Editors Column

The news that the government is planning to pursue merger of various oil PSUs to boost the economy, comes as a surprise. How the merger of PSUs would push the economy is a question that does not have any easy and clear answer, probably not even with our policy makers. Nonetheless, the push for mergers bring two important issues related to oil companies.

Opening up the corporate bond market to widen and deepen the offering in Indian debt to both domestic and foreign players will be a significant reform and ensure larger integration with global peers. FPIs have been hungry for Indian debt and are waiting for the cap to be increased. Their net investment in Indian government and corporate paper has been gangbusters this calendar year.

The first step towards integration of both equities and commodities markets has been taken by market watchdog, Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The latest Sebi notification issued on Thursday has allowed brokers and other intermediaries to operate under one roof and a unified licence.

Even if finance minister Arun Jaitley has made up his mind to pump the economy with a clutch of measures, he enjoys very little head room for additional spend of about $7.7 billion or Rs 50,000 crore that’s reportedly the size of the stimulus package.

Telecom regulator, Trai decision to slash the interconnect usage charges (IUC) by 57 per cent to six paise per minute on all mobile calls is a welcome move as it benefits millions of consumers. India’s sunrise sector has also proved to most litigious and once again the newbie is going to face a legal challenge from the incumbents.

De-carbonisation of Indian roads is set to trigger a big churn in the automobile industry, which is diversified and entrenched with the presence of Motown majors. But now, it is set for an overhaul.

The decision by capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), to suspend trading of stocks of 331 companies is being keenly watched. While the regulator is duty bound to weed out bad companies from the capital market’s eco system, any action needs two careful considerations. First, all actions should be able to stand judicial scrutiny.

India’s foreign exchange reserves crossing $400 billion mark may be symbolic for many, but for traditional economists, it depicts the strength and resilience of a country’s economy and its currency.

Does India need a bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai with a massive investment of Rs 110,000 crore? A raging debate seems to have consumed the nation after Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of this ambitious project at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat.

Reforms and economic restructuring are not anti-people. India has to open up further as it integrates with the rest of the globe, its level of engagement all pervasive.

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