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Best of BS Opinion: Read slowdown signals, don't fix onion prices

A government cannot make markets, and when it tries to control how they move, it almost always makes things worse

Pallav Nayak 

Quick fixes won't solve growth problem

The risk in failing to foresee that the economy was slowing down; the futility of the government trying to fix markets, and the fight in the Indian telecom industry. Pallav Nayak sums up the views.

It is worrying that the Indian policy establishment failed to foresee the sharp slowdown in the economy. The last Budget should have acknowledged the slowdown, as the economy has been losing momentum for several quarters. The disadvantage of not being able to read lead indicators is that it makes policy-making reactive, says our first edit.

The growing indebtedness of the Food Corporation of India is the consequence of recurrent under-budgeting of food subsidy, excessive stockholding and flawed grain procurement and distribution policies. The government appears to have realised that it has to revamp the food management system, but how far it is willing to go is yet to be seen, says our second edit.

This week's India Mobile Congress brought out the bitter differences within the industry.

What took centre stage was how tariffs must go up to improve the health of the sector and why interconnection usage charge (IUC) was an outdated concept, writes Nivedita Mookerji.

The uproar over is an example of looking up to the government for solutions when the right action will be to do nothing. A government cannot make markets, and when it tries to control how they move, it almost always makes things worse, writes Naushad Forbes.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"…I have no reason to doubt that (Raghuram) Rajan feels for every word of what he is saying. And I'm here today, giving him his due respect, but also placing the fact before you that Indian public sector banks did not have a worst phase than when the combination of (Manmohan) Singh and Rajan, as Prime Minister and the Governor of Reserve Bank, had. At that time, none of us knew about it."

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

First Published: Thu, October 17 2019. 06:56 IST
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