Chennai, July 7 (IANS) The controversy over the selection of Indian chess team to play in the upcoming FIDE Online Chess Olympiad has resulted in the resignation of chief of the Selection Committee of All India Chess Federation (AICF) Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh.
While confirming his resignation to IANS from the selection committee, he declined to comment further on the issue.
In a statement AICF Secretary Vijay Deshpande (President P.R.Venketrama Raja faction) said Ramesh had resigned over interference by Bharat Singh Chauhan in the team selection process for the first Online Chess Olympiad.
The AICF is divided into two factions -- one led by Raja and the other by secretary Chauhan.
The leaders of the two factions with their respective supporters had removed each other from their posts.
However, the central government recognises Raja and Chauhan as AICF's President and Secretary.
In the statement Deshpande said Ramesh was entrusted with the task of selecting the Indian team for the online Olympiad slated to be held from July 22 to August 30.
The statement said, acting on the suggestion of the selection committee, Raja had forwarded the list of players to represent the country to FIDE, the global chess body.
According to the statement, Chauhan insisted on including the name of a Delhi player (Tania Sachdev) and when pointed out by Ramesh that she did not qualify on technical grounds, the former had forwarded the confidential mails directly to the player concerned.
"Protesting against this, the ex-British Chess Champion (Ramesh) tendered his resignation immediately," Deshpande said.
According to the statement, Ramesh's resignation has not been accepted.
When contacted for his reaction Chauhan told IANS: "The list of players suggested by us were approved by Ramesh. The players were informed about their selection and their consent to participate in the tournament were obtained.
"When a selected player is dropped then equity demands that the player be informed and which is what I did," Chauhan said.
Sachdev had to be dropped as she had not played a minimum of nine games over the relevant period but had played seven games.
Earlier the two factions had chosen two different sets of team members for the online Olympiad.
While the two lists had common names when it came to senior players, in the case of junior players, the lists had different names, raising the hopes and ambitions of eight players.
The players selected by the Chauhan faction are: (For Open Board) GM V. Anand (Elo rating 2,753) and GM Vidit Gujrathi (2,726); (U-20 Open Board) GM Nihal Sarin (2,620); (Women's Boards) GM Koneru Humpy (2,586), GM Harika Dronavalli (2,515); (U-20 Girl) WGM R. Vaishali (2,393).
The reserve players are: GMs P. Harikrishna (2,719), B. Adhiban (2,659), R. Praggnanandhaa (2,508), IMs Bhakti Kulkarni (2,391), Tania Sachdev (2,392) and WIM Divya Deshmukh (2,305).
On the other hand, the U-20 players selected by the Raja faction are: Aradhya Garg (2,198), Mitrabha Guha (2,445), Srishti Pandey (2,026) and Arpita Mukherjee (2,206) and this was seen as a deviation from the set rules.
When asked about the list submitted by Raja faction, Deshpande said "This is not the final list. The selection committee will go through the list and can also suggest other names."
Deshpande in his statement said the final list of players approved by Ramesh who would represent India are:
1. Viswanathan Anand
2. Vidit Santosh Gujarati
3. P. Harikrishna - Reserve
4. Aravindh Chidambaram – Reserve
1. Koneru Humpy
2. Dronavali Harika
3. Bhakti Kulkarni - Reserve
4. R. Vaishali – Reserve
1. Nihal Sarin
2. R. Pragnanandhaa – Reserve
1. Divya Deshmukh
2. Vantika Agarwal – Reserve
New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The government proposes to give the go-ahead for a new credit enhancement non-banking finance company (NBFC) that will act as a guarantor for lower-rated bonds issued by infrastructure companies to help them raise funds at competitive rates.
A credit enhancement structure or a company helps in lifting the ratings of a specific project or a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) executing that project, making it easier for them to mobilise funds from the market at attractive rates.
The need for credit enhancement has become acute during the Covid-19 pandemic as infrastructure companies are under stress and need necessary support to enhance the ratings of their projects and ensure adequate liquidity required for fresh investments.
Government sources said that though the operation of a Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation has been revised in view of similar operations being currently offered by a few government agencies, a dedicated structure plan has not been junked and the Centre will go ahead with a new NBFC after further discussions and at an appropriate time.
It is expected that the credit enhancement structure would take shape as planned earlier, wherein infrastructure financing firm India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd (IIFCL) in a joint venture with the National Housing Bank (NHB) the and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) would set up a SPV known as 'National Infrastructure Credit Enhancement Ltd' or NICE.
Last year, the government provided seed capital of Rs 500 crore to operationalise the SPV but ever since the project has been delayed over further reviews by an inter-ministerial committee.
Sources said now is the right time for the new entity to come into being as it will help several infrastructure projects to take off which otherwise are stuck due to liquidity issues.
In its 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' package, the government has already introduced a 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs to ensure adequate liquidity to the segment hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak. Also, a partial guarantee for stressed MSMEs has been provided for.
However, infrastructure projects entailing large investments will gain a lot from a dedicated credit enhancement entity. The SPV will ensure that the Rs 100 lakh crore investment required in infrastructure over the next five years materialises.
Presenting her maiden Budget last year, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that a credit guarantee enhancement corporation, for which regulations have been notified by the RBI, will be set up in 2019-20. However, it got delayed and may be considered this year.
As per the blueprint of the proposed corporation finalised by the government earlier, the IIFCL will hold 22.5 per cent stake in the new NBFC while the NHB and Nabard could pick up to a 10 per cent stake each.
The NICE will set up a fund to attract infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds to provide credit enhancement to infrastructure companies. However, its main job will be to act as a guarantor for lower-rated bonds issued by infrastructure companies. This would help these bonds to bolster their ratings.
As per the Reserve Bank of India estimates, more than 85 per cent of corporate bond issuance in India is by borrowers with ratings of 'A' and above. The credit enhancement set-up will help bring even lower-rated borrowers into the bond market.
The proposal on the credit enhancement fund was first announced in the Budget for 2016-17 fiscal by then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. But since then, the scheme has not taken off due to various regulatory hurdles.
The Centre had earlier mooted the idea of IIFCL and several state-owned institutions like LIC, State Bank of India, and Bank of Baroda to come together to set up a dedicated credit enhancement company.
But the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority's regulations prevented LIC from being part of the fund, while banks could not participate due to the rising NPAs and other commitments.
The government is now looking to bolster infrastructure investment as it is the key to boost economic growth. It is estimated that India needs to spend $4.5 trillion on infrastructure development over the next 25 years.
But a lot lesser amount is expected to be garnered by the government. Innovative funding and financing schemes are thus being looked into to bridge the deficit and allow the sector to grow at the desired pace.