Editors Column

The Biggest crisis post independence hit the Supreme Court like a tornado last Friday with four senior most judges of Supreme Court breaking ranks with Chief Justice of India. Not only have they differed with the Chief Justice Dipak Misra, but they have also raised several questions that have no easy answers.

Time is ripe for the finance minister Arun Jaitley to wind down the steep increase in excise duties on diesel and petrol and pare the spurt in crude prices globally. Financial Chronicle in its January 15 edition reported the possible slash of the excise duty, a likely Rs 2 per litre, that is being considered by the finance ministry on both diesel and petrol.

The Indian Railways will have to be allowed the flexibility to exploit their full potential for expansion and for moving up the value chain. While high-speed rail networks and bullet trains are dream projects to shake up the system, real reforms will have to happen with the support infrastructure that is virtually reeking and moribund.

Aggressive reforms have become the new political norm. Foreign investment policy has now morphed into a vehicle for economic growth, industrial expansion, improving services and providing mass employment. Otherwise, there’s no reason why this government should announce big bang reforms in foreign investments three weeks ahead of the last full budget in its present term.

Fittingly for a progressive and liberal society, Indians are asking whether those in the LGBT community should be treated as criminals and if Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises same sex relations is relevant any more. The three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has done just that.

It has kind of become an annual ritual that every time budget is approaching and there is any decline in stock markets, it is attributed to the possibility of long term capital gains coming back in equity investment.

Biggest clog in the economic growth wheel is the muted private investments. Though there’s a pick up in the fixed gross capital formation, this is not enough to support the 7 per cent plus growth estimated by finance minister Arun Jaitley in 2017-18 budget speech.

There are fears that the triple talaq bill could be heading the way of proposed legislation on women’s reservations. Political considerations could succeed in torpedoing legislation that is widely considered a masterstroke of the Narendra Modi government. It is natural that the Congress party should be considered the architect of the stalling tactics pertaining to the bill.

Details have come to light about the astonishingly high amounts banks collected as fines from account holders for not maintaining a minimum balance. To put it mildly, this is shocking. Banks have no business to fleece their customers, especially savings bank account holders, for not maintaining minimum balances.

Details have come to light about the astonishingly high amounts banks collected as fines from account holders for not maintaining a minimum balance. To put it mildly, this is shocking. Banks have no business to fleece their customers, especially savings bank account holders, for not maintaining minimum balances.

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