Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Parallel between cash transfer schemes and health insurance claims

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the direct cash transfer scheme is a money saver for the government and the taxpayer. A direct parallel is the way insurance companies handle claims in health insurance plans.

There are two players, the policyholder who makes the claim and the insurance company which makes a payout. There are two ways in which payment is made by an insurance company while honouring claims. One in which the treatment cost is borne by the policyholder who then applies for reimbursement from insurance companies. And the other is the cashless facility in which the cost of treatment is directly borne by the insurance company.

The first is a nightmare scenario for insurance companies and we saw public sector insurance companies backing out of cashless treatment in several hospitals. It took a lot of time and negotiations to sort this mess out and reinstate the cashless facility.

India Markets Weekahead – Still time to tank up for a pre-budget rally

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The Nifty has crossed 6,000 levels while the Sensex breached the psychological barrier of 20,000 to touch a two-year high — triggered by an overdrive of government action, encouraging macro numbers, corporate results and no bad news internationally.

India Markets Weekahead – Company results key for market direction

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

Infosys stumped Indian markets again but for a change — positively. Recent management comments had built expectations of underperformance which led to cautious to negative views on the stock. Institutional investors were light on Infosys whereas the more adventurous speculators were short. And we were all caught on the wrong foot when the company declared a revenue growth as well as a net profit much better than consensus expectations.

Time to create a holistic mobile ecosystem

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)

Mobile phones have transcended various phases of evolution since the time they began their journey. They have come a long way from being simple feature phones, which were meant for making calls and sending text messages.

Concerns about current account deficit

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)

The current account deficit (CAD) which touched 5.4 percent of the GDP is a matter of deep concern. It is well beyond the 3 percent danger mark which was crossed more than 18 months back and caused the rupee to depreciate.

India Markets Weekahead – Set for new high with no roadblock in sight

A resolution for the U.S. “fiscal cliff” helped the markets cross the psychological Nifty benchmark of 6,000 to close the week up 1.82 percent at 6,016.

Though I expected a spirited rally, what we witnessed last week is a strong consolidation around 6,000 which could form a solid bottom for the next leg of the rally. This is also facilitating the entry of domestic retail investors which is visible in the mid-cap and small-cap volume and performance. The BSE small-cap index moved up 3.71 percent whereas the BSE mid-cap index gained 3.13 percent.

India Markets in 2013: ball is in government’s court

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

If calendar year 2012 was the year of scams in India which helped induce some much needed government reforms, the year 2013 is expected to be a year of hope and expectation for India and India Inc. There are expectations on better political governance, fall in inflation levels and hence interest rates, creation of an investment friendly business environment and lots more. It’s also the year with the last finance budget before the 2014 general elections.

The wait for the rate cut

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)

At its mid-quarter review on Jan. 18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not cut the repo rate and also left the CRR unchanged. But it raised hopes that policy easing can follow in the fourth quarter.

Signs of recovery in real estate but challenges ahead

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)

The year 2012 has been a rollercoaster of sorts. Inflation remained above comfort levels, the GDP growth rate slipped and so did the industrial output. The Reserve Bank of India doggedly kept the repo rate unchanged, barring once in April.

The year the Indian economy stalled

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)

The year 2012 has seen the worst an emerging market economy can tolerate. Had the government been a little less reticent and more proactive, growth would not have dropped this low in spite of the economy being mauled by inflation. Other emerging market economies did exactly that.

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