Free Press Journal
  • Gold import duties need to be streamlined

    Last fortnight, the government of India released a list of 19 items where import duties had been raised (the list can be downloaded from http://www.asiaconverge.com/wp-content/ uploads/ 2018/10/2018-10-11_gold-import-duties-raised.jpg). What was interesting was that despite a clamour from the trade that import duties on gold should be increased, this was not done. Instead, the government increased duties…

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  • When aspirations become achievements

    It is when news like the Barclays Hurun Rich List get splashed around in the media that one actually begins to appreciate how rapidly India has been changing. The sharp increase in the number of wealthy people in India is testimony to the changing profile of India’s youth, and how India can continue to grow…

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  • Bank mergers: Abracadabra! Mess vanishes!

    There is trouble that is bubbling inside India’s financial cauldron. The three witches cackle, stir their brooms in the broth, and chant incantations that make the weak and the credulous sit up with open-mouthed wonder. Sceptics sit some distance away. They shake their heads. They know that little good could come of this exercise. Yes,…

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  • Slums show disrespect of politicians for democracy

    Legislators are supposed to uphold the Constitution. That includes a commitment to democracy, to free and fair elections. Unfortunately, India’s slums are testimony to the fact that politicians do not believe in free and fair elections. They believe in grabbing power, even if it means buying votes, or worse, marginalising other voters. What is worse…

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  • editorial, R N Bhaskar, RBI, crucial chinks, Reserve Bank Of India, Demonetisation, digital payments

    The RBI points to very crucial chinks

    The latest annual report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is quite candid about its assessment of demonetisation. More cash has come back into the system than had been envisaged earlier. The pace of increase in digital payments has slowed down. And while the RBI does not mention it, the absurdity of having e-commerce…

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  • The actual employment potential

    The government is on the backfoot. It hasn’t created enough jobs. On the contrary, unemployment rates in India increased from 3.51 per cent in 2016 to 3.52 per cent in 2017. It averaged around 4.05 per cent from 1983 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 8.30 per cent in 1983 and a record…

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  • IMF on India's growth rate

    Banker, scamster and hidden hand make merry

    There is a sense of disquiet among India’s policy-watchers. Such anxieties were confirmed when they saw the data presented before the Lok Sabha on 3 August 2018 (see chart).  The government pointed out that in 2017-18 alone, there were 5,897 instances of bank-fraud that had come to light and were being investigated. Together, they involve…

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  • Rural incomes worse than previously imagined

    The latest Nabard survey on All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 — https://www.nabard.org/auth/writereaddata/tender/1608180417NABARD-Repo-16_Web_P.pdf — points to a bigger farm crisis than had been imagined earlier. Just take a look at the figures alongside.  They suggest that the average income from cultivation was just Rs 3,140 per household per month. This is pathetically low. What…

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  • A great vision for healthcare, if…

    The present government should soon announce (maybe on Independence Day)  the Ayushman Bharat—National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) which could make India have the world’s largest health insurance programme.  The scheme could also have a multiplier impact on allied sectors like pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical devices and the overall Indian economy by way of employment generation….

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  • New name, new logo, same old drive and values – Garware Technical Fibres

    Newly-rebranded Garware Technical Fibres, former Garware Wall Ropes that was established in 1976, has come a long way. The company takes pride in the manner in which it was set up by Padmashree Abasaheb Garware, grandfather of the present chairman and managing director Vayu Garware.  “He (Padmashree Abasaheb Garware)set up this company to cater to local…

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  • Promotion of corruption act is now in place

    Last week the government finally got the Parliament to clear the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act (PCAA). It appears to make the right sounds. It aims to provide good deterrents to prevent corruption. But read between the lines, and the laws appear to be aimed at protecting criminals by ensuring that evidence against them never…

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