This refers to the manifestos declared by both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress party. Both have come up with populist steps. The BJP tried to steal the Congress’ offer of sops of rice and wheat at cheap prices for the poor. That doesn’t seem to make any economic sense. In the last 10 years of National Democratic Alliance and United Progressive Alliance rule, both regimes didn’t implement such offers; why would anyone believe that they will now? And the Congress’ idea of reservations in the private sector can only be summarized as crazy. In this slowdown, the private sector can ill-afford to have reservations. The only good proposal that came from the BJP was to increase the minimum interest tax slab, which will provide relief to the middle class.
— Bal Govind
Your turn to talk
I am writing in response to “Machine vs dream politics”. I am sure that the rate at which poverty is removed will decide what happens to Indian democracy. The haves will have a stake in the system as they get their heads above water. They will think and vote for what is best for them, and clan, caste and other considerations will take second place. The power of the thinking man is awesome— thus the procrastination and delay. People will not wait forever.
— M. M. Kapur
Nominations for elections to the Lok Sabha are in full swing. Candidates are filing their affidavits showing their wealth details. Many of them surprisingly do not own any car or other vehicles. Their yearly income from these stated investments and properties may not be substantial. A rough calculation on the back of an envelope indicates their income may not even make them liable for income tax.
Their income may be well below the exemption limit. In these days of inflation and the high cost of living, it is a wonder how they are able to meet ends and pay their bills. One is curious to know how on earth they are able to look after themselves and their family on such a low income when ordinary people are not able to afford many things for themselves, their children and their family. With such meagre resources, it is a wonder how they are able to stand for a Lok Sabha election. Will these candidates tell the secret by which they are able to have a high standard of living with their meagre income? Election Commission (EC) officials simply get and file the affidavits. They don’t seem to check the veracity and truth of the sworn affidavits. EC should thoroughly examine their affidavits. Those who file false affidavits should be severely punished. The common perception is that the whole exercise is a farce.
— K. Venkataraman
The zeal and zest in equity markets is painting a picture of speedy economic recovery. Major equity indices across the globe have had a stupendous rally, gaining around 25% in less than a month. So, is the worst behind us? Consider these if you jump to answer “yes”.
Crude oil prices have surged by 30% in March. Has the on-ground reality really changed to justify this increase? Neither has the demand revived drastically nor has the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced production cuts. Unless crude oil stabilizes, the path to economic recovery will be difficult.
There have been many job losses with unemployment rates in many countries at their highest since the ’80s. The disposable incomes of the salaried class have dipped. The first sign of economic stability and its path to recovery would be absence of any job cuts.
The volatility needs to subside for the economy to stabilize, after which the path to recovery would be travelled. The economic recovery would be a slow process and is still quite a few months away.
— Dhimant Kothari
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