On October 2, 2019, the whole world will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the ‘Father of the Nation’ – Mahatma Gandhi. India will mark the event, both nationally and internationally, by propagating the message of the Mahatma. A national committee headed by the Prime Minister has been set up for this purpose. We at BCAS are also making efforts to celebrate this momentous occasion in a unique way. The October, 2019 issue of the BCAJ carries special articles and a collage of quotes and thoughts of Gandhiji. We have also planned an event for members which will include a talk by a senior Gandhian on the ‘Gandhian’ way of life, some of Gandhiji’s favourite bhajans, a short skit by members, followed by poetry recitation and exchange of thoughts on Gandhiji's principles.
There are many lessons from the Gandhian way of life that we can adopt in our lives. The one Gandhi thought that has made an everlasting impression on me is: ‘Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served’. This is very, very true. I try to practice this in my personal and professional life. In today’s fast and frenzied age, we are totally immersed in providing service to our clients or the organization where we work, but the question we need to ask ourselves is, ‘Are we happy with what we are doing’? If the work that we are doing gives us pleasure and satisfaction, that is a big motivating factor which keeps us going. It is rightly said that ‘all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy’. So let us work with this mindset of joy and enjoyment for ourselves, motivate our staff and students to enjoy what they are doing and look forward to another day with anticipation; let us reach our workplace happily every morning rather than out of compulsion, without energy or enthusiasm.
On a different note, on August 26, 2019 the RBI transferred a record Rs. 1.76 lakh crore of its surplus for F.Y. 2018-19 into the government’s coffers (more than that of the preceding three years). As per Section 47 of the RBI Act, 1934, the balance of the RBI remaining after making all required provisions shall be paid to the Central Government. The current year’s highest-ever transfer was a result of bumper / higher / exponential surplus and a one-time exceptional transfer from RBI's Contingency Fund amounting to Rs. 52,000 crore. Transfer of surplus funds from Central Banks to their respective governments has always been a topic of debate and discussion across the world because every government likes to extract the maximum and the Central Banks want to retain the surplus to make the balance sheet stronger. The Dr. Bimal Jalan Committee constituted for this purpose recommended that the equity reserves be in the range of 6.5% to 5.5% of the balance sheet size (it was 6.8% prior to this transfer). The recommendations of the Committee were accepted and reserves in excess of the minimum 5.5% (Rs. 52,000 crore) were allowed to be transferred, thus leaving no buffer for future contingencies. Further, the transfer came from a bumper profit triggered by interest income and gains from foreign exchange transactions. Further, as per the recommendations of the said Committee, the unrealised gains sitting in the RBI’s balance sheet have remained untouched.
The government has not yet come out clearly about how and where it intends to use this windfall bonus. Ideally, it should be used for purposes like recapitalisation of public sector banks, reduce government borrowing to control the fiscal deficit target, or provide a much-needed stimulus to a slowing economy, rather than a thoughtless carnival of government spending. Later, in September, the Finance Minister announced huge direct tax cuts to boost investments and consumer spending and it appears this revenue loss will be fully met out of the RBI surplus. Hopefully, this is a one-time solution and the exception does not become the rule and precedent for future governments.
Before I sign off, let me offer my warm wishes to you and your family on the joyous occasion of Diwali! May this auspicious festival of lights illuminate every pore of your being by adding sparkling moments of Love, Happiness, Success, Joy and Good Health.
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CA. Manish Sampat