LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Mar 2018 11:06:54

 


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THE World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting is taking place in Delhi under the shadow of challenges posed to the existence of the multilateral trade organisation due to the protectionist posturing of some of the rich nations. Especially the economic policies being pursued by the United States under the Trump Administration threaten to cause a serious threat to liberal global commerce that WTO is seeking to achieve. In the light of this latest development Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s appeal to evolve a rule-based multilateral trading system ensuring inclusiveness and consensus is a way towards saving the organisation from being sabotaged or upstaged by protectionism resorted to, particularly, by richer nations. There are rules under the WTO which prohibit dumping. But it is richer nations which are first to dump the provision. It is, therefore, not surprising that the decisions taken at the Bali and Doha conclaves have not been implemented. The attitude of rich nations is one of hegemonism where developing poor nations have no say.


DUD LOANS


SMARTING from the Rs. 13,000 crore scam in the Punjab National Bank, the banking sector is vigilantly going after other problem areas such as NPAs and bad loans to regain the lost trust of public. Mr. Uday Kotak, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has sounded another warning about the “pain of dud loans originating from small and medium enterprises”. Mr. Kotak has red-flagged the understated segment of loans availed by SMEs, calling for strict watch over the credit offered to the small businesses. SMEs form a major chunk of businesses in India accounting for a large amounts of credit from banks, though not in big numbers. Yet, the magnitude of these loans is often overlooked by the banking sector. Many simply become dud loans as market volatility accounts for big dents to the small businesses. This is one area, hitherto neglected, that the banking sector needs to focus on with urgency. Introduction of tools to keep a tab on lending, strict monitoring by the RBI and constant vigil by the regulators are of prime importance to this challenge.