Grounded Before Take-off

Updated: Sep 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Planning Commission member N K Singhs report on foreign direct investment seems to have come a bit late for the Tenth Plan. Mr Singh would certainly have wanted his suggestions to be incorporated in the strategy for increasing the flow of foreign investment, essential for achieving the targeted 8 per cent growth rate for the Plan suggested by none other than Prime Minister A B Vajpayee himself.

However, there are practical problems, if not other reasons, plaguing the incorporation of Mr Singhs suggestions. For starters, the draft document is ready and has been circulated to all the members of the Commission including its chairman PM Vajpayee.

Second, Mr Singhs report has been referred to the group of ministers (GoM) for a view. How can the Commission incorporate anything before the GoM takes a view on the document After all, the document will have to cleared by the cabinet before being placed before the National Development Council for approval.

The net result: Mr Singh, though a member of the Planning Commission, will have to seek fora that are external to the all-important Tenth Plan document to pursue his recommendations.

Span Of The Past
Theres nothing official about it. But life ho to aisi. Punitive fines on Kamal Nath, former environment and forests minister, imposed by the courts some years back may catch up with cola majors Coke and Pepsi.

The expert committee assisting the Supreme Court analysing the damage to ancient rocks in Himachal Pradesh has reminded the honourable judges that in the Span Resorts case, exemplary damages had been imposed.

The sub-text is that unlike in the United States, the law of torts may not pack a punch in India, but if it so desires, the apex court can use convention to give the US multinationals a punishment beyond mere costs.