Editors Column

Having one standard rate of 15-16 per cent at which goods and services tax (GST) will be levied is a very ambitious proposal mooted by finance minister Arun Jaitley. It’s doable but not easy given the complicated market mechanism in India with federal character.

The entertainment sector has seen a sharp increase –76.66 per cent – in use of credit and debit cards for making payments. Liquor shops, bars, lounges and discotheques are other segments that have seen strong rise in card payments in the recent times. So what does it mean?

When the government is striving to make public sector banks people centric through various measures, state-run banks have virtually fleeced Rs 10,391 crore from regular retail customers in the form of ATM charges, and small accountholders who were unable to maintain monthly average balances, according to the government data provided to Parliament.

The government’s decision to go ahead with the infusion of Rs 1.04 lakh crore into public sector banks will strengthen their ability to lend resources for industrial expansion, agriculture and services. Supplementary grants presented in the Lok Sabha by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday provides for infusion of Rs 41,000 crore.

At  a time when India is lobbying with global powers to ease movement of technology professionals, back home, chief ministers of some states are out to discourage workers from other states.

Chanakya, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor, writes in arth shastra rulers need to tax judiciously to mobilise revenues and deployed it for socio-economic development. This dictum is relevant for today’s India in more than one ways. Lower tax rates invariably lead to higher compliance and better revenue growth.

In a situation when several online co­mmerce companies have gone bonkers with deep discounts, cash-back plans, freebies and a variety of inducements to get customers across the country enrolled, e-tailers will have to behave and self-regulate or come under the government prescribed regulatory regime.

The finance minister’s assertion that Indian economy can surpass 8 per cent growth rate has not surprised many. Like all governments, this regime too is trying to paint a lively picture of economy as LS elections are just around the corner.

With Ranil Wickremesinghe’s swearing in as Sri Lanka’s prime minister on Sunday the seven-week-long political crisis in the neighbouring Sri Lanka has come to an end. Wickremesinghe made a remarkable comeback weeks after being ousted by president Maithripala Sirisena under controversial circumstances.

The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Rafale deal has come as a shot in the arm for the Narendra Modi government that faced a perception battle on the issue. The outright rejection of all four sets of petitions filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and AAP MP Sanjay Singh should be a big relief for the ruling NDA.

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