Banks & Bank­ruptcy

India Business Journal - - READERS' LOUNGE -

This book is the epic story of bank­ing in In­dia in the last decade. The years from 2007 to 2017 were the most tu­mul­tuous and ex­cit­ing time for this sec­tor, which saw D Sub­barao, Raghu­ram Ra­jan and Uri­jit Pa­tel as RBI gov­er­nors work­ing with fi­nance min­is­ters Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram and Arun Jait­ley.

What a decade it has been from In­dia's first mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion, SKS Mi­cro­fi­nance, en­ter­ing the cap­i­tal mar­ket to the near death of the in­dus­try; the RBI giv­ing the nod to 23 banks and be­com­ing an in­fla­tion-tar­geter; from 9 per cent eco­nomic growth for three con­sec­u­tive years to the jolt of de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

Au­thor Ta­mal Bandy­opad­hyay un­der­stands well the beast called pub­lic sec­tor banks (PSBs), which ac­count for 70 per cent of bank­ing as­sets, giv­ing the reader an in­sider-like ac­count of the fall of PSB from grace. How­ever, all these details are writ­ten dis­pas­sion­ately and with­out any mal­ice. On a more se­ri­ous note, he has also ex­plained the need to re­form the method of selec­tion of heads and bank rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Mr Bandy­opad­hyay is at his satir­i­cal best while deal­ing with some of the mis­ad­ven­tures of suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments - the Bharatiya Mahila Bank and the Mu­dra Bank, to name only two. He suc­cinctly ques­tions why these were set up and what pur­pose they have served. His ob­ser­va­tion on the Banks Board Bureau is equally scathing. With a vague man­date and no clarity of role, the bureau is count­ing its days, writes Mr Bandy­opad­hyay.

Fea­tur­ing es­says and in­ter­views with the who's who of this sec­tor, in­clud­ing Deepak Parkeh, K V Ka­math, Arund­hati Bhat­tacharya, Chanda Kochchar, Aditya Puri, Shikha Sharma, Raghu­ram Ra­jan, U K Sinha and Viral Acharya, this book makes for a riv­et­ing read.

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