Landlords from abroad

Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Congress-led UPA’s moves towards globalisation and WTO rules have hurt the country’s small farmers the most.
Ironically, the same communists who helped in distribution of land to poor farmers in West Bengal are now about to hand over around 5,000 acres of land, including agricultural land, to the Salem group of Indonesia.

The group, I would like to point out, was associated with the notorious military ruler of Indonesia, the late general Suharto.
The way the West Bengal government is planning to give land to the company, it seems the communists will bring in foreign landlords with the excuse that only large farms are viable and capable of generating employment.
- RK Mani


Status quo
The RBI, in its credit policy, has proposed the freeing of savings bank interest rates, while asking the Indian Banks Association to chalk out a road-map for its deregulation.
While public sector banks, by virtue of their long-standing presence, hold a majority share of total savings deposits, private sector banks are way behind, obviously due to their limited reach. The latter are desperately trying to enhance their savings base. They will be willing to hike interest rates owing to relatively low transaction costs in view of the ATMs they operate.
A bank that uses an ATM network more aggressively can afford to hike the savings bank interest rate by perhaps 1 or 2 percentage points. State-owned banks have a limitation here.
Deregulation and consequent upward revision in the savings interest would witness a flight of deposits, tilting the balance heavily in favour of private banks. We need to maintain status quo till all banks are mature enough to operate in a deregulated environment.
- Srinivasan Umashankar

Clarification
In the article “The original free market leader” (FE dated 13/11/05), the lunch following the Czech President’s talk at the PHDCCI was hosted by the Liberty Institute, not the Centre for Civil Society.
—Editor