Editors Column

Corporate governance continues to be a burning issue at several listed companies with substantial retail investors’ participation. In the recent past, we have seen soap operas play out at the Tata Group, Infosys and Raymond. The Uday Kotak-led panel set up by Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has rightly proposed norms that in many ways are sweeping and could be game changing.

Should one-quarter dip in gross domestic product (GDP) by any measure lead to outrage amongst key stakeholders? Given that structural reforms like goods and services tax (GST) and linking fuel prices to market are arduous, protracted and painful, such outbursts may be misplaced to an extent.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley is the warrior who is fighting to turn the tide on the economy. It will now be purely Jaitley’s call to deploy all fiscal instruments at his command to bring the growth momentum back on track given that RBI refused to play ball on interest rates, but did somewhat ease the liquidity play.

Most distressing are the continuing reports of job losses and not additions in several sectors spread over last three years. If these accounts are to be believed,  from textiles, banking, infrastructure, information technology to capital goods, job losses have apparently become rampant.

Mass murders are common in the United States but the killing of 50 people by lone wolf Stephen Paddock has gone down as one of the worst incidents of public massacre in modern American history. More than 400 were injured when Paddock sprayed the crowd of around 22,000 in an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas with a rapid-fire barrage of bullets.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has not bared his fangs by talking about amending constitution to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the national mainstream nor did has he shot off the cuff while stressing on tuning welfare policies to the ground realties of the country.

Barely a few days after prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, showcasing a quantum leap by the Indian Railways into an era of technological advancement, over 20 lives were lost in the simple act of catching a train.

To say that former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has opened a can of worms by penning a scathing critique of the Modi government’s economic policies will be an understatement, as the article not only exposes the ruling dispensation’s ostrich approach to problem solving but also the internal power dynamics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Fear hangs over Dalal Street as the long awaited flight of capital has begun. That the Indian economy’s woes were masked by a unidirectional market appears to have ended for the moment. In just two months, foreign portfolio investors have pulled out over $2.7 billion from Indian markets, the bullish sentiment has turned negative and is now bordering on restlessness.

Power for all with ‘one nation, one grid and one price’ is a powerful slogan, albeit difficult to back. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to provide electricity connection to four crore households by next year-end is a positive. After having driven the initiative to take power to over 640,000 villages, the proposal to cover four crore families is an ambitious target.

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