Cut & Thrust: Don’t bear with looters

Truth has a mind of its own. It always emerges and the more you bottle it, the more it wants to burst out and be heard. Equally, crocodiles are always lurking at watering holes, waiting for their unsuspecting prey. Combine these two tales and you have a spanking new narrative of investor activism in India. One that is actually helping vast legionnaires of hapless investors who don’t get heard at all for most part. In recent months, one has seen investor activism using its heft hitherto not visible to aggressively come to the rescue of fellow shareholders.

Tackle the root cause

The agrarian crisis, now affecting small and marginal farmers in several states, arises largely from the unfavourable cost-risk and return structure of farming. The chronic problems of low productivity and market volatility are, however, being addressed mainly through loan waivers. While this might give some short-term relief to farmers, it will not help to ensure the long-term economic viability of agriculture. The answers lie in enhancing the productivity of small farms and ensuring adequate public procurement at remunerative prices.

Tractor input cost to go up

The Tractor Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) has said the proposed GST rate of 28 per cent for components will raise input costs by Rs 25,000 a tractor and impact farmers and agriculture alike. It has also urged the government to reduce the duty for all tractor components to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.
This anomaly is due to GST’s downward revision being limited to token components of a tractor wh­ile major aggregates such as engines, transmissions and other parts will continue to be levied at 28 per cent.

Let’s Be accountable

The Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) is not alien to anyone in India anymore. Last year has been a landmark year in making Phase I companies Ind AS complaint — i.e. shaping them into this new accounting framework converged with the IFRS. Through this, the journey towards global reporting standards has marked its foot in the country. It is a small step by regulators, but a giant leap for Indian corporates.

Cut & Thrust: Feeding the frenzy

Rumour, it is said, has a thousand tongues and once hunches and innuendos are added to the mix and made public, you have an incendiary situation like Mandsaur and almost in parallel across Maharashtra where farmers struck work displaying their displeasure. For a government which has taken a pro farmer position very early on in its dispensation reprising the old jai kisan rhetoric, the situation right now is akin to jumping off the high dive.

Cut & Thrust: Time For Talk Is Over

In the normal course, getting off a merry go round is well nigh impossible, and if you are wearing ankle weights — don’t count on it at all. India’s polity is so busy digging traps for each other and then falling into it, that this lack of bipartisanship on structural reform is so stark and indigestable. Instead the welfare economics model predicated on helping the poorest of the poor is finding increasing unanimity. It is perhaps a compulsion of electoral politics that this bipartisanship now bonds the left, right and centre and various offshoots that have emerged from within these entities.

Way Too fast & furious?

Indian Railways introduced Tejas, a high-end train between Mumbai and Goa, continuing the legacy of Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan-Shatabdi, Sampark Kranti, Duronto and AC Double Decker.
To cater to safety standards when trains run at a maximum speed exceeding 100 kmph, these trains generally have Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, unlike the conventional coaches (otherwise called ICF coaches) attached to mail/express and ordinary trains.

The significant other

A brute majority in Parliament and having a string of state governments under its belt have worked to the BJP’s advantage in creating a situation where the opposition has been decimated and a single dominant narrative prevails in the country. Dissenting voices, even when they come from long-time allies like the Shiv Sena, are ignored or drowned out.

Made hay even in may

The trading adage “Sell in May and go away” did not apply to May 2017 as benchmark indexes in India hit record highs and ended the month with gains of 3.4 per cent. Upbeat fourth-quarter results and the finalisation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates were among the factors that boosted Indian markets.

Open access to success

The bold Make in India initiative intends to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The government launched the programme to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build a best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country. The success of the initiative will be determined by the growth of the power sector; to that end, the government has taken multiple initiatives related to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and provided for fiscal incentives and infrastructure development in that industry.