Editors Column

The emergence of Vodafone-Idea as the largest mobile services company in India with a massive 438 million customers is significant in more ways than one. While the mobile services market consolidation continues unabated, approval for Vodafone-Idea merger into one single corporate enterprise seems to have come a wee bit late in the day.

A politically stable, independent and democratically-elected government taking the reins in Pakistan is an imperative to ensure lasting peace in South Asia. Imran Khan’s coronation as prime minister seems imminent in the theocratic muslim state with his 22-year old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerging as the single largest party in the national assembly.

HOW can the value of funds parked by Indians in Swiss banks be estimated? Have these deposits and funds bulged or have holdings by Indians dipped during the four years of NDA rule?

Riding comfortably on claims that the government of Narendra Modi is markedly different from the previous UPA government that had faced a string of corruption allegations and was plagued by policy paralysis, the NDA now faces its biggest challenge so far over the Rafale aircraft deal, a matter that appears to have built a momentum of its own.

Amendments have earlier been made to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) but, in terms of the number of people they would impact, the ones made last week would be the most significant of all in the past year. Right from exempting sanitary pads to lowering the GST on footwear below Rs 1,000, this was like a mini budget with only goodies being given out.

The Opposition not only lost the numbers game in Parliament where the trust vote against the Narendra Modi Govt was crushed under the brute stomp of the ruling alliance but the hug-and-wink show of Congress president Rahul Gandhi helped only in watering the sapling of his clownish caricature planted by the BJP spin doctors hoping that it grows into a tree by 2019.

The dramatic bear hug, wink and moments of levity displayed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi provided moments of interest during the no-confidence motion but the final vote count did not hold any major surprises. The daylong drama played out on Friday in Parliament, however, has thrown up sharp hints on the way political realignments may happen in next few months.

Restoring the confidence of small depositors in state-run banks that have been currently bracketed and branded for corruption and inefficiency is a key challenge.

Opposition parties might not see eye-to-eye with the government headed by prime minister Narendra Modi but that should not mean it should subvert the parliamentary system.

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