Needed: A rate-cut spur
Apropos of the editorial “Still subdued” ( July 13), slowing IIP points at the need for drastic rise in demand for goods and services. Despite repo cuts and its transmission by banks, credit expansion is tepid due to the already prevailing high lending rate. The debt ridden companies struggling to service debt are deprived of getting further credit due to their weak balance-sheets and are thus forced to abandon projects midway. The need of the hour is speedy kick-starting of stalled projects, for which government will have to step forward and address the various issues relating to it without lag. Ahead of the next monetary policy review, RBI must look for taking advantage of the favourable macroeconomic conditions and should go for rate-cut to induce demand for credit, which will ultimately lead to investment revival. Rising loan delinquencies, being obstacle to economic growth and development, will also benefit greatly from rate cut. The sluggish growth needs to be reversed; for that, a boost in corporate confidence has to be created by implementing investor-friendly economic reforms and encouraging policies for inflow of capital. The present political stability is quite advantageous for getting reforms implemented, and as such, the slow IIP growth is only a temporary phenomenon.
The current buzz word is smart cities and the desire is to install mega technological marvels in urban areas. It requires but a tiny garage to grow a WhatsApp to a $19-billion giant run by just 56 people. Microsoft, with the humblest of beginnings, is today instrumental in our quest for highly enabled urban conglomerates. Enterprises like Infosys brought an aura to a staid Bengaluru. Detroit was the crown on the US auto empire and a great city. Yet, it reached municipal bankruptcy, not because of the city infrastructure, but the industry’s inability to keep pace with technology and innovation. The golden state of California, home to Silicon Valley, is in the doldrums due to liberal mismanagement. Policies and politicians failed the state. And so is with Greece. Smart city tags alone can not sustain demands of modern day existence but intelligent governance can. Let us therefore sow seeds of good basic education and of unchained lateral vision to foresee challenges and grab opportunities. Thereafter, the human flair for inventiveness will effectively deal with the glitches of progressive urban growth. Have we not seen the emergence of e- retail, drone deliveries, e-cabs? Let us invest more of our resources first in quality education and human empowerment, a town-planning immune to the greed of the real-estate lobby, be energy sufficient and strictly implement civic discipline and the political will that must go with it. Little point in toiling over top-class wi-fi in cities when the furniture around you floats in six inches of drain water.
The triple whammy for India at Wimbledon 2015 is such a high. Sania Mirza and Leander Paes both paired with Swiss tennis ace Martina Hingis to win the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles, respectively. Imagine what a moment it would have been if Paes and Mirza had teamed up and won the mixed doubles. Shame that the two players had a falling out of sorts a few years back! Such a waste, in retrospect, isn’t it?
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