Editors Column

US President Donald Trump’s fond hope that Americans, like North Koreans listening to their ‘supreme leader’ Kim Jong Un, would sit upright during speeches delivered by him carries a dangerous rather than a mirthful message.

The eve of Eid turned into a horrific day for the Valley where a respected journalist was killed, a soldier on leave was sprayed with bullets and a UN body came up with a damning report on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. At a time when the people were readying for Eid celebrations, the atmosphere has suddenly turned sombre even though Kashmir is not new to unexpected funerals.

Unmanageable current account deficit (CAD) should be cause for worry for Arun Jaitley and interim finance minister Piyush Goyal ahead of the last full budget to be presented even as prime minister Narendra Modi prepares to seek a second term in office.

What stopped the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from preventing frauds in the banking industry? Does the banking regulator need more powers to ensure a transparent, efficient and customer-friendly banking industry? It is curious that RBI Governor Urjit Patel should seek more powers to rein in wrongdoers.

A peaceful Korean peninsula is a big plus in the security matrix of Asia. An end to 67 years of hostility between North Korea on the one side and the US-Japan-South Korea troika on the other will provide a big boost to peace in the region.

The statement made by Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic advisor to the finance ministry on imposing the Good and Services Tax (GST) on petroleum products and the impact this would have on prices of oil and gas probably sums up what is at the core of the problem.

Stand-in finance minister Piyush Goyal’s decision to explore more options to resolve the vexed issue of stressed assets in banks is a welcome move. The appointment of insolvency professionals and shifting 20 top companies to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has happened over the last one year.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) headquarters has kicked up a big row. So-called secularists, a section of the Congress party, communists and assorted political pundits have attempted to paint this as a misdemeanour because he had shared the stage with the RSS leadership.

Drumming up support from within and outside the party in the run-up to a major election is scientific and strategic in nature. This is what Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has begun in right earnest as part of the party’s maha-sampark abhiyan.

One question that has cropped up following the monetary policy review is whether there is a return to the days of high inflation, higher interest rates and modest economic growth reminiscent of UPA-II? The RBI, which hiked the key rates by 25 basis points for the first time since January 28, 2014, has however claimed to the contrary.