Category Archives: current-topic-views

Badminton’s new service rule won’t be used at CWG

The new service rule, which mandates that the shuttle be exactly at 1.15 meters above the ground at the time of service, was tried at the prestigious All England Championships in March.

Government pushes state banks to find own funding sources after Rs 2.11 lakh crore bailout

NEW DELHI: A massive Rs 2.11 lakh crore bailout package for India’s dominant state-run banks will not happen again and lenders will have to find their own funding by selling non-core assets and merging with each other, a senior government official said on Monday.

Twenty-one banks, majority owned by the government, account for more than two-thirds of the banking assets in Asia’s third-biggest economy. These lenders also account for close to 90 per cent of soured loans in the banking sector.

Last October, the finance ministry announced a state-bank rescue plan worth Rs 2.11 lakh crore – about Rs 91,000 crore of which it is in the process of injecting as a first tranche – to help banks set aside enough for their bad loans and boost credit growth in an economy where banks are the main source of funding.

“My message is no more recapitalization. Whatever has happened, has happened. Clean up on your own,” the official who oversees the state banking sector told Reuters.

“We brought you out of the intensive care unit (ICU). Now, if you again go back to the ICU, and we keep bringing you out, that’s not how it’s done,” said the official, declining to be named.

The government would like to get the total number of state-run banks to down to 12-13 from 21 now through mergers, the official said. He did not give a time-frame for such deals, but expected some bank mergers to happen during the current financial year that began on Sunday.

“You either shrink or find some synergy,” the official said.

Recent rule changes by the Reserve Bank of India that did away with existing loan-restructuring schemes and aims to steer more defaulting companies into the bankruptcy courts could mean non-performing loans in state-run banks could rise from nearly 8 trillion rupees now, the official said, although he added 10 trillion rupees would be the upper limit for any such increase.

Including restructured or rolled over loans, all banks in India had a total Rs 9.5 lakh crore of soured loans as of end-December, central bank data shows. State-run banks’ stressed loan pile was Rs 8.26 lakh crore, or 15.8 per cent of their total loans.

To avert situations like the fraud in state-run Punjab National Bank that stunned the financial sector, the government is asking banks to constantly monitor loans above Rs 250 crore and report at their board meetings every quarter, the official said.

The government is also working to ease the country’s fledgling bankruptcy laws to help speed up the resolution process, the official said.

One of the proposals is to allow a resolution process to go ahead if 66 per cent of the creditors vote for it, compared with the current requirement of a minimum of 75 per cent.

“We are facing some resistance here from the promoters,” the official said, referring to the main backers of companies.

“But we are planning to ease the process with more changes.”

Ajay Devgn’s b’day trip with family in Paris

The family of four was joined by Ajay’s ‘Drishyam’ co-star Ishita Dutta and her actor-husband Vatsal Seth. The birthday boy shared pictures from their day out around Parisian streets.

High fuel prices can hit sales, say car companies

NEW DELHI: New models and strong demand helped car and SUV sales shrug off the post-GST blues and close 2017-18 with healthy numbers, though high fuel prices and fears of rise in interest rates may dampen the momentum in the current financial year.

Top car makers such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindras and Tata Motors reported a growth in sales in 2016-17, even though Toyota and Ford failed to keep pace and slipped by around 2%. Models such as Maruti’s new Swift and Brezza mini SUV, Hyundai’s Verna and Tata Motor’s Nexon fuelled demand.

However, companies say 2018-19 may be challenging as some negative factors have been building up over the past few months. “The industry is on a positive on the strength of macro-economic factors, backed by stability in policies,” Rakesh Srivastava, director (sales & marketing) at Hyundai India said. “Hardening of interest rates and increase in fuel prices could challenge the growth rate, especially in the entry segment, where cost of acquisition and cost of operations are key factors for buyers.” Companies have also been complaining about GST rates on cars, and say these should be reduced to push demand.

“There are headwinds in terms of impending increase in interest rates, crude prices, and inflation,” Ford India MD Anurag Mehrotra said.

Maruti has been growing strongly and has increased share as it expands model lineup and retail presence. The company is getting new vehicles as parent Suzuki is ramping up Gujarat factory premises and investing in additional production lines.

Sales of Tata Motors have grown 22% in 2017-18, led by new models as well as a low base. New cars such as Nexon, Hexa and Tigor have combined well with the Tiago compact.

India can manage their best-ever show at 2018 CWG: Karnam Malleswari

Former India weightlifter Karnam Malleswari has shown full confidence in India’s 225-member contingent and has backed it to return home with its best showing ever at the Commonwealth Games. In the last three editions, the Indian contingent has amassed a total of 215 medals – 50 in 2006, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2014 – and Malleswari believes that this editions can bring India its best medal tally at the Quadrennial Games.

Markets open flat, Sensex regains 33,300-mark in early trade

NEW DELHI: Equity benchmark indices opened on a flat note on Tuesday, a day after markets got off to an encouraging start in the new fiscal.

30-share BSE Sensex 58 points below previous closing mark at 33,197.42 but regained steam soon enough and was testing the 33,300-mark at 9.35 am. Broader 50-share NSE Nifty too opened with minor losses below the 10,200-mark before clawing back.

In morning trade, all sectoral sub-indices, with the exception of IT and Metal were in the green. The PSU Bank sub-index was up 2.60 per cent while pharma stocks too, were performing handsomely.

SBI, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Tata Motors were the major gainers while Wipro, Adani Ports, ONGC and Tata Steel were losing the most.

At CWG village, mass dope tests for members of Indian contingent

After syringes were found in the rooms of some Indian athletes on Saturday (first reported by TOI on April 1), the Indians, arriving in batches, have been subjected to mass dope tests by organisers.

Salman to recreate ‘O o jaane jaana’

According to reports, Salman will feature in the recreated version of his hit song ‘O o jaane jaana’ in Katrina Kaif’s sister Isabelle Kaif’s debut film ‘Time To Dance’.

Youngsters transition from Dravid to Ponting’s coaching philosophies

They are two of the finest No. 3s to have played the game. Just 90 Test runs separate Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid. Their impact as coaches, however, could come down to the current Delhi Daredevil team’s performance in the IPL.

IPL trending now: Indian in lead role

Any changes to your XI tonight?’ This question would invariably stump a foreign captain of an IPL team at the toss and it was understandable.


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