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| Updated on October 11, 2020 Published on October 11, 2020

Social media to the rescue

Social media can be used for good cause too. And here is how. A teary-eyed video of the pandemic-hit owner of a food stall called Baba Ka Dhaba went viral on social media this week. While Delhi citizens came to the rescue of the elderly couple that runs the food stall in Malviya Nagar, many companies have also now pitched in.

The National Restaurant Association of India pledged to help the couple to upgrade their equipment and help them become Covid-compliant. Baba Ka Dhaba is also now listed on Zomato and the food aggregator said its team is working with the elderly couple to enable food deliveries. Tinder India also took to Twitter to recommend Baba Ka Dhaba, “for your next date.”

Read between the lines

By announcing that open market operations (OMOs) will be conducted in State Development Loans (SDL) in its latest monetary policy review, the RBI has killed two birds with one stone. First, it has partly tackled the recent GST shortfall woes and resultant need for borrowing by States.

Second, this will help revive the secondary market for SDLs (instrument of State borrowing) and encourage banks to do some heavy lifting in buying and selling of SDLs. The banking industry says this — OMO on SDL — will go a long way in allaying the concerns and reluctance of States from going in for borrowings in light of inadequate cess collections. Now that the central bank has announced this, States can make merry and ratchet up the supply of State government bonds and complete their permitted borrowings at relatively affordable rates, say bankers.

The big question is whether the RBI introduced this at the behest of the Centre?

Better than an LIC policy?

A seasoned fund manager had some sage advice for retail investors during a webinar on capital markets this past week. He said that retail investors should grab the opportunity and apply for the LIC IPO — whenever it hits the market — even if they have to beg borrow or steal!

Reason: His take is that buying into LIC equity is a much better deal in terms of returns than buying into a pure term LIC policy, whose protection benefits the policyholder will anyway not enjoy during his/her lifetime. Not a tough call this.

The shape of recovery

There is often much debate among economists whether economic recovery is V, U, W, L or I shaped. But, in a fresh twist, economists in the US have added a new K-shaped, which typically means the rich getting richer and poor even poorer.

In a similar trend, industries in the technology, retail and software services sectors are recovering faster, while smaller businesses and the hospitality, travel and food services sectors are bearing the brunt of the pandemic impact. Interestingly, the stock market does not seem interested in the shape as long as there is recovery.

Drift in CM-speak

The regular evening Covid-19 updates by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan are heard with rapt attention by not just hardcore loyalists in the ruling Left Democratic Front dispensation but also by sworn adversaries in the Opposition Congress and the BJP. But politics apart, the evening shows also command huge viewership on social media and are closely tracked by Keralites within the country and even abroad.

No surprise there, given that the State is apparently sitting on a potential powder keg with exponential rise in the number of daily new cases of Covid-19.

But a wag could not exactly figure out how, suddenly, long monologues on the performance of the government, new jobs, new schemes, new roads and new bridges are creeping into these keenly followed Chief Minister-speak. Till it struck him elections to local bodies and the State Assembly are looming.

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Published on October 11, 2020
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