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Weekly Digest (Economics, Finance and Banking) 19 July - 25 July 2016

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The world is filled with humans taking positions and refuting positions, using them to seduce, spar, single out, intimidate, repudiate, confirm, etc. Social media makes the phenomenon, in all its futile hand-wringing, quite visible. No one is safe, for...Someone wants to warn the world against the position some other has taken. Someone else wants the other to clarify the position they've taken before things go any further. Someone else wants someone else to prove they have a right to the position they've taken. Someone else wants to establish a common vocabulary so a shared position can be reached. Someone else has a problem with the way someone has phrased a position. Someone else wants to keep reading to get a grasp on all the positions. Someone else is on a hit list mission to eradicate anyone who holds some position. Someone else sees only their own position and acts violently to impose it, even if it's insane or unreasonable. Someone else wants a clever, ironic position, to raise a chuckle or be cutesy. Others want to speak in the name of oppressed others through their positions. Others pretend to take positions just to agitate. Others throw up their hands wondering what will happen if certain positions keep gaining traction. Others want to advance radical change or cutting edge positions. Others are trolling positions, while others patrol trolls' positions. Others are semi-consciously contradictory, taking one position, doing the other. Some are fully-unconsciously embodying with their actions the opposite stance of their desired position. Some spin position after position, circling in dialogue-chaos, thinking this is creativity. Many are not thinking through their positions or why they have them. Many have conflicting opinions and don't have the energy to square them. Some can't get a grip on any position. Others want to gain position and want to know what position they have to take to get it. Others are fully-automatic in attack position and put any position on blast because whatever. Someone else hides behind a position or a lack of position because it's less stressful that way. And someone else is dedicated to carving out their own position, not even in relation to their peers, but for all humanity...
Welcome to the dialectics of the positional chaos, majoritarian/minoritarian politics of the convenience (or convenience of the politics, if I should say so)... 

The Week Gone By

Cow(ard) politics of the right-wingers take the state of Gujarat by storm and one can't be 
reassured enough of it rippling nationally. I'd not be linking up stories as they have been in circulation all over. 

Mayawati has been at the receiving end of an extremely disgusting unparliamentary provocation. Though the perpetrator, who goes by the name Dayashankar Singh (game of the name in the ruling disposition) was the Vice President of BJP in UP, all he lost was party positions (What a saving grace for the BJP????). The family of the disgraced BJPian retorted by filing an FIR against Mayawati. But, this tirade against the Dalit leader might just cost the BJP dearly in the upcoming state elections in UP. Modi's silence (remember how he lambasted MMS for the same) has no one else to blame but himself for BJP's upper caste mentality

Navjot Singh Sidhu never ceases to amuse me. He goes LOL! and ROFL! at the crassest jokes possible and then stages a Maun Vrat (Vow to Remain Silent....Unbelievable in Sidhu's case) on the occasion of Guru Purnima (Teacher/(_) on a full moon night....okay okay, I can't translate this...Wikipedia says it is to pay respects to teachers and occurs on a full moon night in the month of Ashadha...June-July that is according to Hindus, hmmm) building up speculations over his future after calling it quits from the Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket. Someone needs to remind him all the time that this ain't The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, where to laugh itself is challenging. Talking of TGILC, Bhagwant Mann, who contested in the first edition of the laughter challenge (or was it the second? Who cares anyways?), the current Lok Sabha MP on AAP from Punjab stages an unparliamentary act in the precincts of the Parliament. Many calling him in an inebriated state when he reached office. Way to go: Mann ki baat hi kuchch aur hai!!!!

Lets go Global

A week of terror once again unleashed in Afghanistan, and Munich (Extreme right-wing inspired the Munich killings with the perpetrator a sort of fan of Anders Breivik). 
Donald Trump (who could debate the vacuity of his racist slurs?) is a unique threat to democracy in the US. Does he have even half a thought in his head when he says he is running against Clinton and not the Rest of the World? 

Erdogan has come out on top with his authoritarianism post the coup in Turkey with draconian acts, suspending European Human Rights convention and banning academicians from traveling abroad amidst post-coup purge. 

Strong EXIT headwinds everywhere, rising discontent with globalisation (really?), spectre of protectionism force G20 to ponder hard and get pensive to bolster defences. 

Whatever the pundits say about using augmented reality, the latest frenzy of Pokemon Go is used by Syrian children to seek support for their cause. 

