Editors Column

The freefall of the Indian Rupee, with the possibility that it could touch 71-72 against the dollar in the next few months, may turn out to be troublesome for this government.

Is a single rate Goods and Services Tax (GST) workable in the Indian context? In several interactions, union minister Arun Jaitley had ruled out such a possibility in the near future in view of the complexity of tariffs, tariff lines and revenue considerations of states and the centre.

Why should state-run insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) become the fallback option for all seasons and that too for the wrong reasons? Should the government be allowed to use LIC as a dump yard setting aside reasoned argument behind several of its moves?

The ranking-conscious Modi government has a reason to squirm at a recent global poll rating India as the most dangerous country in the world for women. Led by prime minister Modi, his cabinet ministers leave no stone unturned to forcefully point out the turnaround of India’s fortunes in the ranking business.

As reported by this paper in its Monday edition, the government is considering selling the iconic Air India building and the possible buyer could be the shipping ministry. There are good and bad parts to this proposed deal. The good part is that Air India needs money for its day-to-day operations, and for this the government has two choices.

The decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase crude output by one million barrels per day is expected to have a salutary impact on international oil prices. The enhanced output beginning next month will help large oil consumption countries like the US, China and India to deal with shortages and help re-balance their budgets.

India has been sucked into the whirlpool of a raging global trade war involving the big boys. And, the country finds itself in the midst of a massive tariff and trade re-engagement with the US on the one side, and the European Union and China on the other.

Indian markets may not have huge depth to support 900-odd aircraft acquisition, wet or dry leasing of these machines. And, Indian banks that are neck deep with Rs 10.82 lakh crore non-performing assets have serious constraints in supporting large leasing finance deals.

Military action alone cannot bring back normalcy in trouble-torn Kashmir Valley. Neither can central rule by proxy enable lasting peace in the region that has seen subversive terrorism ably abetted, funded and propelled by extremist military elements across the border.

If Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler can be arrested for cheating on diesel emissions tests, why can’t the CBI swiftly probe charges of ‘favouritism and impropriety’ against ICICI Bank managing director Chanda Kochhar? The Justice BN Srikrishna panel has been set up to probe Kochhar for her reported charges of quid pro quo, nepotism and conflict of interest.

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