Editors Column

The decision to reduce goods and services tax (GST) rates on 178 daily consumable items is a positive. The GST Council’s call to include just 50 products in the highest tax slab at 28 per cent is a step towards moving to the two-rate structure in the medium term. Already, over 86 per cent goods and services have been brought under the twin slabs of 12 and 18 per cent.

Gujarat, which goes to polls in a month from now, may serve as a virtual referendum on twin reform measures of Narendra Modi government, demonetising high value currency notes and the goods and services tax (GST). Modi’s home state will decisively indicate as to what’s in store for the ruling BJP at the Centre and Gujarat, where the party has been in power for over 22 years.

The subject of airline staff conduct towards guests has dominated national headlines after images of IndiGo staff pushing a passenger, Rajiv Katyal, on October 15 on the tarmac of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi went viral on Tuesday.

Having an account in a foreign bank in a city of choice does not constitute a crime in itself. Doing legitimate business in geographies globally also does not violate any Indian financial or corporate laws.

Whether demonetisation has been able to make a significant dent on unaccounted wealth held by Indians is a question for which answers will come over a period of time.

It has reached a point when healthy practices like jogging in the morning, playing football or cycling has become hazardous in the national capital as the doctors warn that outdoor fitness activities pose a grave risk to the health of citizenery because Delhi’s air has turned viciously poisonous.

Journalism has earned itself another distinction with a remarkable difference, one that is nothing to feel elated about.

Supreme Court’s directive, to set up special courts to deal with ever-growing list of criminal cases against politicians, must be implemented right away. If Narendra Modi government is averse to such a call then elected parliamentarians, legislators and former lawmakers facing such charges should be debarred from holding any office till such cases are finally settled.

India leapfrogging 30 places in ease of doing business in the World Bank’s ranking has come at the most difficult time, yet most opportune  moment for the Narendra Modi government. This has come as vindication of Modi government’s commitment and conviction to right of centre economic policymaking with easier terms of business for companies, services and exporters.

In a federal structure, states cannot question the authority of Parliament and central government to legislate on most issues barring a few. In the Indian context, Supreme Court has upheld this principle while holding up the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the centre’s decision to link Aadhaar and mobile numbers.

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