Rational Expectations: Stirrings of reform, but just about that

The last few months have seen reforms restarting, but till these are followed up with a lot more, it won’t really move the needle

The fact that overall investment—measured as a share of GDP, as it should, FDI is also falling—continues to fall, from 31.9% of GDP in Q1FY15 when Modi came to power to 22.3% in Q1FY21 suggests investors remain mostly unconvinced.

Taxing the digital economy: MNCs should assess the impact of digital taxes in their main operating jurisdictions

Rethinking tax functions is imperative, as taxation complexities are likely to stay.

Digitalisation of businesses has exposed vulnerabilities in the existing tax framework, designed over a hundred years ago, and prone to base erosion and profit shifting.

Fighting air pollution: Gasping for air, again

While a cap & trade scheme is not the only way to address the challenge, it does offer a market-based economically-efficient pathway to achieving pollution reduction.

The commission has been vested with extensive planning, regulatory, investigation and enforcement powers focused on preventing air pollution and improving air quality.

CRISPR-Cas9: Applying gene editing in agriculture

Gene editing can have a major impact on global agriculture through rapid development of crop varieties with diverse desirable traits

On the contrary, gene editing through CRISPR/Cas9 can create desired variations more precisely and without affecting other characters of a variety.

Fifth column: May Diwali bring hope this vile year

When the Prime Minister described their son Tejashwi Yadav as the Yuvraj of Jungle Raj, it brought back for me memories of those years.

Nitish Kumar may not have done as much in his 15 years as Chief Minister as he could have, but he did a lot more than Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi did for this wretchedly poor state in the 15 years that they ruled.

Across the Aisle: By dividing, we fall

The Congress, CPI(M) and CPI in Kerala behave, and are regarded more, as Kerala-specific regional parties than the state units of national parties.

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for the Assembly elections in Bhagalpur, Bihar, earlier this month (PTI Image)

Swing states: Sir Sean Connery and other tales from golf course

Champions are different from winners, and are usually defined not by their wins but how they handle failure

The Trump-owned Turnberry resort on the west coast of Scotland has been out in the cold when it comes to being considered as a venue for the Open Championship.

Data drive: Running out of beds

Capacity in terms of beds, ICUs and ventilators has increased, but cases over the last two months have increased at a faster pace.

Temper the Pfizer euphoria, Covid vaccine too expensive

Since this is a two-shot vaccine, India would need 2.8 billion doses if it was relying on only Pfizer. At around $40 for a two-dose vaccine, this would cost India around Rs 400,000 crore!

At around $40 for a two-dose vaccine, this would cost India around Rs 400,000 crore!

Eating Together: FAO-forged coalition to fight hunger in the pandemic-stricken world serves an important need

The main purpose of this coalition is to help bring countries on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals—especially the one on ending poverty and hunger.

Not spending will also raise deficits as GDP will slow

Vital to halt permanent damage to the economy by spending more; if this is not done, deficits/debt will rise anyway

The government, Sen believes, should not view the deficit from a one-year perspective but rather from a long-run perspective, say over three-four years.

Higher Education: ‘Destination India’ for foreign students

The space vacated by China in higher education, owing to Covid-19, is India’s for the taking. India must capitalise on this opportunity by strengthening its academic institutions to attract more int

Many other countries are likely to be cautious in their recruitments and cross-border exchange with China as well.

Stimulus 3.0: Reforms hold the key

The govt’s additional fiscal support has a multi-sector focus, but a limited cash outgo for the current year. Also, to ensure stimulus yields result, focus on effective implementation of reforms

The extension of the PLI scheme to 10 new sectors is also likely to boost manufacturing over the medium term.

Stimulus 3.0: The fiscal maths simply do not add up

Without additional resources, we see a risk of a sharp contraction in overall government spending to minimise fiscal slippage

At the press briefing, the FM maintained that the additional borrowing already announced (worth Rs 4 tn or 2.1% of GDP) will be sufficient to fund all measures. In our view, the maths do not add up.

