Editors Column

Telugu Desam’s insistence on special category status for Andhra Pradesh is bound to have political repercussions leading to possible severance of its links with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

The dismal history of non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party third front formations prompt the poser whether there is space for such a front on an all-India platform. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao appears to believe that political space does exist to sew up a non-BJP and non-Congress front before the next general elections.

On the day Donald Trump was elected US president, all global markets witnessed a steep fall. The fear was, if he actually decided to fulfil the promises he had made in his election campaign it would start a trade war and that would bring in disruption to the fragile global economic recovery. Now, 16 months since then, the US president has finally started what global markets had feared.

Narendra Modi government has readied two key responses to prevent scamsters from abusing the system and getting away with economic crimes unpunished. These responses may not only act as a deterrent for those seeking to hoodwink the system but also take the sting away from opposition parties attack against the government on Rs 12,636 crore scam that came to fore in Punjab National Bank.

The government’s two-week deadline to state-run banks to identify risks to fraud is at best a knee jerk reaction to the recent cases involving the Punjab National Bank and others. Loan portfolios of Rs 50 crore and above would be huge in several banks and state-run banks do not have the wherewithal to collate the information relating to borrowers in this category.

The role of auditors – both domestic and foreign –in banking and corporate deals has come under scrutiny following a series of violations like tax evasion and professional malpractices. The Supreme Court’s directive on a separate law to govern MNC auditors is an eye opener to all that these firms have had it too good for too long.

The government appears to have strengthened its resolve to push ahead with the proposed Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that, once enacted, will enable the government to confiscate assets of offenders who flee the country. There is little doubt that the Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi cases have had a hand in this.

Prime minister Narendra Modi made a spirited case for turning India into a buzzing $5 trillion economy by 2022. It is very significant that Modi spelt out his plan amidst global investors when he spoke on the issue on Friday. The prime minister evidently has a dream of taking India to the next level.

In the dark world of global trade and finance, it is a battle of nerves and perceptions that dictate policies. Otherwise, there’s no reason why the Donald Trump’s Republican administration in the US articulates the way it does and thumbs a nose at India on the trade and investment front.

From the ignominy of carrying the backward tag to targeting a trillion dollar economy, Uttar Pradesh has its task cut out, as the ongoing investors summit in the state capital has indicated. There is little doubt that chief minister Yogi Adityanath will need to muster all his yogic powers to achieve this task.

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