Defending our borders
This refers to ‘Army bets high on drone use in the field’ (August 9). It was highly encouraging that the Indian Army has signed an MoU with the Drone Federation of India to jointly work on R&D, testing and manufacturing of drones and associated technologies in the wake of unmanned vehicles extensively being relied upon in a warfare.
Interestingly, the Army has also launched the ‘Him Drone-a-thon’ programme to basically explore drone applications in logistics/load carrying at high altitude of 13,200 ft above mean sea level and for autonomous surveillance, search and rescue. Such a well-timed and tactical move may come handy in further supplementing and strengthening the defence of our twin porous borders.
While the Army Design Bureau is facilitating and assisting numerous initiatives such as procurement of logistics, surveillance and swarm drones, it is incumbent upon our armed forces to effectively tackle the frequent intrusion into our western border areas by Pakistani drones.
Online trading platforms
With reference to ‘Bonds booster’ (August 9), among the various services provided by fintech entities, online trading platform services are not so significant currently, since consumers prefer to deal with registered brokers especially in listed securities.
As such, the target clients for these low net worth entities are retail investors making their debut in the markets without proper risk assessment and diligence.
In some cases, these platforms arrange short-term loans for investors through NBFCs and other financial institutions with whom they have tie-ups to buy and trade in securities. No doubt, these entities are supporting the growth of the debt and bond market ecosystem, but lack of transparency in product disclosures warrant introduction of adequate regulatory measures to monitor and streamline the operations of these platforms, by integrating with the existing stock exchange network.
Reform power sector
Apropos ‘Govt refers Electricity Amendment Bill to panel’ (August 9), the opposition by some stakeholders like employees’ unions and State governments is along expected lines. Based on the report, the amendments proposed are reformist — empowering the consumer, introducing competition, and promoting efficiency. All these are to be welcomed. Some political parties, long used to doling out free or subsidised power at taxpayer expense to garner votes and then enjoy perks of office, are naturally upset. Public sector employee unions always oppose demands for efficiency, transparency and accountability.
Just look at the transformation in the telecom sector where every Indian has been empowered with limitless voice and data services at minimal cost due to the private sector.
Could BSNL and MTNL have achieved this? BSNL continues to consume thousands of crores of taxpayers’ money through a series of bailouts. The government must push forward with the amendments and reform the power sector.
New accounting framework
This refers to ‘Expected credit loss framework can wait’ (August 9). Notwithstanding the prudential Income Recognition and Asset Classification and Special Mention Accounts norms being complied with by the banking sector and oversight by the banking regulator, large divergences have been detected. With the revival of economic activities, the demand for credit is surging and banks are showing better working results. Though risk management and mitigation measures are being implemented by banks meticulously, due to the interconnection of the domestic economy with the global economies financial intermediation is now riskier.
The new accounting framework require banks to envisage the expected loss of assets, and providing for that on time will help protect the interests of all stakeholders. The banking regulator must create an enabling environment for banks to comply with the norms to make the financial system of the country more robust and resilient.