Public Finance Public Accountability Collective (PFPAC) Weekly Digest (19 July - 25 July 2016)

Banking in Distress

Inject, Inject, Inject........The Budget promised it, Basel III capital requirements mandate it and Government's role as an archaeologist digging up the coffers of the RBI, which the Central Bank has opposed, warrant it. Thats the succinct story behind Capital Infusion aka Banks' Recapitalisation. But, this injection could be staring straight at Sebi hurdles, as the norms make it amply clear that one cannot go for a fresh issue of shares, when one is not in compliance with listing conditions, including minimum public shareholding norms. 


+ Strange are the ways of social media, stranger are the algorithms designating news feeds and strangest the people using social media, for its breeds on pop fascination, feed-forwarding and feed-backing atrocious levels of sciolism (superficial pretension of knowledge). Well, before I fall into the trap of conspiracy theory, for it is always bred by conspirators, let me eject out and instantiate reasons: When the news of an upcoming exposé of wilful defaulters by All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) was shared, hits were astounding; a build-up via an interview of CH Venkatachalam, hits lowered but were still significant; and finally when the exposé was listed, hits disappeared. Well, Nishank was right in pointing out that the list only landed up on a page and hence were not clearly demarcated, but then a digging by scrolling down wouldn't be calorie burning, right? So, here are the lists: Wilful DefaultersBorrower-wiseBank-wise (Caution: pdfs)
+ According to AIBEA, NPAs of PSBs have doubled, while it may rise to 10% by March 2017 according to MoS Finance Santosh Gangwar attributed to sluggish domestic growth, slowdown in recovery in global economy and continuing uncertainty in global markets. If PSBs are plagued, Private Sector Banks are slipping downhill: Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank have witnessed a rise in their NPAs in Q1. 

+ While adequate recapitalisation is important, it is also necessary that banks stop accumulating further losses and witness a decline in their NPA levels. A Banking analyst says that while continued slowdown in industrial growth and high unutilised capacity is currently leading to a decline in credit off-take, banks’ ability to lend may emerge as a major challenge when the economy takes off and there is demand for credit. The key to profitability lies in management of stressed assets.   


+ With stressed assets ballooning to Rs 733,000 crore (14.34 per cent of advances) during fiscal March 2016, the Ministry of Finance has cautioned public sector banks against lax recovery of bad loans and increasing write-offs. According to the RBI, too many projects were left weakly monitored, even as costs increased. Banks may have expected the lead bank to exercise adequate due diligence, but this did not always happen. Of course, the unscrupulous among the promoters continued to divert money from the expanded lending, increasing the size of the problem on bank balance sheets. The inefficient loan recovery system then gives promoters tremendous power over lenders. 

+ Money "Mules". The RBI has petitioned government and state-owned banks on the dangers of money muling. The RBI has cautioned that a number of newly opened accounts under the NDA government’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) could be particularly vulnerable. Lenders have been apprised about the failure of bank’s systems and incremental processes to monitor such vulnerable accounts. They have also been told to remain vigilant about kite flyers and Ponzi scheme operators who use mule accounts to swindle public money. Money mule is a term used to describe victims who are duped by fraudsters into laundering illegal money via their bank accounts. Fraudsters typically contact customers through emails, chat rooms, job websites or blogs, and convince them to receive money into their bank accounts in exchange for a commission.

+ The move to a “cashless” economy will be accelerated by the Aadhaar-enabled biometric smartphones. So credential checking in banking will move from “proprietary” approaches (debit card and PIN) to “open” approaches (mobile phone and Aadhaar authentication). As such, the holy grail of one-click two-factor authentication, now available only to giants like Apple, will be available to kids in a garage to develop innovative solutions. Do I even have an Aadhar Card? for, I have been repeatedly bombarded by items like the coming revolution in Indian Banking is round the corner, and on and on...

Multilateral Development Banks

South China Sea is on the boil, but the stand off between China and Philippines could be assuaged through infrastructure. It isn't unbelievable if these reports are to be believed. This hope is rekindled by AIIB as another option for infra financing, and the new President of Philippines Rodrigo Duterte could look beyond the bilateral negotiations to bring infra development to effect. 

