Funding local bodies
This refers to the editorial ‘Urban renewal’ (November 16). The quality of governance and financial discipline in local bodies are inadequate. To alleviate the resource crunch, allowing local bodies to issue bonds to raise funds may not yield the intended results.
The financial management and accounting systems of corporations are deficient, and hence it will be risky for investors to park their hard-earned money in municipal bonds. Rather than issue bonds for mobilising resources, the existing system of collection of revenue and allocation of funds by the governments needs to be strengthened.
The oversight on the financial management of these bodies must be tightened to prevent leakages of revenue. .
The record of urban local bodies has been dismal. In 2017, the Pune Municipal Corporation raised ₹200 crore via a bond issue and in 2018, Indore followed suit. Bond issue by civic institutions carry the onus of public trust and accountability. For bond issuances to be viable and fruitful, professionalism in the administration of local bodies is vital.
Stress on energy security
Apropos ‘At G20 summit, Modi pitches for protecting India’s energy security’ (November 16), the Prime Minister’s firm and bold stance, asking Western nations to drop the idea of capping the price of Russian oil depicts India’s stature in the global arena. Modi also stressed that India’s energy security is of paramount importance for global growth. His proposed meetings with leaders of other G20 nations will help strengthen bilateral relationships.
Fintech on a roll
This refers to ‘Fintech has arrived, and ‘Techfin’ is on its way’ (November 16). Fintech is a term used to describe emerging digital technology that aims to improve and automate the delivery and usage of financial services. Today, however, fintech spans various sectors and industries, including education, retail banking, non-profit fundraising, investment management, and much more.
Through specialised software and algorithms, fintech helps companies, business owners, and consumers manage their financial operations and processes. All these factors indicate a positive shift towards fintech and present a huge growth potential for the industry.
P Sundara Pandian
Lay-offs at tech giants
With people returning to their work spaces and rediscovering the outdoors following the retreat of the Covid-19 pandemic, engagements on online platforms have begun to see a discernible drop and are affecting the revenues of internet behemoths. The result is that many tech giants are now resorting to lay-offs and hiring freezes. Close on the heels of a lay-off spree by Elon Musk-owned Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg-headed Meta, Amazon plans to lay off as many as 10,000 employees.
With global recession on the horizon, prospects for tech giants to arrest their slide in earnings appear remote. While tech giants like Meta, Amazon and Twitter have reaped huge profits during the heyday of the pandemic, with people purchasing more online, they failed to recognise that the changed user behaviour cannot be sustained in the long run.