Editors Column
In its recent board meeting, capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) decided to amend the advertisement guidelines for mutual funds.
As finance minister Arun Jaitley readies his fourth budget to be presented on February 1, he will face the unenviable task of laying the foundation for a shift in economic governance making it universal in outreach. Jaitley will do well in presenting out of box ideas to make over Rs 22 lakh crore spending more than relevant to as many people as possible.
When Sushma Swaraj sought an apology from Amazon for selling tri-colour flag doormats on its Canadian e-commerce site, she was, potentially, opening up a can of worms. Swaraj even went to the extent of stating that visas already issued to its executives be withdrawn.
Finally opened up after being largely silent during the 50-day demonetisation drive for which prime minister Narendra Modi has taken full credit. The reticent banker has advised the Modi government to stick with his government’s fiscal consolidation plan and improve upon the debt to GDP ratio.
There’s merit in the move by blue-chip state-run public sector enterprises’ (PSEs) to meet their long-term debt needs from over Rs 6 lakh crore cash pile lying with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees must seriously consider investing its liquid cash in profit-making and dividend-paying blue chips with majority government equity and control.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s claim that economy has not lost momentum due to demonetisation of high value notes, may be too early in the day and not entirely accurate.
The controversy about merchant discount rate (MDR) between banks and petroleum pump owners should act as an eye-opener for our policy makers. Even though the issue came up on Sunday evening and by late night on the same day it was managed, the problem is far from solved. There was no disruption in payment being made by debit cards at petrol pumps.
When Yashwant Sinha as finance minister broke the 53-year tradition of presenting the Union Budget at 5 pm in 2001— with the full backing of his leader and then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he moved the budget timing to 11.30 am — he had two considerations in mind: Bringing to end a British era practice continued by successive Congress governments.
Former prime minister Morarji Desai was a strong votary of imposing total prohibition and he made serious efforts in this direction during the post-Emergency, Janata Party rule. Desai had coaxed chief ministers in 1977 to enforce complete prohibition in their states.
The serious rupture in relations between the Trinamool Congress and BJP-led central government is a consequence of the reported nexus that Trinamool leaders had with Rose Valley investments and chit funds, a blatant ponzi scheme, which has duped thousands of small gullible investors.

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