+ AIIB is truly global. Academician, Co-founder and Chief of Centre for Polish-Asian Studies, Radosław Pyffel has been appointed the Deputy Director of AIIB. This is an interesting news, save for the last line, which is more true to an error of pointing out infra development would be confined to China. Talking of Europe, the austerity-plagued Greece is all set to apply joining the AIIB this August. This is a smasher of a news with the present Government in Greece has decided upon a general strategy to develop collaboration with international collective investment institutions, with the aim of security financing for high-added value investment plans. 

+ And with the AIIB, China is doubling down on what has already been a quarter century of infrastructure investment in its Central Asian and other neighbors, helping to unlock their resources while paving its own way to the Middle East, Indian Ocean and even Europe. By putting its money where its mouth is, China has even elevated infrastructure to the status of a global public good on par with America's historical provision of military security. More than 70 countries have lined up to join the AIIB, including America's closest allies, such as Britain. Some now call it the "NATO of the East" - a new kind of infrastructure alliance. Parag Khanna is spell-binding. Consider this: Geopolitics has become less about ideology and more about supply and demand, with policies shaped by the highest bidder. In such a world, the West must do more than host summits and pontificate about values. It has to get its act together and put its money where its mouth is. What could be less nuanced than this? 

+ Before logging off AIIB, here is Centre for Financial Accountability, CFA (Sorry, couldn't link up the page as it isn't opening on my machine, but watch the space at (www.financialaccountability.org.in) has come out with a brilliantly designed booklet on AIIB (Great work Shibi on the design) with a neat introduction to the emerging multilateral bank. Thanks for the lucidity Joe and team. Check attachment for the booklet. 

+ My personal favourite punching bag (read bank), BRICS Bank, NDB is going Russian with its first small-scale energy project in Karelia allocating $100 million in two tranches. China urges (urges? sounds more like admonishes) NDB to propel infra development in developing countries by attracting capital to build upon sustainable development (what a paroxysm?). These are developments at the recently held first annual meeting taking stock of year's operations at Shanghai. The reasons for my cynicism about BRICS and NDB are very many, the chief amongst which happens to be economic distress in individual economies, but if BRICS did not really start off as a trading bloc, but rather as a brand name for unit trusts touted by Goldman Sachs, and where Goldman Sachs closed its Bric unit trust in 2015 after people silly enough to invest in it lost 88% of their money, something surely is amiss. Check out this most insightful piece by Robert Laing where he gravitates towards South Africa's presence within the conglomerate and alluding to Thinking like a BRIC. Aptly titled 'BRICS-It', the parallels drawn to BREXIT are instigating. 

+ Ah! to the big boys finally, the IMF and the World Bank. IMF says Eastern European emigration could have a deleterious effect on domestic economies, citing how the countries left behind are adversely impacted economically even if the success of the Euro Project lies in movement of people across borders. So what, if the monetary fund has accepted to looking with askance at neoliberalism, their suggestions and advises still have the stench of neoliberalism. Take this for instance: the G20 countries should increase their spending in infra development to boost global economy, but would this be an economic stimulus? IMF's POV doesn't seem to evolve. Here is the prescription given by IMF:
 In its most recent forecast, the IMF lowered its forecasts for global growth this year and next by 0.1 percent, to 3.1 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.The IMF wants advanced economies such as Germany and the United States to channel more public spending into infrastructure investment to help boost growth, an issue that has sparked divisions among G20 members. There is an urgent need for G20 countries to step up their efforts to turn growth around.
+ The ghosts of the massive state payout when Christine Lagarde, the present Chief of IMF, was the the reigning economy minister in France continue to haunt her, but she could probably avoid jail time and continue at the helm of affairs at IMF. 

+ Hit this piece of journalism against the World Bank and they are sure to squirm in agony.
What an absolute masterpiece of investigative journalism on corruption and fraud perpetrated by World Bank involvement. From the water woes in Armenia, to providing electricity by connecting to the grid in Kenya (including urban transport infrastructure development, HIV programmes and education policies in the African state), the message is clear: increase independence of the country's judicial system ensuring those guilty of misappropriating development funds pay the price. The authors rip through World Bank's INT, Integrity Vice Presidency, which supposedly hear whistleblowers before deciding if the investigation to be carried out even falls within their own jurisdiction. Though the INT runs on audit tools, the success lies squarely on sanctionable form of obstruction. H/T Joe Athialy 

Policy and Macroeconomic Indicators

Make in India. Where? In speeches and colloquies, mostly across the globe. Though talked about as a major policy initiative over the last 2+ years, nothing seems to accelerate. The government is also concerned that despite allowing 49 per cent FDI through automatic route, only a paltry sum of Rs 1.12 crore has come as FDI in defence sector in the last two years. Last month, to kick-start ‘Make in India’ in defence, the government further liberalized FDI norms to allow FDI up to 100 per cent with government approval if it leads to access to ‘modern technology’. Earlier, FDI above 49 per cent was only permissible in defence sector if it led to access to ‘state of the art technology’.

