Editors Column

The construction of roads and highways at a fast pace during ten-years of UPA is well documented. As for the NDA’s performance in the area, Nitin Gadkari as minister in-charge of roads and highways is rated very high in the Narendra Modi government. He has a reputation to maintain.

The equity markets have witnessed a free-fall with indices losing over 1,000 points in three sessions. It’s news. But why is it happening? On the face of it, profit booking and re-investment elsewhere could be plausible reasons for the massive sellout in the last three days. But that may not necessarily be the end of the story given that economic fundamentals have not changed even a wee bit.

As per the mandate and the expectation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should focus on growth, inflation and prices. Given the tranquility on all these three fronts, the monetary policy committee (MPC) on Wednesday chose to keep the key rates unchanged.

Border-less trade could be a widely held but false idea. But finance minister Arun Jaitley’s call for bringing down trade barriers, moving forward on trade facilitation and reducing transaction costs is timely.

The government is said to be looking to dip into the reserves and surpluses of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to shore up its finances. While alternative routes might have been taken – higher dividend pay out, share buy backs or follow on offering – the fact is that since the time PSUs were listed, governments at various points of time used PSU funds to spruce up their balance sheets.

A trilateral bloc seems to be taking shape in the Asia Pacific region that includes Japan, America and India (JAI). Prime minister Narendra Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and president Donald Trump’s separate closed door meeting at Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G-20 summit is significant for several reasons.

Will shuffling around Rs 29,000 crore of Air India debt into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) help in anyway? On the perpetually loss-making airline’s books, the debt liability may get pruned to Rs 1,700 crore from the prevailing Rs 4,400 crore that is forked out annually. This is at best a gimmick by the aviation ministry with no permanent solution in sight to the woes of Air India.

The new Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data released by the Central Statistics Organisation has predictably created a huge controversy.

Farmers never had it so good at least in terms of competitive promises, schemes and funds that major political parties have made in the on-going assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

After locking horns with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), union law minister Ravi Shankar outlined the importance of elected representatives to the judiciary. Speaking in the presence of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on the occasion of the Constitution Day, Prasad talked about the need for institutions to respect the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ in matters of governance.

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