Sunday, July 19, 2015

Limited Liability Partnership no good for banks

Last six months have been harrowing for a few SMEs who registered as Limited Liability Partnerships with the hope that they would sail more comfortably in their financials with equity and debt in good balance. But all of them faced the wall when they approached the financing banks for working capital loan. They advised these entrepreneurs to convert into private limited companies or partnership companies where the liability is not limited.

You can find the edited version of the article in the Hindu Business Line of 17th July.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Banks threatened with huge NPAs

There is a report in First Line that a Collector from Amravati threatened action against bankers for not reaching agricultural loan targets in a quarter under IPC. This is sheer arrogance on the part of the District Collector who does not know his job. There is another report of the UBS on the mounting NPAs in the Live Mint of 7th July 2015. Reading together becomes necessary.
UBS Report has been contested by 'Yes Bank.' while the other banks chose to ignore. The fact remains that the corporate debt today occupies major portfolio of banks. There is excessive interference from the administration in public sector banks.
Take for instance, the story of Maharashtra Government where one of the district collectors audaciously threatened the banks for not achieving the targets in farm lending as per his dictate just a couple of days ago. The news appeared in First Line. The banks in the coordination forums - District level Consultative Committees of which the Collector/DM is the chairman, have never pulled up the district administration for failing to provide reliable land records, for failing to provide the credit related infrastructure for farm schemes to succeed and they mention in their Annual Credit Plans and NABARD in its PLP for the administration to respond adequately. The Administration never adequately responded.

When the 20-point programme was introduced initially, District Collector, Guntur reacted similar to that of Maharashtra District Collector threatening with criminal action for failing to reach the targets under the programme in 1979. The entire banking community walked out of the DCC asking the Collector to go ahead. The then Secretary Planning Govt of AP had to counsel the Collector to behave!!
Thanks to the Live Mint for the chart.

Such interferences do not mean so much as unseating the top executives for not lending to the corporates or for taking any action on the NPAs of delinquent corporates that today reached unsustaining levels. The action on the top executives range from transfer from the portfolio handling to transfer out of place. These are taken without demur as no person would like to be at the risk of his career. The obliging top executives and Chairmen get the plum posts. Such games from the Banking Department should stop. Narasimham Committee -1 recommended in 1991 in its maiden report itself, that the time had come for the banking department of the GoI be wound up and stop regulating banks. This recommendation should be revisited by the GoI in the interest of healthy reforms to the financial sector. .

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Slashing Centrally Sponsored Schemes

Different states have different poverty levels. Prudence and diligence in spending on social sector schemes would emerge with the centre taking minimum share and allowing states to carve out their budgets in a manner that their poorer citizens require. 

One thing that baffles me is the enormity of social expenditure budgets by states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with the percentage of poor in total population in the range of 10-12 percent spending more than 50 percent of their budget on populist schemes. They are not focusing even at that expenditure levels on giving free education to the poor by improving infrastructure in all the government schools on a mission mode and providing health care at the door step by improving the primary health care centres in villages.

Small, marginal farmers and lease holders should get protection from the wild market fluctuations through price buffering, beyond the horticulture crops.