Below the line

| Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

Clap your hands

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has great oratory skills and his speeches always invite loud claps. So, at a recent industry event when the claps were not loud enough, Modi did not miss an opportunity to exhort the audience to clap once more with greater energy.

Modi had to do so at least twice during the annual meeting of an industry chamber.

First, when he talked about de-criminalising various provisions of the Companies Act, a much sought after demand of India Inc, the response was feeble. He explained the issue again and got a much bigger hand this time.

Next, when he was spoke about the reduction in corporate tax, the response again was muted.

This time he jokingly said that the audience must be engrossed thinking about what more they will get and that he needed to remind them about what has already been done. And, of course, he got a big hand again.

NITI Aayog bypassed?

Policy wonks in the NITI Aayog have been sulking since the Citizenship Amendment Bill (now an Act) was introduced in Parliament. If whispers are to be believed, the principal policy ideating body of the government was not consulted before this legislation was introduced.

Some say that the ensuing discontent in the country is being sensed by the top officials at NITI Aayog, but none wants to run foul of the government agenda. Others in NITI are also asking what their role is if they are not consulted before such drastic measures.

Making the cut

Buzz in the corridors of power is that RA Sankara Narayanan, current Managing Director and CEO of Canara Bank, may become the Vigilance Commissioner at the anti-corruption agency CVC once he superannuates on January 31. He has been sounded out and may well throw his hat in the ring, it is learnt.

One too many councils?

Speaking at a FICCI AGM, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, while informing industry leaders about various things he learnt during his meeting with 37 export promotion councils, wondered if that many export promotion councils were needed.

Should we take it as a hint Mr Minister?

IBC benefits

There is no doubt that though the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is still in its infancy — it has just completed three years — it has been rewarding for the Indian economy and the markets.

Not only has the Code helped in the recovery of ₹1.6-lakh crore as well as revival of several firms, it has also spawned several new markets. Consider this. Thanks to IBC, the market for capacity building and education in insolvency and bankruptcy is now booming.

One interesting metric to gauge the success of the IBC and the education market it has created is the number of books sold on this subject by the online marketplace Amazon. At last count, as many as 36 books on IBC are now available for purchase at the Amazon online store, a top official closely involved with IBC development noted. The story on the education and training market does not end just on the popularity at Amazon. It now transpires that several educational and training institutes are queuing up before the insolvency regulator IBBI to get approval for launching courses (like the two-year graduate insolvency programmes).

Here’s hoping that the IBC matures into a strong young entity in the days to come, bringing even more rewards for the economy.

Recall the couplets

Some discussions in Parliament run into days, and MPs at times take potshots at each other, quoting famous couplets or poems. There is a staff appointed to specially compile all the couplets every year, which then get annually uploaded on the website. If one wants a particular couplet quoted on a day, he/she simply has to contact the staff in charge, provide the reference of the desired information and the couplet will be made avialable.

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Published on December 23, 2019
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