Editors Column
INDIA hopes to achieve net zero-import balance in the electronics industry over the next three years. Will electronics imports overtake those of crude oil and bullion and seriously disrupt the economic equilibrium in India? This has no easy answers.
Selling equity in government owned companies has never been a priority for the Narendra Modi: the government has thus far not professed aggressive equity sale in PSUs, state-run banks or insurance companies. This is distinctly different from the hugely publicised high profile disinvestments undertaken by Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram.
Was garibi hatao call of Indira Gandhi ,made in the 1970s, a mere electioneering slogan? Is it true that the “inclusive growth” stratagem propounded by Congress governments during 10 years of Manmohan Singh did not translate to anything substantial on ground?
In its recent board meeting, capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) decided to amend the advertisement guidelines for mutual funds.
As finance minister Arun Jaitley readies his fourth budget to be presented on February 1, he will face the unenviable task of laying the foundation for a shift in economic governance making it universal in outreach. Jaitley will do well in presenting out of box ideas to make over Rs 22 lakh crore spending more than relevant to as many people as possible.
When Sushma Swaraj sought an apology from Amazon for selling tri-colour flag doormats on its Canadian e-commerce site, she was, potentially, opening up a can of worms. Swaraj even went to the extent of stating that visas already issued to its executives be withdrawn.
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.

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