Editors Column

As reported by this paper on Monday, the government is considering a plan under which farmers will not be allowed to grow water-intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane, if they want access to water from new irrigation projects coming up in the country. In short, the government is planning to influence what farmers do by using water resource as a tool of state policy.

Protecting fundamental rights of the country’s citizens is definitely the mandate of Supreme Court of India. Chief justice Dipak Misra has rightly stated that it was the judiciary’s responsibility to protect the peoples’ rights.

Super rich people should be super generous, said Nandan and Rohini Nilekani while pledging half of their wealth to philanthropic causes after signing up for the ‘Giving Pledge’.

Reworking direct tax laws is not a bad idea given that all indirect taxes have been consolidated under  goods and services tax (GST). And setting up a seven-member panel headed by Arbind Modi might have been the first step towards reforming the Income Tax Act of 1961.

Under pressure from the catalogue of voluble surround sound, government seems to have succumbed to slapping a blanket ban on promoters to bid for stressed assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). By bringing an ordinance to bear on this issue, the die appears to have been cast, the oxygen cut of for alleged willful defaulters.

Bringing every real estate transactions, including the sale and purchase of land, under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a big idea that needs to be worked upon by the GST Council, as this move can make several things possible.

While it is true that the growth rate of Indian economy has bottomed out at 5.7 per cent, going forward it is likely to improve now that the disruption caused by GST and demonetisation has already begun to disappear, much earlier than anticipated.

Once constituted, National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) will have to begin its work in earnest to check huge profiteering resorted to by several unscrupulous providers of goods and services under the GST regime.

Upgrade in sovereign ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 by Moody’s is a shot in the arm for the Narendra Modi government that has been at the receiving end of serious flak from several quarters for the recent economic slowdown. Given that the upgrade has come after nearly 14 years, it is a testimony to the confidence reposed by foreign and domestic investors community alike in the Indian economy.

THE OLD bogey of growth versus meeting fiscal deficit targets is back in the run up to the BJP’s last full budget. Balancing economic fundamentals and macro-economic parameters, including fiscal deficit, is a consistent and continuous exercise which requires fiscal prudence.