Indian Constitution and Polity: PMLA will need more changes(The Hindu) India will have to make money laundering an explicitly standalone offence to upgrade its compliance ahead of the on-site mutual evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is due in November-December 2020. Mandate and allocations(The Hindu Opinion) It is not without reason that the presidential terms of reference (ToR) of the Fifteenth Finance Commission have raised questions, and the recent conclave of Finance Ministers of the southern States to discuss contentious issues in the ToR is only the beginning. In the months ahead more debate on this is likely.
Economy: What demonetisation did to tax collections(The Hindu) The argument about whether demonetisation was good or bad for the economy refuses to die down even a year after the event. Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan took potshots at it in a recent speech. ‘Robust exports can help India grow at 8%’(The Hindu) India can achieve more than 8% growth rate in a sustained manner if it takes steps to revive investments and make exports competitive, said Asian Development Bank Economist Abhijit Sen Gupta. Modi’s visit could see pacts on migrants, Ayurveda centre(The Hindu) The Commonwealth Business Forum, which will bring together business leaders and political figures from across the Commonwealth, would explore ways of raising intra-Commonwealth trade from around $525 billion in 2015 to around $700 billion by 2020, alongside looking at some of the contemporary challenges and opportunities around technology, skills, and protectionism. ‘NPAs, high debt level to ebb in 6-9 months’(The Hindu) Twin balance sheet problem refers to the stress on balance sheets of banks due to non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans on the one hand, and heavily indebted corporates on the other. “Our own assessment is that it would take another six to nine months before the banks see revival of confidence to lend afresh as they would then see reasonable amount of their NPAs get unlocked through a resolution. Government policies and programmes: Reimagining governance (The Hindu Opinion) The 115 Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is radical not because this is the first time that a government in India has focussed on India’s most backward districts but because the exercise envisages a serious re-imagination of government and governance, and deepens cooperative federalism.