This is with reference to the article Cant afford low growth (FE, April 14). The title though hackneyed is still the sword hanging over the next government which will have to deliver on this front immediately on coming to power. Credible action and sound policies are the road map to this aim. Although both Sensex and Nifty have touched record highs and the rupee a record low in months on hopes a Narendra Modigovernment, growth in other key sectors remains stalled. Manufacturing sector remains a concern while the proposed doubling of gas prices, needed or not, is a ticking bomb waiting to derail the economy. Coal Indias monopoly continues despite repeated warnings to let coal players enter, which sadly was marred by corruption and led to Coalgate. Air India continues to be subjected to babudom and endless poking in its running, becoming a drain on our money. FDI in retail which would have led to better storage facilities and back-end management has been put off the burner due to elections. Telecom sector can finally breathe a sigh of relief after being mercilessly milked in auctions. As if all this was not enough, policy flip-flops and retrospective acts pursued vigorously by the taxman have created an image of the Indian taxpayer running around scot-free while the wealthy corporate gets taxed.
Our income tax system needs massive overhaul to detect leakages and bring those evaders under the net rather than burdening the honest ones.Overall all this has led to a potent mix of low growth. Our economy needs to be back up and get running because now we are bleeding. We just cannot afford low growth any more.
Scion-rise, or scion-set
In his column "In a tearing Hurry-ana" (FE,Apr 11) Shekhar Gupta has said that the writing on the wall is clear. With winnability becoming their aim, Congress candidates may have dropped pictures of Sonia and Rahul. And the question that is being raised is 'Why Rahul is not catching the fancy of India's youth' Is it because of the gap between what he is saying and what is on his younger audience's minds Is he late in waking up to what the country wants Or, is it because there are so many other promising young leaders When he took UP in the last state elections, Akhilesh Yadav stole the show. Then it could be because of the lack of strong caste or communal backingthe AAP is emerging as an alternative for the Muslim voter. It now remains to be seen if Gandhi can overcome the setbacks and emerge as an agent of change and catch the imagination of young minds. Can he compete with the thrust and energy of a leader like Arvind Kejriwal Or, can he ever rival Narendra Modi Perhaps the time has come to answer these questions.
Draw from rupees strength
Apropos of the edit Weak R,Good R (FE, April 12), now that the CAD stands well-managed,inflation amenable to taming and external investment has picked up pace, attention must revert to growth. The lowering of excise in the vote-on-account has had little effect on auto salesin particular and white goods in general. Key rates need to be be brought down to aid domestic consumption and the rupee needs to be strengthened. As early as July 2013 , the floating of sovereign bonds was mooted even as the rupee was struggling. Today, the indices of its risk assessment are in much better shape, encouraging revisiting the issue of the bonds. The resultant cache of forex could come in handy against external political or monetary aberrations.