oppn parties PM at Davos: Much to Do Before Red Carpet

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
PM at Davos: Much to Do Before Red Carpet

By Ashwini Agarwal
First publised on 2018-01-25 19:20:04

By putting protectionism right up there with climate change and terror as the three biggest challenges before the world, Prime Minister Modi chose to hit the Western world where it hurts the most. For, the erstwhile champions of globalization, US and its satellite countries, are now putting up trade barriers. When it suited them, they cried hoarse about free movement of goods, services and ideas across national boundaries. They used the WTO to exert pressure on emerging economies to open up their markets. But faced with rising unemployment, Donald Trump now talks of “America First”.

It fits in Modi’s grand vision to have a bigger scale of globalization. Given India’s abundant resources and cheap labour (compared to China where rising aspirations have made labour wages uncompetitive), Modi has been pitching for Make in India. He knows that instead of Indians importing foreign goods for local consumption, it is better to have those goods made in India. It will bring in investments that will create lasting assets, it will generate employment opportunities and it will generate revenues in local taxes.

But there are many internal barriers and issues that, if not addressed properly and with great speed, will derail Modi’s grand vision. Despite tinkering with this or that law, India is still way behind in ease of doing business. The red carpet is nowhere to be seen. Instead there is still red tape all over. Then, the atmosphere of intolerance created by the Hindu right wing is something as bad as terrorism. The infrastructure boom announced three years ago has not taken off. It takes more than just cheap labour and a huge consumer base to attract investment. The sooner the prime minister realizes this the better.