Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Saturday, May 12, 2001





Case for revision of economic policies
THERE is an impression that the present Government has sharply deviated from the policy stance it had identified for itself when it assumed power. One view is that the stance was for public consumption, and that there was a hidden agenda. But this view m ust be rejected as economic policies are quite transparent and tend to have predictable consequences.

Grand gesture, but...
THE STYLE, IF not the substance, of the grand liberal gesture of the Vajpayee Government to permit foreign direct investment in every sector, including Defence (up to 26 per cent), should confirm its liberal credentials. Over the last few years, FDI infl ows have trailed foreign institutional investments by a wide margin as foreign majors have little liking for the roundabout ways of doing business vis-a-vis the former.

Right (not) to vote
AN OLD acquaintance did not cast his vote in the recently-held State Assembly elections in West Bengal -- and by doing so kicked off a debate in the family on whether a citizen of the Indian Republic is `obliged' to exercise his franchise, thereby unders coring the point that the franchise is not an expendable luxury. In fact, this is an old debate, perhaps as old as the Constitution itself.

Energy crisis in US -- Aggressive new policy on anvil
AS THE first Power Commissioner of West Bengal during the period of daily power cuts of six hours or more in the late 1960s, and having been the chairman-cum managing director of three major power generation and distribution corporations in the public se ctor and a former member of the Government of India's Expert Group on Energy in the 1970s and 1980s, I thought I was sufficiently inured to crisis situations in the energy sector. But no.

WHAT is `autocratic manner'? CEGAT, Bangalore, had to consider this question when dealing with the Rajashree Cement case. The issue related to availing of Modvat credit; the Department was of the view that the company had taken excess credit. The company responded that the credit was not utilised; and, subsequently, it reversed the credit before the Department slapped it with a show-cause notice.

Abolition of Sec. 230A, I-T Act
ABOLITION of Section 230A of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 and thereby doing away with the requirement of a clearance certificate, while transferring an immovable property (if valued at more than Rs 5 lakh at the time of transfer), involve more practical dime nsions than those appreciated and identified hitherto by all.

Stripping and washing
S. Murlidharan on the Finance Bill proposals to curb asset-stripping tendencies

Settlement Commission: Benefits and barriers
As the Settlement Commission enters its twenty-fifth year, S. N. L. Agarwala looks at its relevance and limitations

Squeezing substance out of procedure
The recent amendments to income tax law seek to make procedures less cumbersome. T. C. A. Ramanujam elaborates.

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