Editors Column

Following in the footsteps of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Jack Ma, 54, has decided to step down as chairman of the $500 billion Alibaba Holdings. Asia’s most valuable company based out of China was built by Jack Ma and 17 others over 20 years. It has transformed the technology landscape in China and catapulted the company to become the face of e-commerce businesses.

The rupee hit an all time low of 72.67 to a dollar intra-day on Monday before paring the losses somewhat and recovering to 72.45. It has been suggested in government circles that after remaining stable for the last 4 years, the rupee was witnessing an adjustment for that out performance. Economists have also suggested that the rupee is in line with the economy’s fundamentals.

The Bharatiya Janata Party feels that the notional challenge from the opposition will see them through in the next elections and the TINA factor will work as a magic potion for prime minister Narendra Modi to remain invincible. BJP president Amit Shah went a step further and proclaimed that the party would be in power in the country for the next 50 years.

September 6 will go down as a red letter day in the history of India as the Supreme Court gave the people the right to love by decriminalising sex among same gender. It is one of the most significant milestones in the struggle to free right to love among consenting individuals within a private space of taboos.

The new format of 2+2 dialogue finally got going with New Delhi and Washington managing to overcome recent difficulties in ties due to disagreements over trade tariffs and oil imports from Iran by signing a significant military pact justifying the ‘major defence partner’ status accorded to India by the US in 2016.

The fight between brothers Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh belonging to the Ranbaxy family is turning out to be every bit an ugly family feud, to use the former’s words, with the prospect of a lot of dirty linen being washed in public in the coming days.

As reported by this paper, the government will soon appoint seventeen executive directors (EDs) at various public sector banks. In the normal course, the appointment of an executive director should not be a matter for involved discussion as it is considered a routine decision. But in this case it is necessary because there has been an extended delay in making these appointments.

The rupee breached 71 against the dollar for the first time late last we­ek. It had started the year at 63.67. The pr­otracted slump is widening curre­nt acco­u­nt deficit, a measure of trade when the va­l­­ue of imports exceeds that of exports, thr­e­a­­tening India’s balance of payments. That India still has $400 billion as forex reserves is comforting.

A robust 8.2 per cent growth in the first quarter of this fiscal is not a mean achievement. It is particularly significant as manufacturing at 13.5 per cent and farm sector at 5.3 per cent growth have fuelled the 9-quarter high GDP performance. Construction, manufacturing and farm sectors that have done very well in the April-June quarter are big avenues for employment.

If Rs 15.31 lakh crore worth of currency, representing 99.4 per cent of scr­a­p­p­ed notes, returned to RBI following the demonetisation of high value notes, the moot question is what did the Narendra Modi government achieve through this huge operation post-November 8, 2016.