+ India stands at a low 110 out of 149 nations assessed with regard to sustainable development goals. 

MGNREGA to get a fresh fund boost as the government is likely to nod to Ministry of Rural Development's demand. So, is this really the monument of UPA's failure? The finance ministry, which had allotted Rs 38,500 crore in its 2016-17 Budget for the scheme, is set to concede to much of the Ministry of Rural Development’s (MoRD) demand for another Rs 15,000 crore. MoRD - the nodal ministry for MGNREGA - had sought Rs 15,000 crore via the first batch of supplementary demands for grants to meet the increasing demand for the scheme owing to the drought.

+ Minimum Wage Plan put on hold. “We want to provide nationwide coverage for the minimum wage proposal. Minimum wage should be for all workers, not only permanent workers. The minimum wage for contract workers under Rule 25 should be at par with minimum wage prevalent elsewhere in the country, say the wage for a Class IV government employee. But, there are legal implications to it, so we are looking into the matter,” a senior labour ministry official said. Industry groups expressed relief over the government’s move to put their decision to set the minimum wage for contract workers on hold, even though they denied being totally against the decision to set the minimum wage.

+ With an aim to prohibit benami transactions, the Union Cabinet approved introduction of amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015, in Parliament. The amendments aim to strengthen the Bill in terms of legal and administrative procedure so as to overcome the practical difficulties which may arise in the implementation of its provisions when it becomes an Act, a government release said. The legislation is intended to prevent circumvention of law through unfair practices. “It empowers the government to confiscate benami property by following due procedure. It therefore promotes equity across all citizens,” it said. However, those declaring their benami properties under ‘income declaration scheme’ will get immunity under the Benami Act, it said.

+ NITI Aayog may consider strategic sale in BSNL and MTNL. Some covered it, and some denied it, and NITI Aayog refuted such stories. Come Clean, oooppps, N(ea)IT-I you fellas! 

Currency

Clamour for currency devaluation? Rajan warns against costlier imports if such a move were to be undertaken. Also, there could be side effects, including rising inflationary impacts, could offset the benefits of increased exports, if any, since often the exporter imports a lot of what they export.  According to Rajan, the issue of devaluing rupee is a complex one, and any attempt to devalue the currency may trigger inflationary pressures and quickly offset any benefits from rise in exports, he said, noting that rupee is currently at reasonable levels.

+ C, Rangarajan, the man who was at the helm on mint street in 1991, admitted that the currency has been fluctuating. "But so long as our current account deficit (CAD) remains at the present level and there is adequate financing, I don't see the rupee depreciating sharply." Video

+ Talking of the face-of INR, icons already abound depending upon which side of the political dispensation one happens to be on. The RBI and the fin­ance ministry, which jointly regulate features of notes, regularly receive petitions seeking Gandhi’s remo­val or replacement. An off­icial in the finance ministry and a former RBI official, both responsible for overseeing currency-rel­ated matters, say they rec­eive “hundreds” of suggestions and req­uests under the RTI Act, asking why Gandhi was included on the notes in the first place. Requests to remove Gandhi’s picture are frequent too. But not all such requests are from the right. Talking of the RBI, many (including educated Indians!) think of it as a mint, beyond which the mystery of the black box continues to haunt and misdirect. Here is a precis of what the RBI is. 

+ Cloud-based computing, blockchain processing technologies and virtualization of IT systems are a few examples which hold potential for being used in a big way ... Banks and IDRBT (Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology) can work together to study these, test them out and adapt for best use --- Rama Gandhi, Dy Governor, RBI. So, #Blockchain could be considered by India. The speech could be accessed here

+ India has a mix of backward and forward - looking behaviour. This implies that changes in policy rates must be fast because of lagged effects, but they need not be large. The announced future direction can affect behaviour today, in a cumulative series of small steps that add up to a large change, while leaving room for India to learn from and adapt to shocks. A smaller cumulative change affects demand as financial deepening improves transmission. The overall change also has to be small as monetary policy does not aim to create a large reduction in demand, but to anchor inflation expectations with complementary supply-side measures. What to expect of Rajan's successor? 

