Aug 11,2020 | 05 min read

The Government Is Practising Policy Narration: Vivek Kaul On India’s Banks And The Economy

By Aditi Das

The Nirav Modi Extortion case, the Kingfisher imbroglio and the Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank debacle hit the features and left the masses and classes alike in a quagmire bringing to the fore the complex issue of Non-Performing Resources (NPAs) of banks. In 2018 Indian banks were reeling under the effect of unseemingly high rates of credits of more than Rs10 lakh crore, of which a major chunk was on the books of the PSBs (Open Division Banks). 2019 saw a little decrease but clearly the awful credit behemoth was affecting everyone. So, how exactly did the NPA emergency hit the Indian keeping money framework? This is the question that requires an immediate answer. Vivek Kaul’s book ‘Bad cash: Interior the NPA Mess and How it undermines the Indian Keeping Money System’, answers these questions diligently through an in-depth and sharp investigation of the same and provides critical answers to the never-ending questions.

The book is divided into two parts. The primary section follows the development and advancement of the Indian financial framework characterized by intemperate government control, whereas the next section deals with the real emergency. The creator accepts that government actuates arrangements like ‘loan melas’, need segment loaning and loaning targets for the agribusiness and small-scale division, etc. made a framework where due constancy came a cropper. The arrangement of ‘social banking’ made way for associate capitalism.

Kaul picks up Minsky’s budgetary steadiness speculation to consistently clarify how the tall financial development of the early 2000s made individuals accept that great times were here to remain. This belief fervently drove commerce houses and industrialists to arrange modern ventures and approach banks for advances to fund these ventures. It made investors toss caution to the winds and loan liberally. The upward financial direction hit a detour when the 2008 monetary emergency ejected. But, 2008 saw the rise of slowed down ventures and corporate advance defaults, particularly within the framework, control and metal segment as the economy came crashing down.

The Indian framework was clearly driven by what Minsky calls the ‘Ponzi’ stage where the borrower reimburses ancient advances through unused advances. Be that as it may, the bank largesse proceeded uninhibited. Kaul regrets the truth that the controller nor the banks made a course adjustment or indeed recognized the presence of terrible credits. The government did not need to be the ‘purveyor’ of terrible news or drag the plug on loaning that was apparently making a difference to the economy. The investors needed to exhibit a solid adjust sheet free of awful advances and did not falter to rebuild credits or dispense unused credits for reimbursement of ancient advances. This amusement of ‘evergreening’ advances or ‘extend and pretend’ too kept the corporate borrowers upbeat who winced from being named as defaulters. The controller moreover looked the other way. Kaul, with brutal genuineness, focuses out that all the partners were kicking the can down the street.

Be that as it may, be, the RBI Representative, Raghuram Rajan’s ‘Asset Quality Review’ of 2015 brought the awful advances out of the lack of clarity and constrained banks to arrange for them. Rajan moreover set up a Central Store of Data on Expansive Credits (CRILC) to share credit information which would anticipate corrupt corporate borrowers from gaming the framework. The cancellation of all rebuilding plans in 2018 advance fastened the investors. The Indian liquidation Code (IBC) and Incite Remedial Activity (PCA) progressed the credit mess to some degree. Recapitalization by the government and convergence of frail banking entities with stronger financial banking entities kept the framework above water and the confidence of contributors in PSBs increased. But as Kaul more than once says in his book — there's no such thing as a free lunch. The banks were recapitalized through taxpayer cash. The money lent to corporate borrowers and composed off within the books of the banks might have been put to superior utilization and a cash crunch was always present.

Therefore, the creator feels, is to weaken the government stake in PSBs to 33 per cent. The creator also prescribes another Resource Quality Audit of the Indian budgetary framework, counting in its ambit NBFCS, Shared reserves and banks. Despite its overwhelming speciality on the subject matter, the book easily interfaces both with a financial master as well as a peruse untutored in financial matters. The conversational tone of a story unburdened by financial language and condescension, breakdown of a complex subject into straightforward sub-units, a bit of masala almost the extortion executed by Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, curiously cites from the financial studies and the addresses of different RBI Governors makes the book thought-provoking and effortless.

Within the existing situation, the government needs to fill the exchequers with an inflow of cash. The tax collections are low and the government is trying to increase its cash flow when small initiatives are making an attempt to come up.

Having said that, the bureaucrats need to ponder about is that the government is paying for itself. Also, I think that the assess collections have moderated down for a long time since the government has found it simple to just increment the extract obligation on petrol and diesel and make cash from it. The COVID 19 pandemic has only aggravated the existing financial crisis.

Essentially, the government has failed to implement GST and demonetization for the larger public good. Similarly, I have noticed that there are many more defaulters apart from Vijay Mallya such as Bhushan Steel, whose default ran to an amount of more than Rs 56,000 crore while the Ruia brothers of Essar accumulated a sizeable default of Rs 49,000 crore. It is imperative that the law takes its own course in this matter and avoids a replay of such events. It is not in the interest of the Indian economy.

 

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