Amid expectations of farm loan waiver, Kumaraswamy to present budget today

Agencies
July 5, 2018

Bengaluru, Jul 5: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy will present the Congress-JD(S) coalition government's maiden budget on Thursday, amid high expectations of farm loan waiver.

In the run-up to the recent assembly polls, the Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) had promised to waive farm loans borrowed both from cooperative and nationalised banks within 24 hours of coming to power.

Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, had earlier cited coalition compulsions and the need for studying the financial condition of the state as the reason for the delay in the announcement of loan waiver.

Financial experts and some government officials have already expressed concern over the impact loan waiver may have on the state's finances.

It will also be interesting to see how Kumaraswamy, who has in the past claimed that he is not an expert on the economy, will strike a balance between loan waiver, flagship schemes of the previous government, new schemes or programmes if any, as also infrastructure needs of the state.

The Congress-JD(S) coordination committee constituted to oversee the smooth functioning of the government had on Sunday approved the Common Minimum Programme, which includes waiver of farm loans, creation of one crore jobs and allocation of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for irrigation over the next five years.

It also included construction of 20 lakh houses for homeless families in the state in the next five years, along with implementation of a universal health policy, 'Arogya Karnataka' of the previous government, among others.

The budget also comes amid coalition worries and debate over whether there was a need for a full-fledged fresh budget as the government would continue almost all the flagship schemes of the previous government.

Former chief minister and Coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah, who held the finance portfolio in the previous government, had recently said there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would do.

Adding to the coalition's discomfort is the controversy over videos that purportedly showed coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah's remarks, questioning the need for a fresh budget and expressing scepticism over longevity of the government.

On the other hand, the opposition BJP has demanded that Kumaraswamy come out with a "white paper" on the state's financial position before presenting the budget.

Leader of the opposition in the assembly B S Yeddyurappa has warned that if the government fails to keep up its promises on loan waiver, BJP and all its 104 MLAs would go to the people with the Congress and JD(S) manifestos to inform them that the parties have not 'walked the talk.'

Meanwhile, Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar today sounded a note of caution about loan waiver becoming a "fashion".

Taking note of the discussions regarding farm loan waiver, he questioned why no one was talking about making farmers capable of paying back.

Stating that it is true that loan waiver was needed to relieve farmers in distress, Kumar said "but let loan waiver not become a fashion."

In what is being seen as an effort by Congress to claim its share of credit for the farm loan waiver, keeping in mind the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, party President Rahul Gandhi today expressed confidence about the Congress-JD(S) coalition government acting on its commitment to waive farmer loans and to make farming more profitable.

"On the eve of the Karnataka Budget, I'm confident our Congress-JD(S) coalition Govt will act on our commitment to waive farmer loans & to make farming more profitable," he said in a tweet.

"This budget is an opportunity for our Govt. to make Karnataka a beacon of hope for farmers all across India," he said.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
September 14,2020

Bytedance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has reportedly chosen Cloud major Oracle over Microsoft to run its US operations as a ‘trusted tech partner’, multiple media reports revealed on Monday while an official announcement was still awaited.

According to The New York Times, ByteDance rejected the acquisition offer from Microsoft. However, it was unclear whether TikTok's choice of Oracle as a technology partner would mean that "Oracle would also take a majority ownership stake of the social media app".

This is different from an outright sale and appears to suggest Oracle will help run TikTok's US operations with its Cloud technologies.

In an official statement, Microsoft said its bid for TikTok operations in the US was rejected.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests," Microsoft said.

"To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas," the tech giant added.

ByteDance has reportedly decided not to sell or transfer the algorithm that is behind TikTok to any other company. This was reported by South China Morning Post quoting sources as saying that while ByteDance will not give its source code to any bidder in the US, its tech team can develop a new algorithm in the US. The company has reportedly informed the same to authorities and potential bidders in the US.

After TikTok was banned in India in June, along with 58 other Chinese apps, the Donald Trump administration in the US increased pressure on the ByteDance-owned platform to sell its US operations by mid-September or face a ban.

According to NYT, Oracle has cultivated close ties with the Trump administration.

"Its founder, Larry Ellison, hosted a fund-raiser for Trump this year, and its chief executive, Safra Catz, served on the president's transition team and has frequently visited the White House".

