Written by The Financial Express | Updated: Jan 23 2011, 03:48am hrs
Food security vs border security

For bringing in transparency in the transportation and distribution of foodgrain, Food Corporation of India (FCI) has revamped its Website. While launching the Website, minister of state for agriculture KV Thomas asked the media persons present to use the content of the Website responsibly while reporting. Thomas equated the importance of countrys food security with border security issues. However, he forgot to clarify as to which information was sensitive and could jeopardise the countrys food security.

Officially Incorrect

The Malegam Committee report on microfinance institutions says the larger MFIs have an effective interest rate ranging between 31% and 50.5%, with an average of 36.8%. That makes them pretty usurious and the Committee has recommended interest margins be capped at 10%, subject to an overall cap of 24% on interest rates. Interestingly, a few paras after it mention the 36.8% average interest rate, the report says several MFIs have assigned/securitised a significant portion of their portfolio if the rates are to be calculated on the gross portfolio, both the rate of interest on lending as well as the cost percentage would be lower. By how much If a fourth of portfolios are securitised, as industry suggests, the average effective interest rate will come down from 36.8% to around 27%. Why not mention this rate in the report