Editors Column

The Trump administration’s paranoia against Indian technology professionals must stop. Unless this American belligerence on H-1B and L1 visas is given up, taking the Indo-US bilateral partnership to stratospheric levels may only remain a pipedream.

Putting together the first medical tourism and wellness policy will give a big boost to attract foreign travellers and exploit the big potential India has to host such visitors.

Call it a ‘stimulus’ or christen it any way you like, but the Narendra Modi government seems to have moved decisively to bring the mojo back in the Indian economy that’s been on a slide for several quarters. Without admitting an economic slowdown, the government is attempting, albeit belatedly, a two-pronged strategy to scale up public spending and create millions of jobs lost.

In order to clear the way for contract farming in India, the government is planning a model law, which after getting finalised by the end of this year, would be sent to states so that they can formulate their individual laws. As agriculture is a state subject, the final call to enact law would be the responsibility of states.

A one off measure to manage pollution in the national capital region (NCR) or elsewhere will not work. The ban on sale of crackers during Diwali imposed by the Supreme Court should only be seen as a first step towards cleaning up the quality of air that’s dangerously poisonous with particulate matter, toxins and cancer-causing carcinogenic agents.

US President Donald Trump celebrating Deepawali at his Oval Office in White House may not have impressed Indians seeking jobs in American technology companies. Our talented technology professionals, in particular, are not too enthused either about Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, overtures towards India on the political front.

Making available quality medicines at affordable prices with the right components thrown in should be the focus of any sensible drug policy. Four years ago, the drug pricing control order (DPCO) was laid out as part of the government’s efforts to introduce logic and reasoning in consumer prices of formulations sold across the counter and prescription drugs.

In order to boost rural incomes, the government is considering allowing small farmers to take loans for animal husbandry and pisi culture at a lower interest rate of 4 per cent. There can be no argument that the small farmer and marginal sections of society need to be given loans at subsidised rates so that they can alleviate their economic condition and come out of grinding poverty.

Three months into the single impost, Goods and Services Tax (GST), the big question is: has the economy bottomed out? Are green shoots available to signal some sort of a revival from here on? Is the worst over for Narendra Modi government on the economic front?

With Tata’s consumer telecom business merged into Bharti Airtel, consolidation in the hugely gravitating Indian mobile telecom services sector seems near complete. Bharti-Airtel, Vodafone-Idea Cellular and Reliance Infocomm have emerged as the three top players in a market maturing very quickly.

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