Editors Column

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is the warrior who is fighting to turn the tide on the economy. It will now be purely Jaitley’s call to deploy all fiscal instruments at his command to bring the growth momentum back on track given that RBI refused to play ball on interest rates, but did somewhat ease the liquidity play.

Most distressing are the continuing reports of job losses and not additions in several sectors spread over last three years. If these accounts are to be believed,  from textiles, banking, infrastructure, information technology to capital goods, job losses have apparently become rampant.

Mass murders are common in the United States but the killing of 50 people by lone wolf Stephen Paddock has gone down as one of the worst incidents of public massacre in modern American history. More than 400 were injured when Paddock sprayed the crowd of around 22,000 in an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas with a rapid-fire barrage of bullets.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has not bared his fangs by talking about amending constitution to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the national mainstream nor did has he shot off the cuff while stressing on tuning welfare policies to the ground realties of the country.

Barely a few days after prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, showcasing a quantum leap by the Indian Railways into an era of technological advancement, over 20 lives were lost in the simple act of catching a train.

To say that former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has opened a can of worms by penning a scathing critique of the Modi government’s economic policies will be an understatement, as the article not only exposes the ruling dispensation’s ostrich approach to problem solving but also the internal power dynamics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Fear hangs over Dalal Street as the long awaited flight of capital has begun. That the Indian economy’s woes were masked by a unidirectional market appears to have ended for the moment. In just two months, foreign portfolio investors have pulled out over $2.7 billion from Indian markets, the bullish sentiment has turned negative and is now bordering on restlessness.

Power for all with ‘one nation, one grid and one price’ is a powerful slogan, albeit difficult to back. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to provide electricity connection to four crore households by next year-end is a positive. After having driven the initiative to take power to over 640,000 villages, the proposal to cover four crore families is an ambitious target.

The news that the government is planning to pursue merger of various oil PSUs to boost the economy, comes as a surprise. How the merger of PSUs would push the economy is a question that does not have any easy and clear answer, probably not even with our policy makers. Nonetheless, the push for mergers bring two important issues related to oil companies.

Opening up the corporate bond market to widen and deepen the offering in Indian debt to both domestic and foreign players will be a significant reform and ensure larger integration with global peers. FPIs have been hungry for Indian debt and are waiting for the cap to be increased. Their net investment in Indian government and corporate paper has been gangbusters this calendar year.

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