Editors Column

Leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar and Kapil Sibal appear to have become the nemesis for the opposition Congress in the Gujarat assembly elections. A campaign built up painstakingly by the Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi in the western state seems to have lost momentum, crucially days before the voting.

Revenue mobilisation alone cannot be the criterion to levy taxes by governments at the Centre and states. Fairness, probity and principle of equity must guide finance ministers in deciding the tax rates.

The annual foreign trade policy review seems to have lost its sheen. Hitherto, it was billed as the third biggest economic event in a financial year after the Union budget and railways budget. Suresh Prabhu was instrumental in scrapping a separate railways budget beginning last financial year. It got subsumed into the federal budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Repeated instances of how some private hospitals, testing laboratories, doctors and referral agents have turned healthcare into a well-oiled mafia-like operation calls for changes in the law and an overhaul of healthcare administration that will provide exemplary punishment to the guilty.

Jubilation over 6.3 per cent second quarter GDP growth is premature given the continuing uncertainties that continue to stare in sustaining this momentum. True, the bottoming out has happened, giving a huge thumbs down to the doomsayers. GDP growth at 6.3 per cent in June-September quarter over 5.7 per cent in the previous quarter is significant for more than one reason.

Jubilation over 6.3 per cent second quarter GDP growth is premature given continuing uncertainties that continue to stare in sustaining this momentum. True, the bottoming out has happened, giving a huge thumbs down to the doomsayers. GDP growth at 6.3 per cent in June-September quarter over 5.7 per cent in previous quarter is significant for more than one reason.

Insurance companies in India — both life and general — are in the midst of a huge churn. They will add heft to their capital base essentially through induction of private equity funds as promoters and initial public offers that are underway.

In the way that an open, accessible and neutral internet regime is the most preferred option for net users, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will have to devise policies to ensure that the market is a non-discriminatory, fair and equitable forum for businesses and investors alike.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s move in favour of an open and accessible neutral internet regime is a big relief for common netizens from the Indian sub-continent. The next step would be for the Narendra Modi government to accept with alacrity TRAI’s recommendations that are in keeping with an open society.

As reported by this paper on Monday, the government is considering a plan under which farmers will not be allowed to grow water-intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane, if they want access to water from new irrigation projects coming up in the country. In short, the government is planning to influence what farmers do by using water resource as a tool of state policy.

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