Letters to the editor: Threshold 2014

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SummaryThe weather in the Capital at the threshold of a new year is reflective of the state of the nation's economy, uncomfortably cold.

The weather in the Capital at the threshold of a new year is reflective of the state of the nation's economy, uncomfortably cold. The employment scenario is still keeping us away from a technical stagflation, even as the other two criteria, slow growth and rapidly rising consumer prices, are attempting to push us into one. A sub-5% GDP, with WPI peaking to 7.52% and CPI to 11.24% and record low of the rupee in 2013, can perhaps help to show 2014 in some better light. That said, the monetary policy continues to be wielded to fight inflation at the cost of growth. More worrying should be the changing political dispensation that is patently averse to fiscal conservatism. Delhi has just led the way with “utility empowerment” and the Centre likewise going soft on gas cylinder subsidy. The MSP on grains is already at record levels and the states do so on cane procurement. Inclusive social schemes that do not raise productivity have been a bane for quite a while. In the face of all this, the fiscal deficit will be adrift. Crude prices that are benign today may not be so down the road. The resultant spike in inflation will put growth recovery in greater straits to tweak the CAD and a plunge of the rupee. Till the 2014 elections, the nation is destined to travel its perilous economic path. What results the elections throw up is another saga in itself.

R Narayanan , Ghaziabad

AAP in the hot seat

It is heartening that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made history by capturing power in Delhi within such a short time of its birth, has decided to take the horns of governance in the Union Territory. Needless to stress, this is the first time in free India that people came out in large numbers to elect a party to power, believing that the AAP is going to be their real friend. The AAP should also keep in mind that this is really a God-sent opportunity to them. Their conduct in Delhi would sure be a precursor whether they can capture a respectable number of seats in the Parliamentary elections. Now, Kejriwal should try to patch up with his guru Anna Hazare and perform with his blessings.

Tharcius S Fernando, Chennai

A precursor

The formation of the AAP as a political party and its subsequent emergence as a major player in the Indian political scene within

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