Editorial

Editorial

The curious case of ITC mismatch

The goods and services tax (GST) has co­m­pleted one ye­ar of its implementation. Introduced as one the biggest tax reforms of the country, GST subsumed various indirect taxes and it was aimed to streamline the indirect taxation structure of India. But in the last one year, GST has seen numerous tweaks by way of notifications, circulars and various clarifications by the government. One of the major challenges faced by GST stakeholders and businesses alike was on the technology front.

Cut & Thrust: RUPEE ROUT sends distress signals

It is a question bothering everyone – why is India unable to defend the rupee despite having $400 billion in foreign exchange reserves? More than that, to alleviate the crisis, why have government measures – a poor mish-mash incidentally – failed to attract capital flows? Simply, because they have been under-whelming and middling. The absence of a meaningful plan or intervention seems to have spooked not just the currency market, but created mayhem in the equity and bond market as well.

Disequilibrium: Modi Veers Towards Political Solution

Aconcerned prime minister Narendra Modi is working on fixing what is completely broke. Modi has begun a Kashmir outreach by meeting eminent Kashmiris who are clued in to the ground realities in the Valley. After four years of innumerable flip-flops in which the alienated youth of Kashmir virtually revolted against the failed experiment of the ‘agenda for alliance’ between the Hindu Right of India and the Kashmiri Right of J&K, the plug was pulled on the coalition that set the Valley back by many years.

RBI capable to steer rupee

Given the relative calm in the dollar/ru­p­ee situation betwe­en 2014 and 2017, the current rupee depreciation feels painfully sharp. Yet, we are not in an uncontrolled do­llar/rupee free-fall, irresp­ective of what news headli­n­es might suggest. Unlike 2013, RBI still has ample cu­r­rency reserves to be in control – for now.

A push to infra projects

The infrastructure sector is one of the key foundations for the growth of the Indian economy. Time-bound completion of infrastructure projects is crucial for India’s overall progress and development. Unfortunately, there are several issues afflicting the sector, which have led to sluggish growth of the sector and discouraged investment. Coupled with sector-specific issues, another impediment, which has hitherto been affecting the growth of the infrastructure sector, is the ease of doing business and enforceability of contracts.

REGULATORY OVERREACH

In a world where tra­n­sactions are incre­a­singly being done online, the government of India has visibly pushed for digital or online transactions to bec­o­me the norm. But there is also a recognition that the tr­a­ditional norms of how business is conducted and regulated cannot be applied and indeed, needs to be significantly revised to apply to companies with only a virtual presence in India.

Manifestos & nutrition security

Most political parties have st­arted pr­eparing for the 2019 general election. Telangana has gone one step furt­her and has dissolved the assembly to facilitate elections. I would like to stress that the manifestos of parties for the 2019 election should contain a commitment for moving from food security to nutriti­on security. The Food Security Act of 2013 already makes a commitment in this regard. To those in charge of prepari­ng poll manifestos, I would like to explain how to achieve the transition from food to nutrition security.

Crude oil & weak rupee

Oil has been on a recovery mode since it tumbled to a low of $27.10 a barrel in mid-January 2016. Expectations of upbeat global demand and concerns over supply lifted oil prices and now it is trading firm, with the ICE Brent futures trading within $70-$80 a barrel range since April. The commodity stayed largely insulated and continued edging higher even after worries about the trade standoff between the US and China gripped the market. In domestic market, it is hovering near its four-year highs on gains in the overseas market along with weak domestic currency.

Rs may touch 72-74, cool to 70

The Indian ru­pee has depreciated to 72 per dollar and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is kind of holding on here. Indian 10-year bond yield has reached 8.10 per cent, signifying a possible rate hike in coming months. Question is what next for the dollar-ru­pee tango. Lets look at prim­ary factors that are at play for the dollar/rupee movement.

Data is new power, money

Data is the new oil, but the truth is, it’s crude, unrefined and though available in plenty it is hard to find. Data is only valuable once it has been processed. Data powers the information economy in the same way that oil fuelled the industrial economy. Data promises a plethora of new uses – expansion of business in the required direction, diagnosis of diseases, traffic patterns, etc. Mega-trends such as big data, smart cities, internet of things (IoT) and rapid development of mobile technologies are driving the utilisation of personal data.

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