Editors Column

THE OLD bogey of growth versus meeting fiscal deficit targets is back in the run up to the BJP’s last full budget. Balancing economic fundamentals and macro-economic parameters, including fiscal deficit, is a consistent and continuous exercise which requires fiscal prudence.

Narendra Modi government’s decision to advance the rolling out of relatively more environment friendly Euro VI compliant fuels by two years will make the national capital region a better place to live.

There’s lot of frenzied hype whipped up around the meeting between prime minister Narendra Modi and the US president Donald Trump in Manila in the Philippines on Monday. Foreign secretary Subramaniam Jayshankar and White House statements after the Modi-Trump meeting have taken the atmospherics to a new level.

India is in the midst of a huge technology revolution as digitisation takes root across the economic vector, turning the country into a global player given the explosive growth in smartphone shipments, huge upswing in high value data services and growing competition among equipment suppliers and services providers.

The fracas that played out in Supreme Court last week during the hearing of a case relating to the medical colleges’ scam underlines the urgency with which judicial reforms need to be pursued in a country that is embroiled in litigation of every variety.

The decision to reduce goods and services tax (GST) rates on 178 daily consumable items is a positive. The GST Council’s call to include just 50 products in the highest tax slab at 28 per cent is a step towards moving to the two-rate structure in the medium term. Already, over 86 per cent goods and services have been brought under the twin slabs of 12 and 18 per cent.

Gujarat, which goes to polls in a month from now, may serve as a virtual referendum on twin reform measures of Narendra Modi government, demonetising high value currency notes and the goods and services tax (GST). Modi’s home state will decisively indicate as to what’s in store for the ruling BJP at the Centre and Gujarat, where the party has been in power for over 22 years.

The subject of airline staff conduct towards guests has dominated national headlines after images of IndiGo staff pushing a passenger, Rajiv Katyal, on October 15 on the tarmac of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi went viral on Tuesday.

Having an account in a foreign bank in a city of choice does not constitute a crime in itself. Doing legitimate business in geographies globally also does not violate any Indian financial or corporate laws.

Whether demonetisation has been able to make a significant dent on unaccounted wealth held by Indians is a question for which answers will come over a period of time.