Editors Column

The belligerence of treasury benches and opposition parties should not lead to a washout of the winter session of Parliament. If the trend of the last three days of Parliament is any indication, this session could come a cropper.

From the exalted heights of famed economists who have headed Mint Street, after a gap of 28 years a pure play bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das, an IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was named as the new RBI governor on Tuesday evening. By the following day, he had addressed the media disengaging himself from the reclusive and media shy tenure of his predecessor Urjit Patel.

The  BJP’s rout in its strongholds of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and the seesaw fight in Madhya Pradesh has a significant lesson for the saffronites. By voting against the Congress in Mizoram and Telangana, where regional parties Mizo National Front (MNF) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) respectively have won, the electorate has sent out its own message.

For the last two months it was been speculated that differences between the RBI governor and policy makers in Delhi on crucial issues like utilisation of excess reserves and use of section (7) would force Dr Urjit Patel to resign. Given the fact that despite many governors having differences with governments of the time, only one governor had taken a similar step.

DEMOCRACY is a great leveller. However well trenched a political party might be, the voter can turn the tables on it. Legislative assembly elections in five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram – could well prove this true.

The construction of roads and highways at a fast pace during ten-years of UPA is well documented. As for the NDA’s performance in the area, Nitin Gadkari as minister in-charge of roads and highways is rated very high in the Narendra Modi government. He has a reputation to maintain.

The equity markets have witnessed a free-fall with indices losing over 1,000 points in three sessions. It’s news. But why is it happening? On the face of it, profit booking and re-investment elsewhere could be plausible reasons for the massive sellout in the last three days. But that may not necessarily be the end of the story given that economic fundamentals have not changed even a wee bit.

As per the mandate and the expectation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should focus on growth, inflation and prices. Given the tranquility on all these three fronts, the monetary policy committee (MPC) on Wednesday chose to keep the key rates unchanged.

Border-less trade could be a widely held but false idea. But finance minister Arun Jaitley’s call for bringing down trade barriers, moving forward on trade facilitation and reducing transaction costs is timely.

The government is said to be looking to dip into the reserves and surpluses of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to shore up its finances. While alternative routes might have been taken – higher dividend pay out, share buy backs or follow on offering – the fact is that since the time PSUs were listed, governments at various points of time used PSU funds to spruce up their balance sheets.