This refers to ‘Needed: A new Long Term Fiscal Policy framework’ (October 3). The fiscal management policy pursued by some States leave much to be desired with accountability factor totally missing.
Unfortunately, freebies constitute a major chunk of money spent on social welfare schemes by States which are intertwined with winning votes with no accountability whatsoever towards the tax-paying public. On the trade front, India’s exports have been woefully low with the manufacturing sector’s contribution consistently below par. With foreign investors being the main contributors to inflow of capital, inclusion of India in JP Morgan Global Bond Index is expected to boost foreign inflows further but India’s fiscal and monetary policies need to get closely aligned with global events which will be tracked more intensely by global investors.
Pressure on CAD
Apropos ‘Signs of stress’ (October 3), the declining value of imports, augmented software exports and stagnated oil market prices are reducing the current account deficit. But non-IT sector exports have been showing a declining trend, which is affecting the CAD. The aggressive monetary tightening by global majors and drastic cuts in corporate expenditure are also hurting. India should seek new potential markets for non-IT services export.
LPG and ATF prices
This refers to ‘Commercial LPG, jet fuel prices hiked as festival season inches close’ (October 3). Notably, the latest hike in the prices of commercial gas cylinders, coming after two successive reductions of around ₹257 in August and September, is being attributed to an imminent hike in their demand during the forthcoming festival season. However, the government is highly unlikely to tinker with the OMC mandated retail prices of petrol and diesel, which have remained frozen since May 2022, in the wake of elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
Apropos ‘Nobel prize for mRNA Covid vax researchers’ (October 3), the vaccine discovered by scientists Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman proved to be the most effective in preventing symptomatic Covid 19. One can only imagine the enormous pressure under which these two scientists have worked to produce the vaccine, with limited time available for human trials, even as Covid was raging all over the world.
The turn of events in India-Canada relations is quite unfortunate, especially in the immediate aftermath of the productive G20 meet under India’s presidency in New Delhi.
Since what happened cannot be undone, we need to look ahead, given the mutual dependency of the two democratic countries with regard to economic, trade, commercial and large diaspora-based relationships. India needs to ensure that we are not arm-twisted either by the Western block or China, in any manner with reference to our long- term strategic national interests in this regard
Angara Venkata Girija Kumar