Clash of Ideas
RBI Governor Urjit Patel and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian are at loggerheads over policy rates. In its recent policy review, RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent. Subramanian, who believes that the current economic conditions warrant policy easing, was not pleased with the decision. "Headline inflation has been running well below the target so far. Core inflation has also declined sharply. In this view, inflation forecast errors by the RBI have been large and systematically one-sided in overstating inflation," he said. The statement is being seen as a sign of dissent between the government and the Central bank. Earlier, while announcing the monetary policy, Patel had said that the Monetary Policy Committee, an independent panel set up by the government last year to decide on repo rate, had declined a meeting request by the finance ministry before the announcement.
The weakened pace of growth of Indian IT companies has started to impact the top executives of the industry, too. The salary of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji witnessed a massive 63 per cent decline in FY17; he also did not receive his entitled commission of 0.5 per cent on the incremental net profit of Wipro Limited. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka's salary, too, has taken a hit. Infosys Co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy has asked senior executives of IT companies to take pay-cuts to protect the jobs of youngsters. "I have a feeling that it is possible for us to protect the jobs of youngsters if the senior management people were to make some minor adjustments - adjustments of taking salary cuts," he said. His statement comes in the wake of reports of lay-offs across IT companies.
Adani Enterprises' 16.5-billion-dollar Carmichael project - which has been in limbo for seven years due to environmental issues - has finally been given the go-ahead from the company board. Announcing the development, Chairman Gautam Adani said, "I am proud to announce the project has Final Investment Decision (FID) approval which marks the official start of one of the largest single infrastructure - and job creating - developments in Australia's recent history." The project has been facing resistance from environmentalists who argue that it would cause damage to the Great Barrier Reef marine park in Northern Queensland. Although the company is still facing opposition from activists, Adani said they would "remain committed to the project".
Friend Turned Foe
NDTV's former financial consultant Sanjay Dutt has brought the company under the scanner over its finances yet again. Acting on his recent complaint, the CBI raided the offices and residence of founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. The incident was widely covered in the Indian and international media. Calling the raids a "witch-hunt", the channel has termed the incident as "a concerted harassment of NDTV" and "a blatant political attack on the freedom of the press".
End of an Era
Jack Trout, renowned marketing guru and the man behind the theory of 'positioning', passed away in Greenwich, United States. He had intestinal cancer. The co-author of the widely popular 1981 marketing book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (that he wrote with his business partner Al Ries) was 82 years old. His first book sold two million plus copies; and he later went on to publish 15 more books on the concept. A native of New York, he had earlier served in the US Navy as a flight navigator, and worked in the ad department of General Electric before joining Ries. Their association went on for 30 years.