Free Press Journal
  • 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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  • mumbai, new delhi, supreme court, IT department, Income Tax department, 50 non residential societies

    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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  • India’s GDP growth isn’t as good as it seems

    In the recently tabled Economic Survey 2018, the government noted that “A series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75 percent this fiscal and will rise to 7 to 7.5 percent in 2018-19, thereby re-instating India as the world’s fastest growing major economy.” The Survey –…

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  • India could be promoting mass labour vulnerability

    The prime minister has lauded the efforts of people to seek out some form of self-employment.  One example he gave was that of a pakoda-wala selling food on the streets. While such an example does seek to justify illegal hawking and selling of food on the pavements (thus violating food safety, blocking pavements, and illegal…

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  • Rajiv Kumar Gupta, MD of GNFC: 65% of our revenues come from chemical segment, rest from fertilizer

    In recent years, the progress made by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals (GNFC) has been remarkable. At the helm of this transformation is Rajiv Kumar Gupta, MD of GNFC who holds this post concurrently with that of Principal Secretary, Labour, Government of Gujarat. In fact, one of his objectives is to fulfil the vision…

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  • India harms its demographic dividend

    One would have thought that any government that was keen on improving the lot of its people would have focused on two critical areas – education and healthcare. This would be more crucial when a government constantly talks about improving the demographic dividend that India enjoys. Talk may be good and inspiring. But when it…

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