End the rail budget, run railways on commercial lines - Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Times of India
For decades I have argued that the railway budget is a colonial aberration that should be abolished. Wonder of wonders, the government now agrees. Arun Jaitley’s next budget will incorporate all railway revenue and spending, so there will be no separate railway budget. This paves the way for treating the railways as essential infrastructure with the best financial and technical management, instead of a political tool for populism and patronage.
Tourism industry in Kashmir affected after overhyped unrest - Hari Shankar Vyas, Pioneer
Poonch and Kargil have a 90 per cent Muslim population but the past month and a half has not seen a single anti-India agitation in these two districts. In fact, there is a five per cent population of separatist Muslims who, under the fanatics, are stoking anti-India sentiments. They in fact form the base of the Hurriyat’s politics.
Has Flipkart lost No 1 slot to Amazon? - Mihir Dalal & Shrutika Verma, Mint
Flipkart seems poised to lose its cherished status as India’s largest e-commerce firm to arch-rival and role model Inc.’s Indian unit after losing its lead in July—a potential watershed moment in the country’s fledgling Internet business. Barely three years after launching in India, Amazon (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd) likely exceeded Flipkart in terms of gross sales in July.
Govt wants Rlys, banks to cut transaction cost on cards - Sidhartha & Surojit Gupta, Times of India
After Air India, the government now wants the Railways to lower transaction charge for online reservations and is also urging banks to cut charges as it seeks to reduce the usage of cash and promote use of plastic money.
A safe pair of hands at the central bank - Mint
The Narendra Modi government has done well to choose Urjit Patel as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has contributed to several areas of economics and policy over the past many years, but Patel is at heart a macroeconomist with a sophisticated sense of the policy challenges ahead.
GST regime should tax cigarettes more - Rijo M John, Business Line
An ideal standard rate for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is still being hotly debated in policy circles. However, it is important to know whether this standard rate will be applied to all goods and services, including demerit goods such as cigarettes.
Reforms for rule-based governance - Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Mint
Twenty-five years ago, India set out on a path of economic liberalization—freeing it from decades of a misguided big statist model—a process that remains incomplete even today. Decades of stifling government involvement and presence in every aspect of economy created the fertile ground for corruption and cronyism that exists to this day.
The RCEP effect on India - Ajay Srivastava, Business Line
As the Regional Comprehensive Economic Policy negotiations enter the fourth year, contours of the probable final outcome are gradually emerging. Based on the developments after the 13th round of negotiations that took place in Auckland between June 12 and 18, we get a big picture of what industry can hope to get from RCEP.
Formalizing India’s informal economy - Anil Padmanabhan, Mint
Last week, Nandan Nilekani, the former boss of Infosys Ltd and probably more famously the man who gave us Aadhaar, shared a fascinating factoid. Not only does it tell us about a fascinating transformation underway in India in the informal economy, it shows us that collateral gains from disruptive technology outweigh the losses.
Congress split on GST strategy, but other opposition parties back NDA - Gyan Varma, Anuja & Meenal Thakur, Mint
With a little over a week left for the start of the monsoon session of Parliament, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is finally getting support from non-Congress parties in its bid to pass the constitution amendment bill for a goods and services tax (GST).
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