Editors Column

The statement made by Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic advisor to the finance ministry on imposing the Good and Services Tax (GST) on petroleum products and the impact this would have on prices of oil and gas probably sums up what is at the core of the problem.

Stand-in finance minister Piyush Goyal’s decision to explore more options to resolve the vexed issue of stressed assets in banks is a welcome move. The appointment of insolvency professionals and shifting 20 top companies to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has happened over the last one year.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) headquarters has kicked up a big row. So-called secularists, a section of the Congress party, communists and assorted political pundits have attempted to paint this as a misdemeanour because he had shared the stage with the RSS leadership.

Drumming up support from within and outside the party in the run-up to a major election is scientific and strategic in nature. This is what Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has begun in right earnest as part of the party’s maha-sampark abhiyan.

One question that has cropped up following the monetary policy review is whether there is a return to the days of high inflation, higher interest rates and modest economic growth reminiscent of UPA-II? The RBI, which hiked the key rates by 25 basis points for the first time since January 28, 2014, has however claimed to the contrary.

IT is baffling that legislation to ensure protection against data mining for commercial purposes in violation of privacy laws has not seen the light of day.

Recently, two listed companies saw the resignation of their auditors. That auditors get changed is not new. However, in this case, the outgoing auditors were among the big four auditing firms and they gave no reason for resigning suddenly — it made news straightaway.

In the past, Air India divestment was stalled either due to opposition by staff, political interference or lack of political will. Now, disinvestment of India’s national carrier has hit a hump due to lack of interest from bidders, non-viability and sentimental value.

The worst seems to be over on the economic front for India and the BJP-led Narendra Modi government at the centre. If the January-March 2018 numbers are anything to go by, the Indian economy seems to be on a sound footing and on revival mode at 7.7 per cent GDP growth, the fastest in the last seven quarters.

If the combined opposition parties were to pose a serious challenge to prime minister Narendra Modi, they will have to sink their differences, close ranks and put up a united front in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. That is the nub of the message from the results of the Lok Sabha and state assembly by-elections on Thursday.

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