Trump said last month that he would support Oracle buying TikTok.

"I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it," he told reporters. Trump maintained there will be "no extension of the TikTok deadline".

Riding on new customer wins in both Cloud applications and infrastructure businesses, Oracle posted better than expected results for its FY21 first quarter results last week, generating $9.4 billion in revenue which was up 2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, China said the Trump administration's deadline for TikTok sale is tantamount to "coercive robbery".

"The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the US played on non-American companies are tantamount to coercive robbery," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson over the weekend.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
September 11,2020

New Delhi, Sept 11: The Centre has constituted an expert panel for assessment of relief required by bank borrowers on loans taken during moratorium, in the wake of the pandemic. The committee has been formed under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi. 

The development comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to consider a plea for not charging interest and interest on interest on deferred EMIs during the moratorium period and also not downgrade the credit and asset classification of the borrowers.

A Finance Ministry statement said: "Various concerns have been raised during the proceedings of the ongoing hearing in Supreme Court of India, in the matter of Gajendra Sharma Vs. UoI and Others, of the matter regarding the relief sought in terms of waiver of interest and waiver of interest on interest and other related issues."

"Government has accordingly constituted an Expert Committee for making an overall assessment so that its decisions in this regard are better informed."

The committee, to be headed by Mehrishi, also includes former IIM-Ahmedabad professor and former member, Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India, Ravindra H. Dholakia, and former Managing Director, State Bank of India and IDBI Bank, B. Sriram. The State Bank of India (SBI) will provide secretarial support to the committee.

The terms of reference of the committee would include measuring the impact on the national economy and financial stability of waiving of interest and waiving of interest on the COVID-19 related moratorium.

It would also provide suggestions to mitigate financial constraints of various sections of society in this respect and measures to be adopted in this regard.

The committee will submit its report within one week and may consult banks or other stakeholders, as deemed necessary, for the purpose, said the official statement.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
September 10,2020

Mumbai, Sept 10: Markets roared back to life on Thursday after two days of declines as Reliance Industries ratcheted higher on reports that the company is offering to sell a substantial stake in its retail arm to Amazon.

The 30-share BSE Sensex soared 646.40 points or 1.69 per cent to finish at 38,840.32.

The broader NSE Nifty rallied 171.25 points or 1.52 per cent to close at 11,449.25.

Market heavyweight Reliance Industries surged to its lifetime high during the session after reports said the company has held discussions with Amazon for the retail arm stake sale.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm is reportedly offering as much as 40 per cent stake in its retail subsidiary to Amazon, which is seeking to expand its presence in the Indian market.

On Wednesday, Reliance had announced that US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners would buy 1.75 per cent stake in its retail arm for Rs 7,500 crore.

RIL stock jumped 8.45 per cent to a record high of Rs 2,343.90 on the BSE on Thursday. The company's market valuation rose to Rs 14,66,589.53 crore (USD 199.64 billion) in late afternoon trade.

The stock finally ended 7.10 per cent higher, accounting for most of the Sensex's gains.

Asian Paints, Axis Bank, UltraTech Cement, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance were among the other index gainers, spurting up to 4.25 per cent.

On the other hand, Tata Steel, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank, Titan and HDFC Bank closed in the red, shedding up to 2.24 per cent.

"Indian indices again had a strong showing today backed by strong gains in the shares of RIL, which alone contributed to more than half of the gains seen on Nifty. Suitors lining up for potential stake sale in Reliance Retail drove its gains today. Positive global cues also palyed a part in the broader positivity seen in the markets.

"European markets have turned cautious ahead of the ECB policy meeting happening today. Investors seems to have kept the simmering border tensions on the backburner for now and, in the absence of fresh triggers, will look at global markets and stock specific news for direction," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE energy index rallied 6.26 per cent, followed by oil and gas, basic materials, industrials, finance and capital goods.

On the other hand, telecom and metal fell up to 1.42 per cent.

Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices surged up to 1.27 per cent.

In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the red, while Seoul and Tokyo closed higher.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a mixed note ahead of the European Central Bank's policy decision.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.27 per cent lower at USD 40.27 per barrel.

In the forex market, the rupee strengthened by 9 paise to end at 73.46 against the US dollar.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.