Monday, May 29, 2017
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Nation's Road Costs
Highway toll superfluous
By Shivaji Sarkar
India is almost ready to implement a unified indirect tax, GST. While there is no denying that businesses are likely to benefit there is need for many more steps to create one market. At the same time, growth will spur as many other taxes and tolls need to be re-jigged. The nation has also to think of ending many other levies, which not only add to inflation but also impede progress. It needs to do away with income-tax, profession tax that many States levy, have a relook at highway toll and municipal tolls. These are not only inflationary, but reduce the individual's capacity to purchase (spend) that impacts overall growth of the country. It is said more the levies, more the corrupt practices and other indirect costs on business and individuals. While many would still argue for I-T, it ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Political Diary
Three Years of NaMo
Vishwash hai, vikas kab?
By Poonam I Kaushish
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance battle them with bull. A truism which comes to mind as the Modi Sarkar rolls out its three-year report card nee facts, figures, data and statistics, no matter statistics are unreliable facts from reliable figures. Sure, Prime Minister can overwhelm with his speaking skills continuing to ride the wings of glory and fame for a new order of aache din. Certainly, he has saturated airwaves, social and digital media with his relentless onslaught of ushering in change asserting that "people have become active partners in governance as there is mutual trust between the Government and the people." Sic. Unquestionably, everyone laps up every word bespoken by him. Yet when one draws up the balance-sheet of his Government, can the Prime Minister brush under ...
Kashmir Times News Report
'Buy India' - a new initiative to boost make in India
Modi's flagship project has failed to make impact
By Subrata Majumder
In presenting three years' report card of NDA government (Times of India, dated May 17) NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagarya was euphoric on Modi's dynamic challenges to reinvigorate the economy. But, he was suspiciously silent on Make in India- the flagship project of Modi's new India vision. Presenting successes in coping with the challenges to decision making paralysis, slow progress of infrastructure projects, decimating corruption and ensuring no return of retrospective tax terrorism, Dr. Panagarya endeavored to paint a success story of the Modi government. But nowhere did Make in India figure. Has Make in India failed to achieve the goal? If statistics is the true reflection, Make in India failed to make any headway in the country's manufacturing growth, which continued to be ...
Kashmir Times News Report
New Silk Road
China's global ambition
By Dr.S.Saraswathi
China is trying to assume leadership of globalization by taking big initiatives involving many countries in different continents on huge never heard of expenditure. Whereby, Chinese President Xi Jinxing has emerged as the champion of global free trade in his keynote address at the first Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation held in Beijing recently. The Forum was attended by 29 leaders and over 100 delegations worldwide where India's absence made global news. Among the participants were UN Secretary General, IMF Chief, World Bank President signifying the international importance of the event. The US too seemed to be impressed by this extraordinary initiative by China and is watching its progress. Notably, the BRF represents the New Silk Route connecting Far Eastern an...
Kashmir Times News Report
We must succeed in prohibiting nuclear weapons
By Sergio Duarte
For the first time since the foundation of the United Nations the majority of the international community seems prepared to take a bold and fundamental step leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons. On 27 December 2016 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 71/258 convening a Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination. - It is befitting to recall a similar effort undertaken in 1946 when the first Session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish a Commission to "deal with the problems raised by the discovery of nuclear energy and other related matters", and to present proposals "for the elimination of atomic weapons from national armaments". However, due to rivalry and m...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi's growth strategy bypasses the poor
Little impact on job generation in three years
By Kamal Nayan Kabra
It seems the post-2014 NDA government is behaving as though it were perennially in an election mode. In one sense, this might reflect heightened consciousness about ultimate democratic accountability. Also that elections have to be a highly managed affair and the parties as election machines have to remain constantly on their toes. This might impact either the nature and thrust of the policies or might focus primarily on their popular projection by means of packaging and marketing. After all, the rulers want people to view their policies in a friendly colour, whatever the field outcomes. Building long term grassroots level capabilities and the resulting popular policies do not seem to be greatly consistent with India's over a quarter century old active neo-liberal dispensation inherited...
Kashmir Times News Report
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY
Indian national carrier heading for closure
By Brij Bhardwaj
Cries for privatisation of Air India, national carrier are becoming louder every day. Is it a part of campaign to prepare the ground before Government takes the ultimate step to hand over the national carrier to the highest bidder. This will be a sad end of an organisation which at one time had the top ranking among the airlines for quality of its service on board as well as for punctuality. The unfortunate part is that all those responsible for killing the hen which laid golden eggs will never be identified or punished. Let us not forget that Air India was operating wide bodied Jet planes even before countries like Japan inducted them. It was also a carrier with ability to service these planes before such facilities were set up in Singapore and Hong Kong. Its entry into markets like US...
