Media is not merely the 4th pillar of democracy but also a watchdog towards the working of State, however politicization of media, sensationalization of news due to TRP race, numerous elections leading to media involved continuously in election mode leads to neglect of some core issues which are important for public purposes, information dissemination, discussion and debate.
The article covers some important economic news articles of 2017 which were not given enough coverage they deserved.
The government announced in the 2017-18 budget, its intention to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the fiscal year 2018. This is supposed to be a major reform to ensure ease of doing business, reduce rent-seeking, and bring transparency.
Then, the CSO and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) have shifted to 2011-12 as the base year from 2004-05 for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Wholesale Price Index (WPI) respectively. This was a much-needed reform to reduce the discrepancy between various figures measuring macroeconomic indicators of the nation. This will hopefully reduce silence of critics who have been complaining of GDP numbers being not in alignment with other indicators.
Further, to ensure course correction in ambitious Skill India scheme, the Sharada Prasad committee was formed, which said that Skill Centres are a ‘hotbed of crony capitalism’ that have tried to ‘extract maximum benefit from public funds’. The centre has reportedly taken action against such centres and more such actions is needed to ensure that such necessary scheme is successful in future.
Moreover, the Cabinet cleared the proposal to construct 10 indigenous pressurized heavy water nuclear reactors (PHWR) with each having a capacity of 7,00 MWe, to be built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). This is a much-needed move as they will more than double the country’s current installed nuclear capacity of 6,780 MWe and ensure energy security which is clean and efficient.
Likewise, the cabinet approved a coal linkage policy, called the “Scheme to Harness and Allocate Koyla Transparently in India (SHAKTI)”. It was a much needed transparent move to auction long-term coal linkages to power companies and reduce opacity & future Coalgate scandals.
Thereafter, for the first time in 11 years, in 2015-16 the combined fiscal deficit of India’s 29 States as a proportion of the size of their economies breached the 3% threshold recommended by the successive Finance Commission owing to loan waivers and UDAY bonds. This is a concern as fiscal deficit is a key indicator representing the fiscal stability of nation paving the way to investment, rating improvements, etc.
Additionally, India has joined the International Energy Agency as an associate member which would usher in technological improvements, better integration with global worldwide practices.
Further, India’s first international exchange – India INX at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT Gujarat International Financial Tech City was recently inaugurated in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017. India INX – a subsidiary of Bombay Stock Exchange is touted to be the world’s most advanced technology platforms having an order response time of four microseconds and will help in creating a global financial hub in India at Gandhinagar.