The Finance Minister’s statement that India is facing near-term challenges in managing its fiscal deficit, sustaining economic growth, reining in inflation and containing current account deficit is not far from truth.
The IMF also decreased India’s growth rate from 8.7 per cent to 7.8 per cent. Observing that capex was expected to drive growth, an upside risk to the budgeted level of fiscal deficit emerged following cuts in excise duties on petrol and diesel.
Rationalising non-capex expenditure has become critical, not only for protecting growth-supportive capex but also for avoiding fiscal slippages.
This will affect the imports and exports and also value of the rupee. Controlling inflation is a real challenge for the policymakers which is mainly a result of rising global oil prices.
The momentum of economic activities sustained in the first two months of the current financial year augurs well for the economy’s ercovery.
Apropos the Editorial ‘Trial by fire’ (June 21), Opposition parties and the protestors have one thing in common — to oppose whatever scheme the Centre introduces.
No doubt, professionalism of our armed forces is unquestionable.
But the need of the hour is to have a young and tech-savvy force.
A few positive points on the ‘Agnipath’ — on completion of four years of training, an Agniveer would take home close to ₹11 lakh as a saving corpus which would help him financially support his other commitments.
With the induction of young and talented Agniveers, the Armed forces would be strengthened in terms of security and integrity.
Agnipath envisages enabling provision for Agniveers to get preference in recruitment of Assam Rifles and Central Armed Police Force.
Apart from the corpus savings by the Agniveer during the four-year period, the government should consider providing every Agniveer an equal sum of his corpus to make the scheme still more attractive.
Banking and ALM
This refers to the article ‘Should coop banks be exposed to home loans?’ (June 21).
With new institutional systems and multiple savings and investment products in the financial sector, one wonders whether the supervisory and regulatory authorities in the banking system are under stress leaving depositors and those dependent on credit for the survival of their industries and business under distress.
As proved by the PMC Bank debacle, multi-State cooperatives with diverse ownership and multiple controls evade essential banking norms including those relating to Asset-Liability Management under various pretexts. Urban Bank Model is prone to corruption emanating from industry, politics and even from within the individual institutions.
Partnering with Small Finance Banks may provide short-term relief.
But in the long term the government and RBI may have to make drastic changes in the ownership pattern, business model and areas of operation of cooperatives including banks.
Keep out protestors
With reference to the article ‘Agnipath, the right way’, armed forces came out to address the press and its queries a bit late in the day, but it’s better late than never. They are absolutely right that any applicant for Agnipath will have to give a pledge that he was not part of this violent protest and there is no FIR against his name.
Yes, there could be some flaws with Agnipath and those could be sorted out, but taking law into your hands cannot be tolerated. Apart from resreving jobs for Agniveers in other Central paramilitary and State forces, Indian Inc too is ready to absorb them, as the core values of armed forces are respected everywhere. Yes, a written assurance from the government on their absorption after 4 years would calm their nerves.