Editors Column

The government is said to be looking to dip into the reserves and surpluses of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to shore up its finances. While alternative routes might have been taken – higher dividend pay out, share buy backs or follow on offering – the fact is that since the time PSUs were listed, governments at various points of time used PSU funds to spruce up their balance sheets.

A trilateral bloc seems to be taking shape in the Asia Pacific region that includes Japan, America and India (JAI). Prime minister Narendra Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and president Donald Trump’s separate closed door meeting at Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G-20 summit is significant for several reasons.

Will shuffling around Rs 29,000 crore of Air India debt into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) help in anyway? On the perpetually loss-making airline’s books, the debt liability may get pruned to Rs 1,700 crore from the prevailing Rs 4,400 crore that is forked out annually. This is at best a gimmick by the aviation ministry with no permanent solution in sight to the woes of Air India.

The new Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data released by the Central Statistics Organisation has predictably created a huge controversy.

Farmers never had it so good at least in terms of competitive promises, schemes and funds that major political parties have made in the on-going assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

After locking horns with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), union law minister Ravi Shankar outlined the importance of elected representatives to the judiciary. Speaking in the presence of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on the occasion of the Constitution Day, Prasad talked about the need for institutions to respect the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ in matters of governance.

The unfolding of the Satyam scam in January 2009 and collapse of its stock price in a single trading session had brought the issue of pledged shares by promoters to the forefront. Our regulators, who tend to realise the existence of a loophole after it has been exploited to the hilt, woke up and changed the regulations on disclosure of pledged shares.

The government seems to have made an earnest attempt to resolve the financial stress in the corporate sector. Data put out by corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas drives home the fact that de-stressing corporate assets and resolving banks’ sticky loans is on a firm path.

The governments at the centre and in the states should crack down on the dubious practice by hotels and restaurants of slapping a service charge on customers. There is no reason for restaurants and hotels to levy anywhere between 5 per cent and 20 per cent service charge. It is also known that in many cases the service charge proceeds are not distributed among staff.

jammu and Kashmir may have to go through yet another phase of President’s rule after Governor’s rule ends next month. Owing to the break-up in the BJP-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alliance, Mehbooba Mufti’s chief ministership ended in June 2018 and the state was brought under Governor’s rule.

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