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Showing posts from March 7, 2015

How a monetary policy committee in India could look

(Reuters) - India's government and central bank are set to consider proposals for the formation of a monetary policy committee that would take key decisions like interest rate changes, but have raised concerns over the central bank's independence. There are two competing proposals to establish a monetary policy committee, one from an external panel appointed by the finance ministry and another from the Reserve Bank of India. Monetary policy committees (MPCs) are a common feature in central banks globally. Below are the main points of the two proposals being considered in India as well as examples of MPCs in Britain and Brazil. RBI PANEL'S KEY PROPOSALS - Five-member committee Chairman: RBI Governor Vice Chairman: Deputy Governor in charge of monetary policy Executive Director in charge of monetary policy Two external members picked by RBI Governor and Deputy Governor - Each member has one vote - No veto power for Chairman FINANCIAL SECTOR LEGISLATIVE REFORMS COMMISSION PR…

Private interest as public purpose

The Bill to amend the 2013 land acquisition Act is neither pro-farmer nor pro-poor Next week the economic agenda of the Narendra Modi government will face its biggest test in Parliament. The controversial Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (LARR) that has been introduced in Lok Sabha is due for consideration of the house on March 9. While the government seems determined to push the Bill through Parliament, the opposition parties have vowed to oppose it tooth and nail. The stakes are very high for both sides. Ensuring hassle-free and cheap land to private companies is a crucial component of the economic agenda of the government. The government has made it clear that it will consider only ‘meaningful’ amendments, but will not change the core of the Bill. On the other hand, for opposition parties the Bill offers an opportunity for revival. They want to capitalise on the battle that has been raging outsi…

Transforming commercial dispute resolution

The enactment of an Act to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and passing the Commercial Division of High Courts Bill will change the face of commercial dispute resolution Most judicial systems undergo periods of high pendency and delay in dispensation of justice which are usually followed by a realisation from within and give rise to widescale legislative reforms. While it was the Lord Woolf Report and the Chief Justice’s Working Committee Report that spurred such a change in the U.K. and Hong Kong, the Justice A.P. Shah-led Law Commission Reports numbered 246 and 253 could potentially be what the Indian commercial dispute resolution system has been waiting for. These reports suggest widescale reforms by suggesting the enactment of an Act to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, and a “Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and the Commercial Courts Act” (Commercial Divisions Bill/Act), respectively.

The sadness of silence

India is a society where the poor, the nomad and the abandoned are waiting for someone to discover their silence. Today, silence is the secret untold commons of a forgotten India and our democracy will come alive the day we decode the silence of our majorities. Then, that silence will move from impoverishment to life I find myself at odds with our current society which is ravenous about news, greedy for information, disgruntled about noise, and yet never talks about silence. I think silence needs a storyteller. In fact, silence needs a demography to map its messages. In all the noise about self-conscious selfies, I want to talk about a different world. At one level, it is the same world, but no one talks about it. This world of silence has no representation, no voice, no effort of art that captures its messages, its nuances.

India, Sri Lanka mull resuming ferry services

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday discussed with her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera the possibility of resuming ferry services between the two countries. However, the Foreign Ministers did not discuss the fisheries issue. “Not a word about it,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister told The Hindu soon after his meeting with Ms. Swaraj, but officials said the subject was likely to be discussed at her lunch meeting with Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. In addition to discussing agreements to be inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit,

India lowest among 16 Asia-Pacific countries in economic parity for women

India (44.2), Bangladesh (44.6) and Sri Lanka (46.2) had scores below 50, indicating gender inequality in favour of men. The socio-economic standing of women in India is the lowest among 16 Asia Pacific countries, according to Mastercard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement. Indian women stand even lower than their counterparts from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the survey said. “Although women in Asia Pacific are increasingly more educated than their male counterparts, progress towards gender parity is still sluggish, especially in the areas of business leadership, business ownership and political participation,” the survey said.

What changed after December 2012

As one of the tens of thousands who marched in protest along with my daughters on the streets of New Delhi in December 2012 following the gang rape and murder of a young physiotherapy student, I often find myself asking: So, what has changed? Yes, we have tougher laws. But news of the brutal gang rape and murder of a 28-year-old woman in Rohtak, Haryana, bears uncanny parallels with the Delhi crime two years ago, with one significant difference: The scale of violence seemed higher and the level of outrage was almost absent. Violence against women is the topic du jour, not just in India but all over the world. In the US, the government has stepped in to crack down on an epidemic of sexual violence in colleges and universities where a White House Task Force reports that one in five women is sexually assaulted, most often by someone she knows. In the North Kivu province of the