Editors Column

The decline in crude oil prices after six months of upswing will provide some elbowroom to finance minister Arun Jaitley to manage the macro-numbers. From $63 a barrel in February 2018, crude prices rose to $86 per barrel last month. Then on, the crude prices have plummeted below $70 per barrel by Diwali.

The debate on privatisation has been rekindled following a cabinet decision to hand over six airports to private companies twelve years after Mumbai and Delhi airports went into private hands. Is public private partnership (PPP) model the right way to build airports infrastructure and support the burgeoning aviation sector that is brimming with activity?

One would clearly agree with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that ‘demonetising high value currency notes’ two years back was definitely an unconventional economic decision taken by the Modi government. There may not be many who tend to differ with the renowned economist-turned-politician in Singh when he says that demonetisation led to a steep drop in headline GDP growth.

In a time, when a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour, India has done well for itself by completing the nuclear triad – the capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and sea – with the first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant.

How crucial international crude oil prices are for the performance of the Indian economy is well established. But, every few months global markets register a reminder of this. Just four weeks back, when crude oil prices were soaring and had gone above the $85 mark, the financial markets very extremely nervous.

Prime minister Narendra Modi seems to have leveraged technology in a big way to derive huge benefits for the economy on the whole and industry in particular. The common portal launched to access loans up to Rs one crore by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) registered with goods and services tax (GST) network in 59 minutes is a demonstration of what technology can achieve for India.

Erstwhile Telugu matinee idol and founder president of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) NT Rama Rao must be turning in his grave. Rao built the entire edifice of TDP on an anti-Congress platform and Telugu pride. He had also played the role of National Front chairman to take on the Congress at the national level.

The central government is celebrating the jump in ‘ease of doing business’ ranking of the World Bank’s ‘doing business’ report by 65 places in 4 ye­a­rs under prime minister Narendra Modi. Going from 142nd place to 77th in ranking should enthuse all Indians.

Prime minister Narendra Modi may need to step in to end the ongoing feud between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel and finance minister Arun Jaitley that has escalated into a full-blown war. Precipitating the situation is in nobody’s interest. The Centre, for its part, ought to respect and ensure functional autonomy of the central bank.

India and Japan’s $75 billion currency swap signed during the two-day visit of prime minister Narendra Modi is significant. Stabilising the rupee that has been on a free slide over the last few months, shoring up market sentiment and curbing current account deficit (CAD) could be the key considerations behind the deal.

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