Editors Column
Finally opened up after being largely silent during the 50-day demonetisation drive for which prime minister Narendra Modi has taken full credit. The reticent banker has advised the Modi government to stick with his government’s fiscal consolidation plan and improve upon the debt to GDP ratio.
There’s merit in the move by blue-chip state-run public sector enterprises’ (PSEs) to meet their long-term debt needs from over Rs 6 lakh crore cash pile lying with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees must seriously consider investing its liquid cash in profit-making and dividend-paying blue chips with majority government equity and control.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s claim that economy has not lost momentum due to demonetisation of high value notes, may be too early in the day and not entirely accurate.
The controversy about merchant discount rate (MDR) between banks and petroleum pump owners should act as an eye-opener for our policy makers. Even though the issue came up on Sunday evening and by late night on the same day it was managed, the problem is far from solved. There was no disruption in payment being made by debit cards at petrol pumps.
When Yashwant Sinha as finance minister broke the 53-year tradition of presenting the Union Budget at 5 pm in 2001— with the full backing of his leader and then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he moved the budget timing to 11.30 am — he had two considerations in mind: Bringing to end a British era practice continued by successive Congress governments.
Former prime minister Morarji Desai was a strong votary of imposing total prohibition and he made serious efforts in this direction during the post-Emergency, Janata Party rule. Desai had coaxed chief ministers in 1977 to enforce complete prohibition in their states.
The serious rupture in relations between the Trinamool Congress and BJP-led central government is a consequence of the reported nexus that Trinamool leaders had with Rose Valley investments and chit funds, a blatant ponzi scheme, which has duped thousands of small gullible investors.
Prime minister Narendra Modi has set 2030 as deadline to achieve this rare feat. Modi discussed his plans with 11,000 strong scientists and technologists’ contingent that congregated at Tirupati for the five-day Indian Science Congress on Tuesday.
Between July 2016 and January 2017, the hunter Justice Lodha pursued the quarry BCCI relentlessly, but to no avail as the errant zamindars and jagirdars continued to play truant. Their thinking predicated on playing a waiting game. Waiting for chief justice T S Thakur’s retirement on January 3.
Finally, the process of demonetisation got over last week and it is time now to focus on remonetisation. The way remonetisation shapes up in terms of geographic allocation and pace would determine the roadmap for the economic recovery ahead.

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