Editors Column

Small businesses seem to have hit pay dirt. From easy loans, tax incentives, lower interest outgo to export push, the Modi government seems to be going overboard to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MMEs).

India’s potential to overtake UK and catapult itself into the top five largest economies globally this year would be a rare moment. World Bank, World Economic Forum and India’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) among others have pointed to this possibility even as India braces to criss-cross some important milestones on the economic front.

The reinstatement of Alok Verma as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director by the Supreme Court is a major setback for the centre that had sent him on leave in accordance with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)’s recommendations.

One explanation for the high decibel levels around the government’s decision on 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward sections is that most opposition parties did not factor in the quota issue in their political strategy to take on the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Front (NDA) in the next Lok Sabha elections. In other words, they were caught by surprise.

Despite the best intentions and help from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), not many banks would be able to meet the qualification to come out of preventive corrective action (PCA).

The confirmation of a Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance sans Congress in Uttar Pradesh that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha does not augur well for opposition unity. On the face of it, leaving the Congress in the lurch may look advantageous for both SP and BSP that propose to take on the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine in the general elections.

Sabarimala and indeed all of is in chaos due to poor handling of the temple entry issue by the Pinarayi Vijayan government in the state. The government and the Kerala police should have showed more tact in facilitating the entry of two women into the 800-year old Ayyappa temple for ‘darshan’. The Travancore Devoswam Board that administers the temple was in the dark about this.

The Rafale aircraft deal has hit the headlines once again. This time government and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have come out brandishing swords to outwit each other. The penultimate session of Parliament ahead of the general elections witnessed some high octane drama during the debate on Rs 53,000 crore fighter aircraft deal with French aviation major, Dassault.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Dharma Sansad (Parliament of Hindu saints), Bajrang Dal and a host of Hindu organisations including the Shiv Sena are likely to be a dejected lot as their campaign to begin construction of a grand edifice for Lord Ram on the 2.77 acre disputed place at Ayodhya may not have yielded the desired result thus far.

Finally, the banking sector seems to be inching towards regaining its health with gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) showing compression in both private and state-run banks.