Make bail the norm: SC’s observations while granting Arnab Goswami bail must be heeded

That said, safeguarding of individual liberties and judicial protection against political vendetta through state action can’t be selective.

Indeed, Kapil Sibal, who represented Maharashtra in the Goswami case, told SC that when he brought Kappan’s case to SC to ask for bail, it told him to go to the lower court; SC did not respond to Sibal’s statement.

Crime reporting: Making India safer for women

Setting the ‘crime against women’ to ‘female population’ ratio of Assam and Rajasthan as a benchmark for the rest of the states shows that crimes against women in India could be under-reported

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, which contributed 40% of total crimes against women, had the highest levels of Sustainable Development Goal-5 score.

Digital taxation & OECD: On a weak pillar

The OECD Blueprint for Pillar One falls short of the goals mentioned in its Action Plan 1

While technical work on Pillar One is advanced, the Blueprint recognises that it is not a consensus document and that there are several key features of the solution that can only be resolved through political decisions.

Power reforms: UK lessons for India

The UK is almost back to vertically-integrated utilities. But this doesn’t mean power reforms won’t take off in India; privatise discoms, with govt-pvt JVs in which govt handholds the pvt player t

There is yet another factor which inhibits further reforms in the Indian power sector: ‘Power’ falls in the Concurrent List.

Connecting farms to folk: Linking agri-tech to FPOs can create value

Farmers should not let go of this opportunity and should connect with the new high-value segment, change production processes to meet the specifications and command a higher price.

Their success depends on getting farmers to produce these to their specifications!

Careful on school reopening; work to bridge digital divide

Reopening raises infection risks. The government—both Centre and the states—have to pull out all stops to provide students with devices (smartphones, tablets, etc) while training them on use for o

Children in private schools (assumed to be relatively better off economically) were twice as likely to access online resources as their government school peers.

Closing the digital divide

India’s digital divide remains huge as more than 400 million people don’t have access to the internet. Also, spatial digital divide is huge (internet density in rural areas is lower than in urban

Digital technology can play a key role in improving access to the education system, and create affordable and effective education and training programmes at a larger scale.

Macro taking a positive turn? Improvement in high-frequency growth indicators has been stronger than expected

Consensus may have turned pessimistic after the release of Q1 GDP data and, relative to that, there is scope for upside surprises

However, in Q2, growth will dip by 9% from last year, as services sector metrics despite improving from Q1 remained relatively weak.

Aluminium is the real steel; downstream aluminium can facilitate the way for an atmanirbhar Bharat

The right focus on reducing our heavy dependency on imports, and well-thought government vision and industry strength, can together write the story of atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in aluminium for In

At 4.1 million tonnes per annum primary capacity and a downstream processing capacity of 3.9 million tonnes, the Indian aluminium industry has a ready platform to scale up to support the growth trajectory of India.

The plain truth: Judgements should be made easier to Comprehend, by use of simpler phrasing

The unnecessary ‘latinisation’ of legal concepts also needs to be avoided

When asking the ministry of law and justice and the Bar Council to respond, the Chief Justice of India referred to Anthony Burgess’ book (1964) Language Made Plain.

Potential ugliness of transition of US presidency erodes voters’ faith in the country’s democracy

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state in the Donald Trump administration, promises ‘smooth transition in January’, but to a ‘second Trump administration’. This means the transition to the new presid

Few would have expected Trump to agree to a clean exit, but that senior Republicans have dug in their heels in this manner is shocking.

PLI Scheme: Backing big firms and global champions is the way to go

Success of scheme depends on proxies chosen; the $200 criterion for phones ensures large exports for instance

This wooing of global-sized players, who can produce global-quality output and then export it as well, is what the new Rs 200,000-crore PLI scheme aims at.
Income Tax Calculator, Budget 2019, How to Calculate Income Tax


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