Taxation

As the monsoon session matures, GST is the talking point, but amidst this, the Supreme Court has set up a nine-judge constitution bench to examine the validity of separate entry taxes on goods imposed by various state governments. Should the constitution bench agree with petitioners who have challenged various entry taxes - on the grounds that they restrict the free movement of goods - and strike them down as unconstitutional, it could actually make the GST proposals a reality without the bill having to be approved by Parliament. Near-term outlook for Indian equities depends on three main factors -- movement forward in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, first quarter results and signals from central banks including the Reserve Bank of India. the GST is likely to go in for listing in Rajya Sabha this week (also look here), with Arun Jaitley likely to meet state finance ministers Tuesday to discuss the proposed amendments to the Bill. This is for further consideration and passing of the Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill, 2014, as passed by the Lok Sabha and as reported by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, the Foreign Portfolios Investors (FPIs) have pumped in $2 billion into the Indian capital markets so far this month on rising hopes of passage of the GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha and expectations of better corporate earnings.

+ The income-tax department has said that it will issue seven lakh letters seeking information in respect of high-value non-pan transactions during 2009-10 to 2016-17 to check blackmoney generation.

Corporate Scan

sweet deal is in the offing for the Cairn merger deal, courtesy Vedanta. For each share they hold, Cairn India minority shareholders will receive one equity share and four redeemable preference shares in Vedanta, under the revised terms outlined by the mining and metals company. The sweeter terms may persuade minority shareholders to reconsider the merger, which would give Vedanta access to Cairn India’s large cash pile. LIC, which has a 9.06% stake in Cairn India and 3.9% holding in Vedanta, has expressed concerns over the terms of the previous offer, and the debt that a combined entity would inherit.

+ Call it greed, call it ambition, for the fashionable statement of all the opposers to corporates, the two are seldom distinguishable. but, ain't it safe to use the term aspirations, even if this has the tendency to slip into the planet-eating monstrosity? Cigarette-to-hotel-to-FMCG major ITC Ltd has plans to foray into overseas markets with an aspiration to become one of the leading multinational corporations (MNCs) operating globally, according to its chairman YC Deveshwar. “We are not satisfied with where we are. Because it is the constructive force of dissatisfaction which gives you the energy to move forward. And we always have found ways of getting the constructive force of dissatisfaction so that we can make fine ways to make improvement in the future.” 

Infrastructure

Another aspirational minister with ambitions that border the incredulity, Nitin Gadkari in a major move aimed at curbing high number of road accidents, has decided (the road ministry as a matter of fact) to fix galvanised sheet barriers on both flanks of the highways to stop them from being trespassed. Remember his back of the envelope calculations regarding 200 crore trees along the national highways way back in 2014?  

+ More than 60 per cent of the country’s 2025 vision of buildings and infrastructure are yet to be built. Over three hundred million Indians are expected to move to urban areas over the next 20 years. This will arguably represent the biggest mass migration and urbanisation drive in recorded history. Preparedness for these events needs to be backed up by positive impact developments in the fields of energy, water, transport and municipal waste management. India’s rapid scale of urbanisation is now presenting this as most pressing. Today most Indian cities are grappling with issues such as poor quality of ambient air, water scarcity or flooding, traffic snarls and challenges related to municipal solid waste disposal, amongst many other problems. For urbanisation, the key areas of focus from a sustainability and liveability perspective are energy, water, air, waste and urban transportation. Will the 'smartness' for each city be customised, or even customisable? Talking of smart cities and urbanisation, our neighbour China's red-ponzi scheme has gone berserk, as the cities it plans to expand could house half the world's populations, a whopping 3.4 billion people.

+ Cargo Clearances: tech interventions. The launch of a container tracking facility at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, the largest container port in India, earlier this month to monitor movement of cargo across the Western Corridor is being followed up with another technology-driven intervention that aims at tracking them from the port all the way till the inland container depots (ICDs), including to the one at Tughlakabad in Delhi. The plan is to use radio-frequency identification (RFID) to monitor container movement and the tracking facility as part of measures to improve the time taken for cargo clearances at the country’s ports. 

