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News in Numbers: Lack of appointments makes NCM dysfunctional

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-05-2017 howindialives.com

Rs520 crore

What is it? The amount of loan given to Videocon Industries that Dena Bank has classified as a non-performing asset (NPA).

Why is it important? Videocon owes more than Rs22,000 crore to domestic financial institutions, and an equivalent amount to international banks. The diversified conglomerate has asked Dena Bank to extend the tenure of the loan. This move by Dena Bank has eroded market capitalisation of Videocon by a third in the last two days of trading.

Tell me more: Bad debt is a Rs7.7 trillion problem for Indian banks, and the last Economic Survey says 57 out of the top 100 stressed debtors would require debt reductions of 75% or more.

129

What is it? The number of non-performing government officers forced to seek early retirement after a review.

Why is it important? Periodical review of performance and weeding out of non-performers is expected to improve productivity of government officers. This dismissal of Group A and B officers follows January’s compulsory retirement for two IPS officers on the same grounds. But 2017 is not the first year when the government has meted out punishments to bureaucrats for under-performance.

Tell me more: The officers were picked after a review of the records of 24,000 Group A and 42,251 Group B officers. Reviews of 34,451 Group A and over 42,000 Group B officers are imminent.

Zero

What is it? The number of members in the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), after the last member retired on 9 March this year.

Why is it important? NCM has served as a forum of appeal for minorities and the delay in appointing the chairperson, vice-chairperson and seven members have rendered this statutory body non-functional.

Tell me more: Delhi high court, on 20 May, asked the Central government to reply why appointments haven’t been made to NCM.

33%

What is it? A proposal under consideration by the Law Commission to limit the incarceration of undertrials to one-third of the maximum punishment for offences that attract up to seven years of imprisonment.

Why is it important? If accepted, it will bring relief to undertrials who are unable to execute bail conditions or afford lawyers because of their poor economic conditions. There are 2.82 lakh prisoners who are undertrials. At present, undertrials are eligible to get released only after serving half the term of the maximum punishment.

Tell me more: For offences that attract imprisonment of more than seven years, undertrials may be released after serving half the time.

24

What is it? The number of people killed when a bus full of pilgrims on the Char Dham route fell into a gorge in Uttarakhand.

Why is it important? This adds to the death toll of pilgrims in this season of the Char Dham pilgrimage in the Himalayas and foothills, whose routes opened in April. While 13 died of a natural calamity—a massive landslide—last week, many others have died of preventable causes. Since April, 16 have died from cardiac arrest, reportedly due to lack of medical aid. Tuesday’s accident could have been avoided with adequate road safety measures on a route that turns busy in these months.

Tell me more: Officials have now been asked to identify dangerous areas on pilgrimage routes to set up speed monitors, warnings and crash barriers.

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