National Encryption Policy
A hope for growth
The US Federal Reserve has refrained from increasing key rates, even though till as late as mid-August there were indications of a hike. That this can happen in the world’s largest economy only shows how global factors have acquired increasing influence over domestic ones, however big. Ever since the US plunged sharply in 2008-09, a new-found wave-theory on induced monetary liquidity had engulfed universal economics. The next four years saw a massive expansion of production capacity, worldwide. As cyclic growth abated, excess capacity idled and brought in fiscal imbalances in its wake. Brazil crashed and China followed, not to speak of the eurozone that was under stress already. We had our share of miseries in being unable to push growth beyond a given rate, despite our will and capacity to do so. The US has accepted its limitations and stepped clear of key rates, China is wondering how to push sales to keep its industry from sagging by tinkering with exchange rates. The RBI governor has been as lucid as he has been candid, in his speech. Today, our conservatism thus far on monetary policy, in the face of clamour for accelerated growth through key rates, stands largely vindicated. That said, inflation is down, there is improved transmission of money in the system, crude prices will remain low for a while—factors that could permit reduction of key rates. The positive effect of this on our economy may take a year and by then we can only hope that other major economies recover enough to provide us the extra marketing space. The upcoming RBI policy could signal softening of rates.
At a time when the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) continues to place India at the bottom of its country-wise human development report, with its insignificant penetration, Digital India can hardly be answer to the challenges the country faces on many fronts. Digital India will further divide people. It remains to be seen whether Modi’s slogans prove superficial as they go after the low-hanging fruit or help make lives of its citizenry better.
Prabhu Raj Ram, Bengaluru
National Encryption Policy
This refers to P Chidamabaram’s column “Act first, think later” (FE, September 27). At the very outset, I would fully endorse the former finance minister’s views that the government’s sole concern should be the breach of security of sensitive or classified information in the context of the draft National Encryption Policy. In fact, the subsequent ‘quick fix’ developments in the matter have put the prime minister Narendra Modi’s government, especially the IT and communications ministry, in an awkward position. One truly feels pity for the young low-level scientist who has been conveniently made a scapegoat in this goof up by the ministry’s top echelons. But this is what usually happens in India where the ‘credit’ for a success always goes to the top brass but some one else has to face the music in the event of any thing going amiss. However, I would also like to add that while accusing the BJP/NDA government for acting first and donning its thinking cap later, PC faintly talks about “other governments may have also been guilty, but we are concerned with the present”. What a tactful way to ensure a great escape for the self! By the way, to whom is he referring when he says “other governments”? For sure, he must be talking about the guilt of his own Congress-led UPA I & II governments. However, one also wishes that he was honest enough to do some plain speaking and walked his talk, too. Mind you, whenever you raise an accusing finger towards your opponent, the other three fingers remain directed towards yourself only. So, better watch out.
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