing well was pushed even by India’s leading rating agency, Crisil, which had…

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  • Policy Watch: Did RBI and the government allow the NPA loot?

    On 14 March 2018, the RBI governor, Urjit Patel bemoaned the fact that he had more power to regulate private banks than public sector banks (PSBs). Really? Let’s look at the RBI’s ways of regulating private banks. Did the RBI raise questions over advances ICICI made to Videocon despite cautionary signals ? Did RBI haul up private…

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  • Go, Chanda Kochar! Please go

    Last week witnessed the first public appeal being made by mainstream media asking Chanda Kochar (currently managing director of ICICI Bank) to step down from her post. In what was captioned “an open letter” the article stated that “ICICI deserves a statesman, not a leader in hiding.” This author too agrees that she must step…

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  • And silently flows the Ganges

    No other river in India evokes the faith, love and disgust that the Ganga is famous for. It is a river that breathes history. Its banks have hosted towns and cities that were for generations the seats of culture and learning. And this was the river of life for a country that has considered it…

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  • Now, private banks too are getting tarnished

    Stories about wheeling dealing that managements of private sector banks have indulged in have suddenly put dragged such banks into the spotlight. Hitherto, the focus was on mismanagement of public sector banks (PSBs). Private bank managers could look down smugly at PSBs and sneer. Most analysts had even begun to demand privatisation of PSBs. But…

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  • Is India emerging as aircraft repair hub?

    Last month, the government announced that it had appointed the consultancy firm EY as the transaction advisor for Air India’s strategic sale (http://www.civilaviation.gov.in/sites/default/ files/PRELIMINARY%20INFORMATION%20MEMORANDUM.pdf). The aviation minister said that Air India would be offered to potential buyers as four different entities – Air India, and its low-cost arm Air India Express and subsidiary AI-SATS, Regional…

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  • Business with Thailand could grow faster

    Thailand is not unfamiliar to most Indian businessmen. The Aditya Birla group was one of the first to discover the advantages of investing in Thailand. This group’s interests span chlor-alkali products, epichlorohydrin epoxy resins sodium phosphates, specialty phosphates sodium sulphite and sodium metabisulphite among others. Ditto for the Tata group, which in engaged in commercial vehicles, steel…

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  • Lessons India can learn from Thailand

    India began talking about Make in India since 2014. And it has been talking about India becoming the hub of innovation for several decades now. But quietly, and rather efficiently, Thailand has begun working on it. It has begun revising its import tariffs, its visa regulations for trained professionals who could help the country in…

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  • PSUs: When a promise is not a promise

    On March 13, 2018, the Parliament’s Lower House, the Lok Sabha, passed without debate two finance bills and 218 amendments. These included funding demands from 99 government ministries and departments. Using the pandemonium in the Parliament as the justification, the government passed these bills (as money bills) without any discussion whatsoever (through a process known…

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  • Supreme Court, Maharashtra, 1959 Maharashtra land ceiling dispute, landowners

    Passive Euthanasia: Supreme Court liberates the incurable

    Last week, there were many who heaved a sigh of relief. The Supreme Court finally decided to legalise both passive euthanasia and the Living Will (http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/ supremecourt/2005/9123/9123_2005_Judgement_09-Mar-2018.pdf). Many were elated, as was this author because he has been involved with an organisation (Society for the Right to Die with Dignity or SRDD) which was a…

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  • There is something amiss with fertilizers

    There is something amiss with the fertiliser industry in India. A look at the basic figures does suggest a mixed bag. Overall, fertiliser production has declined. The most pronounced decline was in Urea production. And since almost 60% of India’s total fertiliser production involves urea, the small percentage does suggest huge savings. So, why did…

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  • Passports: When the best get knocked down

    Last week, the government came out with a startling notification – that passports would now be issued without the mandatory police verification. Ostensibly, this was meant to tell people that the government was easing processes. That may even be the actual intent. But look closer, and the government notification suggests a blind-spot among policymakers. The…

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