Kashmir Times News Report
After three years, Modi's plate is half-full
Hawks in BJP set to queer his pitch
By Amulya Ganguli
There are probably two reasons why Narendra Modi is said to have sounded his party's chief ministers about bringing the general election forward. One is that his confidence level is so high that he does not want to wait for another two years before cashing in on his present political bull run. The other is that notwithstanding his recent successes in U.P. and in a large number of municipal elections, the prime minister is too politically astute not to realize the fortuitous nature of some of his victories in the state elections and also note the setbacks suffered by BJP. To start with the first, even a political novice could have anticipated the BJP's runaway success in Uttar Pradesh in view of the fratricidal strife in the former ruling Samajwadi Party between father and son and uncle ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Arvind Kejriwal has to focus on governance
Despite few failures, country needs AAP
By Harihar Swarup
One wonders if Aam Admi Party is heading towards liquidation? The party, which came to power in Delhi with a bang, has been scattering. Is APP supremo and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who sore by clean politics, really corrupt or false charges have been made against him? Charges are made by those who were removed by Kejriwal from the ministry or suspended from the party on charges of poor performance and corruption. Former minister, Kapil Mishra has alleged that CM had accepted Rs. 2 crore from Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain in his presence. After Mishra was suspended from the party, he leveled fresh charges, alleging that a Rs. 50 crore land deed had been arranged for the family of Kejriwal's brother-in-law. Before and after its poor performance in recent elections, APP has been riven...
Kashmir Times News Report
Column
Principled Realism
By Gwynne Dyer
The media mostly missed it (or chose to ignore it as a piece of meaningless rhetoric), but Donald Trump proclaimed a new doctrine in his speech to the assembled leaders of the Muslim world in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. It goes by the name of Principled Realism, although it didn't offer much by way of either principles or realism. In practice, it mostly boiled down to a declaration of (proxy) war against Iran. After rambling on for twenty minutes about the wonders of Islam and the evils of "extremism" and "terrorism", Trump finally got to the point: "No discussion of stamping out this (terrorist) threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists...safe harbour, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment....I am speaking, of course, of Ira...
Kashmir Times News Report
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Lack of initiative in Kashmir
By Humra Quraishi
Why this hurry to award Major Leetul Gogoi with a commendation certificate? After all, an FIR has been lodged against him and an investigation is supposedly on, to investigate whether what he did on that April 9 morning was justifiable or even ethical - after all, what Major Gogoi did was something so terribly horrifying - typing a hapless civilian to a military jeep. Yes, Major Gogoi used Farooq Ahmed Dar as a human shield, dragging him for almost 28 kilometres before dumping him! Today, Dar sits emotionally and physically bruised; relaying his hurt in these words. 'Am I an animal to be tied to a jeep and dragged on …that day has changed my life! Major Gogoi is lying by saying I was pelting stones. If I was pelting stones I wouldn't have gone to cast my vote! Why hasn't the police or the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Opposition parties challenge to BJP remains elusive
By Lalit Sethi
Are the Opposition parties already thinking of presenting a challenge to the ruling BJP or National Democratic Alliance by joining hands for the 2019 General Election? Are they counting on the factor of incumbency to be more pronounced in two years from now after Mr. Modi's and Mr. Amit Shah's landslide victory in the U.P. Assembly elections in April? Do the Opposition parties believe that the fall-out of several policies and actions of the ruling dispensation would then be more visible than now? What are these? Are these last year's demonetization and job losses and closure of small industries, continuing suicides by farmers, difficulty in writing off farmers' bank loans even in Uttar Pradesh, impact of non-performing assets on public sector banks, cow vigilantes' antics and crimes aga...
Kashmir Times News Report
Can Modi popularity alone help BJP to win elections
By Satish Misra
After being in power at the Centre for three years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political fortune is smiling at him and he continues to enjoy people's confidence. Media surveys are unanimously pronouncing that the Prime Minister's popularity is high and he continues to remain the main USP of the BJP in times to come. If survey's assessment also conform to the existing ground realities and hard data is yet another dimension of the entire narrative of three years of the NDA rule. Modi has undoubtedly won the perceptional battle though the country at large continues to battle basic problems or central issues of unemployment, poverty, bad governance, corruption and agriculture crisis. With Modi being the vote getter and BJP president Amit Shah being the master electoral craftsman, the BJ...
Kashmir Times News Report
CBI in hi-profile political corruption cases
Agency's probes are loud on sound, low in substance
By Nantoo Banerjee
Time and again, ruling political parties at the centre have used the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to expose economic offences and corruption by chosen hi-profile members of political opposition and their associates more to make political gains than for any genuine desire to fight corruption. It seems the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not want to be seen as a laggard in this regard. In fact, CBI raids have been back with a bang and vengeance. Regional opposition parties, running state governments and having good presence in both houses of Parliament, were the first targets. For instance, at least two ool Congress MPs, including the TMC parliamentary party's Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, have been under CBI custody for months in a chit fund case. CBI is making l...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir's deepening chaos and way forward
By Aleem Baig
Umer Fayaz, a 22 year old Lieutenant in Indian Army, was killed in cold blood and nothing in this world can bring him back. Is there anything that can justify this act by any means, the answer is no, it cannot be justified. Kashmir has for long been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Both are fighting each other since 1947 and the real cause of the conflict between the two nations lies within the state. Besides being the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute, according to CIA world fact book 2016 both the countries claim to speak for the rights of the people. Within Kashmir there has been opposition to Armed Forces Special Powers Act and protests against human rights violations. This has been going on for years but why is Kashmir situation becoming deadl...
