Construction, property industries in trouble: Rajan

News Network
December 7, 2019

Dec 7: India’s real estate, construction and infrastructure industries are in “deep trouble,” and non-bank finance companies which lend to these sectors should have their asset quality reviewed, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

There is also “significant distress in rural areas,” Rajan wrote in an opinion piece in India Today magazine. He said India is in a growth recession, defined as an economy growing at a slow pace and where unemployment is rising.

India’s GDP growth slowed to 4.5% in the quarter ended September, a six-year low. A crisis among shadow lenders and a build-up of bad loans at banks have curbed lending in the economy.

The RBI should carry out an asset quality review of the non-bank finance companies, Rajan said. The central bank closely monitors the top fifty non-bank financiers, which account for about 75% of total assets in the shadow banking sector, Governor Shaktikanta Das said in a press conference on Thursday.

“We have a fairly good idea of where the vulnerabilities lie,” said Das, reiterating that the central bank won’t allow any large or systematically important non-bank lender to collapse.

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News Network
September 22,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 22: Various opposition parties, including the Congress and the TMC, on Tuesday, boycotted Lok Sabha in solidarity with the eight Rajya Sabha members who were suspended for unruly behaviour.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said all opposition parties are boycotting Parliament in solidarity with the Rajya Sabha members who were suspended on Monday.

"You have compelled us to do so," he said.

Opposition parties, including Congress, TMC, BSP and TRS, walked out of the Lok Sabha.

Chowdhury did not specify for how long the boycott would continue.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla warned that members should not mention about the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha.

He said all references made by members would be removed from the records.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 17: Attacking the Centre over the alleged rise in unemployment, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said employment is dignity and asked for how long will the government "deny" this to people.

In his attack against the government on Twitter, Gandhi also tagged a media report which claimed that over one crore people had registered on a government portal seeking jobs, but only 1.77 lakh jobs were available.

"Massive unemployment has forced the youth to call today #NationalUnemploymentDay. Employment is dignity. For how long will the govt deny it?" the former Congress chief tweeted.

Gandhi has been critical of the Modi government's handling of the economy and has called on the Centre to provide jobs to the youth.

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Agencies
September 14,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 14: The government is using the sedition law with an iron hand to curb free speech in an overreaction to people's opinion, former Supreme Court judge Justice M B Lokur said on Monday.

Another method by which the state is curbing free speech is to crack down on critical opinions by charging them of spreading fake news, Justice (retried) Lokur said at a webinar on 'Freedom of Speech and Judiciary'.

He cited examples of journalists reporting about coronavirus cases and related issue such as lack of ventilators, being charged with fake news provisions.

"State is using sedition as an iron hand to curb free speech. Suddenly you have a lot of cases charging people with sedition. A common citizen who say something is charged with sedition. Already 70 cases of sedition have been seen this year," Justice Lokur said.

Speaking on the contempt of court issue related to lawyer Prashant Bhushan, the former apex court judge said his statements were misread.

He also gave an example of doctor Kafeel Khan and said his speech was also misread to charge him with the National Security Act over his statements against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Veteran journalist N Ram said the punishment in the Prashant Bhushan case is "incongruous" and there is no "real substantiation" for the apex court's findings.

"I have great respect for the judiciary. It is the judiciary which read freedom of the press into the Constitution," Ram said at the webinar organised by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) and Swaraj Abhiyan

There will be more and more scrutiny of the judiciary in the coming days, he said, adding that harsher things are said in print and media than the tweets of Bhushan.

Social activist Aruna Roy said the empowerment which people got because of Bhushan's positions is enormous and the case has stimulated people.

"This intent to spread fear will not work. We are empowered by the Constitution," she said.

Meanwhile, Bhushan deposited the token fine of Re 1 imposed by the Supreme Court in the contempt case over two of his tweets in the in the apex court's Registry.

Talking to media before submitting the fine, Bhushan said that he has received contributions from several corners of the country for paying the fine, and a "truth fund" will be created out of such contributions to provide legal aid to those who are prosecuted for dissenting opinions.

"The State is using all means to silence voices of dissent. The 'truth fund' will be used to protect the personal liberty to those persons who face the State's persecution", he said.

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