Spread awareness, not panic
Cardinal Oswald Gracias’ recommendation asking Catholics not to kiss the relic of Our Lord, Jesus Christ during the period of Lent and may be even after that either by hand or lips and not to receive Holy Communion on the tongue is laudable. Taking precautions is better than cure. Coronavirus is a deadly disease and spreads rapidly. So, one has to be careful.
Crisis at Yes Bank alarming
The recent crisis at Yes Bank is alarming. This will lose public trust and confidence yet again in the banking sector after PNB and PMC bank crisis in recent times. In an era of digital transformation in banking, banks are losing trust over NPA losses by heavy lending, internal board room feuds etc. The crisis has now taken a toll on customer-focused approach which is otherwise a primary goal of lenders. RBI should have stepped in at the right time instead of being a mute spectator until the panic button was raised at the eleventh hour.
It is also surprising to note that how RBI has quickly stepped in to rescue private banks while it maintained an arm’s length in case of the recent co-op bank crisis. SBI’s takeover bid of Yes Bank may only result in delayed transactions thereby inviting the ire of its trusted customers and instead should speed up the process of acquisition. RBI, otherwise, should be unanimous in its approach to rescue any banks either in the private or co-op sector where public interest plays a larger role than the rule books prevailing upon banking regulations.
Stop nuisance on beaches
Goa is considered to be India’s beach paradise and people desire to experience the finest that the Goan culture offers once there. With the intention of making tourist hot-spots nuisance-free, the Goa government has already introduced a bill which says its objective is to protect and preserve tourism potential of tourist places in Goa and keep them clean and free of nuisance. The state government should now strongly implement on amendment to the Tourists Trade Act to stop the nuisance on the beaches and to ban alcohol consumption on the beaches. Strong implementation of amendment will bring discipline along the entire coastal belt. In the past, tourism and travel industry stakeholders had also blamed the government for poor vision as well as the lack of will to attract “quality tourists”. People found creating nuisance like drinking in public or cooking in the open should be strictly dealt with and fined. People of Goa and tourists must also take the issue seriously to have a positive impact on Goa’s pristine beaches.
New varnish-coated 100-rupee notes to be introduced shortly
This refers to reply by Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur in the Rajya Sabha on March 4 that new varnish-coated 100-rupee notes with longer life will be shortly issued on experimental basis in five cities Shimla, Jaipur, Bhuvneshwar, Kochi and Mysore. But similar commitment by the then Union Minister of Finance Namo Narain Meena on March 12, 2013 in written reply in Rajya Sabha about introduction of plastic-currency in ten-rupee denomination has not been implemented till now. It is better if experimental plastic-currency in the denomination of rupees ten may also be done simultaneously to ascertain better of the two options namely varnish-coated currency and plastic currency.
Thereafter notes in other lower denominations of rupees 10, 20, 50 and 100 also can be issued simultaneously in better of the two forms namely varnish-coated and plastic currency. However one-rupee notes restarted on March 6, 2015 after a gap of about two decades just for bureaucratic craze to be signed by a secretary-level officer rather than RBI governor should be discontinued to be printed. It may be mentioned that all other notes except that of rupee-one bear signatures of RBI governor. This is why notes in other discontinued lower denomination notes of rupees 2 and 5 were not re-introduced because these notes did not bear signature of secretary-level officers.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)