Kashmir Times News Report
DEAD-END
This mobile fear!
By S Mukhtar
"Uncle, Uncle…" "Yes. Yes." "I am dying. Help." "Dear, no, fine you are. But what is the matter, why nervous?" "My best friend is dying…by sudden lightning striking through his mobile phone." "Dear, don't weep, no worry, die he won't by lightning striking so…he will be alright." "Uncle, all say a fierce lightning attacked via his mobile and God save him…and what you say?" "Patience please; no lightning strikes through mobiles off or on." "What?" "Dear, it is all interesting. Listen please. An internet hoax, many years ago, raised the myth that mobile phones attract lightning. Too many similar myths about lightning have been evolved and propagated without any proper investigation. And then a 2006 report in the British Medical Journal claimed that Australian Lightning Pr...
Kashmir Times News Report
RBI proposal on specialised banks makes sense
Highly skilled professionals are needed for the task
By Anjan Roy
The Reserve Bank is quietly launching a major restoration work, it appears. RBI has released a discussion paper on wholesale and long term banks which proposes to set up the eponymous new financial institutions. This is in effect bringing back to life the defunct structure of development finance institutions which we had before. The Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI), Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) and the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) were the three principal DFIs which had served the country in the early years of industrialisation. As the financial system evolved and still later with the emergence of universal banking, two of the more active DFIs converted themselves into retail banks and they are now familiar names in India's...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir: Hard choices only
By Pervez Hoodbhoy
I RECENTLY received an extraordinary email from a troubled young Kashmiri in Srinagar. Days before the Indian authorities turned off the internet, Saif (not his real name) had watched on YouTube the 45-minute video documentary Crossing the Lines - Kashmir, Pakistan, India that I had helped make in 2004 and mostly agreed with its non-partisan narrative. A nationalist boy turned stone thrower, Saif is outraged by the brutality of Indian occupation. He is fortunate, he says. His 14-year-old second cousin lost his left eye to pellets. Saif continues to fight India but is worried. Protesters of his father's generation were largely nationalist, but today's are a mixed bunch. IS and Pakistani flags are often unfurled after Friday prayers, azadi demonstrations resound with calls for an Islamic ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi's target
By A.G. Noorani
EVER since the Jan Sangh was set up in 1951, one of its main aims was to wipe out Muslim law and enforce a uniform civil code. After its reincarnation in 1980 as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this demand became one of its emblems. Once he became prime minister, Narendra Modi made Muslim personal law embodied in the Sharia a target of his campaign. He picked on the one feature that many Muslims themselves were moving towards reforming because they saw it as contrary to religious injunctions- the triple talaq. His concern for Muslim women's welfare was not very evident when, as Gujarat's chief minister in 2002, they were raped and murdered on his watch. Now he and his henchmen are posing as their liberators. Last year, Modi said, "Getting Muslim women their rights as per the constitu...
Kashmir Times News Report
China Pakistan Economic Corridor to hurt India on sovereignty issues
By TN Ashok
The recent diplomatic faux by China in withdrawing its ambassador Lou Zhaohui's statement on the controversial China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is actually symptomatic of a larger geo political malaise on China's ambitious $46 billion One Belt One Road (OBOR) project involving construction of highways, economic zones, railways networks etc. China's ambassador Luo Zhaohui had told a strategic affairs think tank meeting in New Delhi that his country was ready to rename the China Pakistan Economic Corridor as a pre- condition for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the One Belt , One Road crucial meeting at Beijing on May 14 -15 this year. China wanted to placate India on its reservations on the project even though External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj did not have any objec...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hindutva: The "Opium" of the people!
By Mohammad Ashraf
The ultimate goal of every religion is to explain the purpose of human existence to make it meaningful. Without religion a human being is just like any other animal. Every religion believes in an ultimate being, who is the creator, the sustainer and the retirbutor. Without belief in religion, life becomes meaningless. Just an animal existence without any purpose or goal. However, every religion also teaches the equality of all human beings before the ultimate Being. Unfortunately, the material greed and lust for power to rule over human beings totally distorts the sublime religious beliefs. It becomes a tool in the hands of the few rich to keep under millions of the teeming poor. This distorted use of religion had been explained by the great philosopher Karl Marx, the author of Das Kapit...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indian airlines losing space at home and abroad
Foreign carriers controlling passenger traffic
By Nantoo Banerjee
Every major international airline from almost every part of the world wants to expand operation in India, The country is witnessing the world's biggest air traffic growth at over 23 per cent since the end of 2015. In January, this year, the domestic air traffic grew to an all-time record of 25 per cent. Some of the Gulf countries are even lobbying with the government for permission to operate on India's domestic space making such unusual demand as allowing operational rights in highly security sensitive north eastern parts of the country. Unfortunately, airlines from India are struck with limited routes and limited passenger ferries to and fro the country. And, the domestic air traffic business is being increasingly cornered by foreign-linked airlines operating in and out of India on the ...
Kashmir Times News Report
 
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