Editors Column

Should Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), National Housing Bank (NHB) or State Bank of India (SBI) bail out much-tainted Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) that piled up over Rs 91,000 crore in debt? Is it sustainable to pump good money into a bad company even if it holds some very ba­nkable assets?

Piyush Goyal, one of the better performing ministers in the Narendra Modi government, has his task cut out. Reforming Indian Railways is what he needs to go diligently about. The Far­akka Express derailment on Wednesday near Rae Bareli has led to 7 deaths and injuries to 60 others.

The Supreme Court’s directive sending three directors of the Amrapali group to police custody will be welcomed by homebuyers. The highest court’s directive to hand over all documents relating to 46 group companies to forensic auditors and give possession of flats to 42,000 buyers carries a big message for real estate companies.

For the last two decades or so, every finance minister in his budget spe­e­ch has mentioned the need to ha­ve a developed and liquid bond market. But the pace at which corporate debt has increased, the development of corporate bond markets leaves much to be desired.

Rising fuel prices have proved to be a good political stick to beat the government with. It happened in the run-up to the general elections in 2014 and it is happening now. Finance minister Arun Jaitley appears to have lobbed the oil prices issue back into the opposition court on a day when the election commission announced polls for five states.

By deciding to go her own way in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, BSP supremo Mayawati fired the first salvo and punctured the whole idea of a mahagathbandhan or grand alliance of opposition parties at the national level.

After the mobilisation of farmers in western Maharashtra by opposition parties, Kisan Kranti Yatra – the long march over 10 days – held by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) with thousands of farmers is yet another indication of unrest in rural India.

There is no doubt that India wants a trade deal with the US and president Donald Trump’s Republican administration. But the reasons for doing so as suggested by Trump are clearly at variance with how the Indian government looks at the issue – and it is certainly not about pleasing the US president.

IT was expected that the government would not let IL&FS go down the tube. That has become evident now that the government has superseded the board and banker Uday Kotak has been appointed non-executive chairman. The government has said that there would be no further loan defaults. It has also sent the matter to NCLT. The swiftness with which it has acted merits an analysis.

The government appears to be setting its finances in order as part of the pre-budget exercise that is expected to kick off soon. There has been a rollout of budget management measures that are key to finance minister Arun Jaitley presenting his last budget on February 1 before prime minister Narendra Modi’s term ends.

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