Apropos Editorial ‘Poll vault’ (November 7), one tends to endorse the views stated on the importance of the Gujarat polls given that it is the home State of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Mnister Amit Shah.
While most pre-poll surveys have predicted the handsome victory for the BJP in Gujarat and Himachal, but one cannot ignore the AAP’s rise. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal is desperately trying to carve out a major political space for his party mainly in Gujarat by riding on to the promise of a flurry of freebies — 300 units of free power and ₹1,000 monthly allowance for women and ₹3,000 unemployment allowance.
As against this, a highly subdued Congress seems to be ‘lost in transit’, Rahul Gandhi focusing on his Bharat Jodo Yatra. One wonders whether the Congress party high command has already seen the ‘writing on the wall’ of both these poll bound States? It is a pity to see the grand old party on the verge of political decimation.
Banking for unbanked
With reference to the article ‘Co-lending holds potential for unserved/underserved segments’ (November 7), though the guidelines for co-funding of small loans was issued by RBI only a few years ago, it is akin to consortium lending that is being followed for corporates for many years.
One major difference is that fronting is done by NBFCs in case of the co-funding. The arrangement is beneficial for all — banks, NBFCs and small borrowers and besides priority sector deserving loans should also be considered. Further, much will depend on how delinquencies will be handled. Both banks and NBFCs should look after recoveries in a equitable way and interests of all should be protected.
Faces of the same coin
Recently the GST Council’s Law Committee discussed with technical domain specialists about the definitions of “games of skill” and “games of chance”.
GST of 28 per cent must be levied on both games of skill and chance as they are two sides of the same coin. More than a year ago, many States argued for a reduced tax rate on online games that demand skill.
They believe that skill-based games shouldn’t be viewed equally with chance-based ones. Lack of a defined term frequently results in tax notices being made to online game sites and subsequent legal action. Policy level clarity from the GST Council is the need of the hour to fuel growth of the online gaming sector.
Climate change challenge
With reference to article ‘Think local, think adaptation’ (November 7), it cannot be Mitigation vs Adaptation, but Mitigation and Adaptation, as there can be no half measures in saving the planet. It is erroneous to assume that “Mitigation’s benefits are global” as reducing emissions or creating a carbon sink which will have global benefits. Shifting from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy sources would reduce emissions and save precious foreign exchange. Adaptation measures like building drains, shelters, etc are anyway essential and needs to be undertaken, even as we accelerate the implementation of mitigation measures.
Hence, it is essential to intensify the Mitigation measures at a global level. Also, developing countries should utilise platforms like COP to persuade the rich countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments made to the poor nations.