One of the biggest reasons why India loses cricket matches is that cricketers pay more attention to earning money from advertisements and sponsorships than they do on their game. Some are also involved in betting. No cricketer should be allowed to promote any product or appear in advertisements till he retires. Like in many professions, one has to choose one profession at a time. Similarly, playing cricket means that they should earn money from cricket only. Let there be a scheme of, say, compulsorily setting aside 25% of the fees earned by cricketers that will go into a fund, just as employees put their money in provident funds. On their retirement, cricketers should get a monthly fixed amount out of their compulsory savings.
Two adjacent articles on Mint’s front page (31 March 2007), titled ‘Quick Edit—The embrace of risk’ and ‘RBI ups short-term rate 0.25%, to 7.75%’ caught my attention, though in different ways.
While studying for my master’s degree in finance way back in 1998, I met quite a few retired people who had parked their retirement benefits in mutual funds. Way back then, things were pretty bad in our now–efficient stock markets. So, when I saw your Quick Edit, those memories came back.
The embrace of risk should not be at the cost of fixed-return instruments. I suggest you take a poll of all the employees at Mint and you may find to your surprise that most park their investment in those instruments which give fixed return (small saving instruments).
Those individuals who have a large surplus opt for the risk route. The majority is yet to take a call on their risk appetite.
A story on how the the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is trying to curb money supply to tame inflation appeared next to the ‘Quick Edit’. In times of high inflation and active monetary policies undertaken by RBI, the markets have a knack of behaving irrationally. My personal view is that the global economy is slowing down and this is not the time when your appetite for risk should take you to the stock market.
So, when one article talked about embracing risk and the other suggested getting out of risk instruments, it got me thinking.
—Siddhartha S. Patra
This is in response to the excellent column on ‘What you ought to know about sexual harassment’ in Campaign, Mint, 19 March. Though the judgement is 10 years old, yet Indian companies have done little, in fact nothing, to publicize it.
Many of the new software or older firms which employ more than 50% women employees do not have a clue about these guidelines, leave aside implementing them. When a case is reported against a senior executive, all efforts including threats are made against women employees.
Corporates (read HR) have to make all efforts to save women employees from sexual harassment. A policy in this regard will not achieve much unless companies ensure that their organizational culture does not condone offensive behaviour and they do not side with the perpetuator, however high he may be.
Please continue your good efforts.
It would seem that the finance minister would like Indians to paint the town red. There is enough paan around in the corners of various buildings, with all the paan being spit all over the place in our big “urbs prima in Indes.”
And now with the excise duty on paan masala that contains no tobacco being reduced from 66% to 45%, it is a signal for more citizens to enjoy paan masala and paint the town red.
Someone at the top should take on the responsibility to rectify this erroneous announcement made in the latest Union Budget.