Below the line

Our Bureaus | Updated on March 07, 2021

NK Singh’s sixer

You must give it to Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairperson NK Singh for his wit and his knack to come up with right analogy.

When BusinessLine recently quizzed him on some of his recommendations not being accepted and acted upon swiftly by the Centre, Singh quipped.

“I have no great doubts that these will go through (Centre’s approval) as we go along.

“Unlike a Budget, we are not a one day match or much less a T20 match. We are a regular 5-day match and we (as Finance Commission) give five-year awards and therefore we need to see how the fiscal situation begins to play itself out”.

Singh was however quick to point out to the Centre’s acceptance of the substantial increase in revenue deficit grants and allocation to disaster management.

KCR’s key aide shown the door

A key aide of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was sacked, created a flutter.

According to the grapevine, the aide used his position in the CMO to amass wealth over the last few years.

Handpicked by the Chief Minister to head the communications team in the CMO in 2014, the former journalist wielded power, using his proximity with the Chief Minister.

Sources say an internal inquiry is on to dig into his alleged deals.

From antics to antiquity

After his daring exploits in the swirling waters of the Arabian Sea off Kerala’s Kollam coast, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi landed safe and dry on terra firma at Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. He may have been denied permission to do an encore in the adjoining seas but he flexed his muscles in an intense push-up session with a student at a nearby school. The nearly one-minute-long clip shows him taking up the ‘challenge’ to the student even while talking to him. Only time will tell if voters in the two poll-bound States are suitably impressed by these antics, or might decide to leave his party to antiquity!

Gen Z focus

Start-ups and fintechs are well known for their younger age profile of employees. At a recent interaction, a young start-up founder said his company made sure that all team managers are young to ensure that they cater well to their target customers of under 30.

This led to a tongue-in-cheek question on whether older employees then have to look for jobs in companies that target older consumers. But the start-up founder gallantly replied that everyone in his organisation has equal growth opportunities!

BSNL’s ‘asset monetisation’

“Do you know anyone who needs office space in Mangaluru,” asked an official from BSNL after a press conference in Mangaluru. The official said that three floors of BSNL’s multi-storey building were lying idle now. Nearly 100 staff quarters of BSNL in Dakshina Kannada Telecom District (which also includes Udupi district) have been given on rent to staff members from other government departments. BSNL has vast real estate in the form of offices and telephone exchanges across the country, and the organisation is looking at providing them on rent in many cases, he said.

Karthi’s helping hand

Karthi Chidambaram has filed an application seeking a ticket for Priyanka Gandhi to contest the Kanyakumari Parliamentary by-election to be held along with the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections on April 6. The by-election was warranted due to the death of MP H Vasanth Kumar in August 2020. He contended that Congress needs a bold move to fire up the imagination of grassroots workers in the State. It would be interesting to see if this suggestion is taken seriously by the Congress High Command. If it does and Priyanka Gandhi wins, she would join her brother Rahul Gandhi to be a MP from the South. Rahul Gandhi represents Kerala’s Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha.

Published on March 07, 2021

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