By Arul Louis
United Nations, Aug 14 (IANS) While stressing direct dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, whose country is the President of the UN Security Council, said on Tuesday that his ambassador will likely hold consultations on a request from Pakistan to take up the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz told reporters, "We are in favour of dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out the differences."
"Today in the morning I was informed that the Security Council received the letter from the Ambassador of Pakistan. I think that the Security Council will discuss the issue and (take a) proper decision on how to proceed," he said.
Poland's Permanent Representative Joanna Wronecka "will probably start consultations" about the request with other Council members, he added.
Pakistan had asked the Council to hold a briefing on the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz said that he had had phone conversations with India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said, "We expressed concern over the current tension between India and Pakistan resulting from the proposed change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Poland believes that the dispute can only be resolved by peaceful means."
"As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Poland stands ready to engage in preventing actions affecting the security situation," he said, adding, "We hope that both countries can work out the differences and find a beneficial solution. The strained relations between India and Pakistan negatively affect the South Asia region and may lead to serious political and economic consequences."
Czaputowicz said Poland fully supported the stand of the European Union (EU) and the statement issued by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini.
The EU statement reaffirmed its support for a bilateral resolution of the dispute between India and Pakistan.
An EU statement issued after she had spoken on Thursday with Jaishankar and Qureshi said, "The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region."
It added, "In both calls, she underlined the importance of avoiding an escalation of tensions in Kashmir and in the region. To this end, dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial."
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday came up with a fresh set of risk capital charges for banks investing in debt instruments such as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETF).
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that computation of total capital charge for market risk shall incorporate elements of both debt and equity instruments.
This will result in substantial capital savings for banks and is expected to give a boost to the bond market, he said.
As per RBI's extant Basel III guidelines, if a bank holds a debt instrument directly, it would have to allocate lower capital as compared to holding the same debt instrument through a Mutual Fund (MF) or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
This is because specific risk capital charge as applicable to equities is applied to investments in MFs or ETFs, whereas if the bank was to hold the debt instrument directly, specific risk capital charge is applied depending on the nature and rating of the debt instrument.
"It has therefore been decided to harmonise the differential treatment existing currently. At the same time, it is observed that a debt MF/ETF also has features akin to equity, since in the event of default of even one of the debt securities in the MF/ETF basket, there is often severe redemption pressure on the fund notwithstanding the fact that the other debt securities in the basket are of high quality," RBI's Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies said.
"Hence, it has been decided that the general market risk charge of 9 per cent will continue to be applied," it said.
As per the latest circular, the specific risk capital as percentage of the exposure investment in Central and State Government Securities has been kept at zero per cent, investment in other approved securities of Central government is also at zero per cent while in other approved securities guaranteed by state governments, it has been kept at 1.80 per cent.
For corporate bonds, those with AAA rating the specific risk capital charge has been kept at 1.8 per cent and for those with AA rating the charge has been kept at 2.7 per cent.
"In case of debt mutual fund/ETF which contains a mix of the above debt instruments, the specific risk capital charge shall be computed based on the lowest rated debt instrument/instrument attracting the highest specific risk capital charge in the fund," the circular said.