It's High Time Banks Move Fast for Dissolving NPAs
This refers to your cover story Cleaning the Bad Loans Mess (May 7). The article was a good summation of issues that have been hitting creditworthiness and discussions on possible solutions to NPAs of both private and public sector banks. It is appalling that the NPAs have been allowed to soar so high and that the lenders woke up only after policy interventions of the Centre and the RBI. In this era of digital money, virtual exchange, and gee-whiz technology for banking transactions, the Indian financial system has been damaged severely. When the RBI earlier slashed repo rates under Raghuram Rajans tenure, the banks did not pass the savings to debtors, and NPAs led to administrative constraints from the RBI, apart from functional restraints. NPAs have grown under banks' own feet based on the constituents of the businesses and the capabilities of the debtors. Personal and subjective decisions of CEOs of banks towards politicians for huge credits, seeking tenure extension and post-retirement plum positions, are the main reasons for the despicable development of NPAs. The present unmanageability of NPAs has arisen as existing norms, extant procedures and laws did not largely account for this fact. This problem will continue to depress credit demand till the Centre creates a holding company for banks and waters down its equity stake to a large extent to facilitate professional autonomy and operational leverage. Improved ring-fencing of credit and establishment of a holding company for banks will resolutely deal with the menace of NPAs. It is high time banks move further for tacking this problem.
B. Rajasekaran, Bangalore
Will e-business Major Flipkart Win the Battle?
This refers to your article on online market leaders (Fear Factor, May 7). No doubt, e-commerce major Flipkart's decision to acquire eBay and Snapdeal is a desperate attempt to be the number one leader among its rivals in its territory. But it is already burning $40-50 million every month. So, how will the merger deal help Flipkart in reducing its humungous expenditure in this cut-throat competition? Will it be able to defeat the giant Amazon in this "e-market war"?... Only time will tell the truth.
B.S. Acharya, Berhampur
Blessings from the Demonetisation Demon!
This refers to your article on real estate business (In-house Trouble, May 7). The author has analysed in detail the market scenarios of residential properties and why real estate companies and private equity players should rethink their strategies. Now, the Modi impact (demonetisation, followed by restrictions on cash transactions) has crushed the dreams of almost all developers in this segment. They have been forced to slash the soaring building costs as they face fewer monetary transactions and less demand for the unreachable housing segment. Adding to their miseries, now even input costs in this sector have gone up. But whatever may be the reason, it is a blessing in disguise for the common man to think about buying a shelter in his/her life time. Also, it is a good lesson for developers to learn - how to smoothly and transparently handle real estate projects.
Biswaranjan Mishra, Gurugram
New Utility Slates: Gift for a Gadget-lover
This refers to the piece under your regular Personal Tech column in BT (Picking the Tab, May 7). Though smartphones have now phased out the "old guards of technology - PCs and Tabs", as a geek, I personally like Tabs most. For me, the article was a chance to compare the different brands before buying a new one to compete with the high-tech gadgets. Kudos to BT team for the gift to gadget lovers.
Namita P., Faridabad
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