Editors Column

India leapfrogging 30 places in ease of doing business in the World Bank’s ranking has come at the most difficult time, yet most opportune  moment for the Narendra Modi government. This has come as vindication of Modi government’s commitment and conviction to right of centre economic policymaking with easier terms of business for companies, services and exporters.

In a federal structure, states cannot question the authority of Parliament and central government to legislate on most issues barring a few. In the Indian context, Supreme Court has upheld this principle while holding up the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the centre’s decision to link Aadhaar and mobile numbers.

By committing Rs 2.11 lakh crore over two fiscal years for recapitalisation of public sector banks (PSBs), the government has done what was long overdue. After appointing a private sector professional as head of two PSBs, banking reforms had taken a back seat as nothing substantial was done by the bank board bureau, which was supposed to transform the working of PSU banks.

Are private sector banks catching up with their pubic sector counterparts in piling up non-performing assets (NPAs)? Well, that seems to be the case, if one were to go by latest data. True value of NPAs with private banks hitherto undeclared or little known seems to be emerging from the woodwork after the asset quality review undertaken by the Reserve Bank (RBI).

Empowering consumers through a modern, simple and progressive law is a welcome move. Apart from protecting consumer interest, the new law that replaces Consumer Protection Act of 1986, should be able to curb unfair trade practices.

The Trump administration’s paranoia against Indian technology professionals must stop. Unless this American belligerence on H-1B and L1 visas is given up, taking the Indo-US bilateral partnership to stratospheric levels may only remain a pipedream.

Putting together the first medical tourism and wellness policy will give a big boost to attract foreign travellers and exploit the big potential India has to host such visitors.

Call it a ‘stimulus’ or christen it any way you like, but the Narendra Modi government seems to have moved decisively to bring the mojo back in the Indian economy that’s been on a slide for several quarters. Without admitting an economic slowdown, the government is attempting, albeit belatedly, a two-pronged strategy to scale up public spending and create millions of jobs lost.

In order to clear the way for contract farming in India, the government is planning a model law, which after getting finalised by the end of this year, would be sent to states so that they can formulate their individual laws. As agriculture is a state subject, the final call to enact law would be the responsibility of states.

A one off measure to manage pollution in the national capital region (NCR) or elsewhere will not work. The ban on sale of crackers during Diwali imposed by the Supreme Court should only be seen as a first step towards cleaning up the quality of air that’s dangerously poisonous with particulate matter, toxins and cancer-causing carcinogenic agents.

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