Activism

Mining-affected Adivasis in Chhattisgarh have forced a coal firm and the state to hear them out. Concerns over employment, compensation and the environment led to an eight-day-long blockade, which was called off after the state acceded to most demands.

+ Here is Jadumani Mahanand, a researcher at JNU deconstructing the recent police atrocities in Kandhamal in Odisha reminding us that state repression is fast reaching levels of normalcy. 

+ According to him, on the day he was remanded in judicial custody and lodged in the jail, the Superintendent of Prison slapped him and accused him of burning the national flag. “Later, others beat me up. Only on going through the newspapers the next day (July 9) did the prison official even realise that I was remanded for preventing the construction work on a flyover,” he claimed. Piyush Manush on the horrors he underwent in Prison. Here is HuffPost on the man and his many crusades. 

+ Here is a call to express solidarity for #RallyForTheValley and #NarmadaSatyagraha to resist the submergence of more than two lakh people. And here is the poster:


​​
+ Three day long national convention of the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan was held in the wake of the increased attack of the global capital unleashed by brazen corporatisation and unbridled FDI in key sectors resulting into high price rise, inflation, and naked loot of the natural resources by corporates, all facilitated by the policies of the Union government and certain state governments. The convention was attended by more than 500 activists of 15 states who dwelled on the on-going struggles in their regions; ground situation of the alliance building processes; centre and state governments attempt at subverting democratic processes by changing laws and issuing notifications and obsession of the political elite with the current GDP based growth model. It discussed the unfolding situation at various levels where the precariousness of the nature resource based communities was increasing and life of toiling workers and masses was becoming harder everyday, as the impact of 25 years of the reforms becomes visible everywhere and inequality in the society reachess its zenith. 
The Convention also took note of the massive unrest in the society caused by the economic hardships faced by the society and in particular dalits, adivasis and marginal communities. It also discussed the growing attack on the minorities and sense of insecurity; massive political unrest in certain parts of the country demanding reservation for certain caste groups; and rights violations of the people in conflict areas due to heavy militarisation and failure of the State to find political solution, promote democratic processes and undertake peace initiatives in wake of provocations by the non-state actors. Check attachment for the press release. 

+ For all the iPhone users, there is a decent news to counter the glitch that probably sneaks into if the phone's radios are getting the snitch. Good to counter the surveillance. The aim of that add-on, Huang and Snowden (co-authors of the paper linked to in the article itself) say, is to offer a constant check on whether your phone’s radios are transmitting. They say it’s an infinitely more trustworthy method of knowing your phone’s radios are off than “airplane mode,” which people have shown can be hacked and spoofed. Snowden and Huang are hoping to offer strong privacy guarantees to smartphone owners who need to shield their phones from government-funded adversaries with advanced hacking and surveillance capabilities - particularly reporters trying to carry their devices into hostile foreign countries without constantly revealing their locations. 

Audit

More firepower and more ammunition is expected to be with the opposition this monsoon session with the CAG tabling 15 audit reports, the chief among which happens to be the report on public debt management. The major headache for the Modi Sarkar is going to be the claims about savings from its much-talked about direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme. The report says that the CAG audit has found that the actual savings on LPG subsidy owing to DBT and exhortation to give up subsidised connection could be actually less than Rs 2,000 crore. This is against the government claim that the savings were Rs 22,000 crore in two years - 2014-15 and 2015-16. In a relatively new development, the Petroleum Ministry may not contest the CAG report if it projects that the savings to the government was less than Rs 2,000 crore from its flagship Direct Benefit Transfer or ‘give up’ subsidy campaign targeted at LPG consumers. 



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LOGIN

Capital tends to liberate itself from dependence on the human contribution. That’s why essentially alltechnology is substitutive (imitative). The fraction of the global population capable of making any contribution of non-near-zero value today is no greater than 20% (Damned lies statistics!!). Politics fills the gap with bureaucratic bloat and other make-work, welfare, a variety of protectionisms, macroeconomic junky-stimulus … and the gulf it needs to fill yawns open further every year. Sunny-side up (old-style) liberalism promotes 'The Process' (which is great). If it seriously expects to maintain the narrative that there is a continuous historical trend in which (dysgenically deteriorating) human populations will always find a useful place, it is deeply in denial. Massive swathes of the core industrial infrastructure are already close to laborless. The proletariat was a phase. Socialists have nothing correct and interesting to say on this (like most) issues; they have …