ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Remarkable Life

Dhruba Narayan Ghosh, a distinguished citizen of India, passed away on 7 November 2023, in Kolkata, at the age of 95. At the time of independence, in 1947, he was just about 19 years old. The next 75 years turned out to be a remarkable life in our times of an extraordinary person who contributed so much to the public domain in economy and society. It is sad news and an irreparable loss for his family, friends, colleagues and admirers, who span a wide spectrum of age and straddle the vast geographical spread of India. He was held in great esteem by his peers and much admired by the young. Dhruba Ghosh was a man of many parts—a superb civil servant, a distinguished corporate leader, an innovative banker, a builder of institutions, a natural leader, a scholar, a columnist—with a razor-sharp mind—and, most importantly, a concerned citizen. For me, he was a close friend for more than four decades. And I have not quite come to terms with the reality that he has left us.

Public Sector Bank Mergers

The slowdown in the economy and the resultant rise in bad loans have led to criticism of public sector banks and questioning of their raison d’être. While there is a rush to find a quick solution by merging PSBs, it would be wise to examine the ground realities closely. India needs a mix of efficiently run PSBs and aggressive private banks to achieve growth and development along with social justice.

Public Sector Banks Are Adrift

With credit and deposit growth slowing in key sectors and only retail credit growing, low capital adequacy ratios of banks, senior management changes in the offi ng, and bank mergers, the National Democratic Alliance government needs to ask itself what it envisages for public sector banks, and indeed for the Indian economy.

The State in Business and the Business of Regulation

This article seeks to dispel the notion that the law treats public sector units preferentially only in India by offering examples of preferential treatment for government-owned entities in developed countries. The solution is, therefore, to secure the credible commitment of the state to subject its corporations to the same standards as are applicable to non-state owned entities.

Concentration, Collusion and Corruption in India’s Banks

Why would companies, for whom costs rise with higher interest rates, choose to amass credit as interest rates rise? Were more and more loans taken with the understanding that default would be inevitable? Only a commission of inquiry with a specifi c mandate to understand the years of loose lending by banks in India can answer these and other uncomfortable questions. These answers are needed in the interest of securing our economy, and indeed our democracy.

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