Indian government looking to revive economy through consistent and lower taxes
The Indian government is aiming to create a system of taxes where the rates stay low for a considerable amount of time and trying to use it as an important tool with which to revive the economy. It is also expected that with a better tax regime it shall be able to gain the trust of investors once again. In recent times the country, once regarded as an economic powerhouse in south Asia, had been facing a tough time of it with the tax system and this had a negative effect on its economy and also how the investors saw India as a possible destination.
In the last couple of years, the Indian government has found it very hard to generate a decent amount of revenue from taxes because of issues in the economic system, not least it sluggish nature. In fact, with regards to sovereign credit rating, it had been assigned a junk status and this meant that the UPA regime had no way out but to amass taxes from the business enterprises in an aggressive way. This resulted in an increase in collections but the margin was rather insignificant. The amount that got tied up in tax related cases and disputes amounted to 66.6 trillion dollars and this made the corporate investors wary of putting their money in the country, thus affecting the economy at large.
Government continues to deny Congress the position of opposition leader
Even though Congress is the most important political opponent of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha, it continues to be bereft of such a position in the lower house of Indian parliament. The main reason being given in this case is that it does not have the strength necessary to command the position. This information has been provided to Sumitra Mahajan, the speaker of Lok Sabha, by Mukul Rohatgi, the attorney general of India. As per the Constitution of India, at least 10% seats are needed in order to be deemed as the leader of opposition in a house of the parliament and Congress does not have that by virtue of having won 44 seats in the recently concluded assembly elections.
One feels that the bitter relations between BJP and Congress could mean that this is used as an excuse by the ruling party to deny its predecessors a shot at being the leader of opposition in the lower house of the parliament. In fact, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who happens to be a spokesman of BJP, has welcomed the way Mahajan has consulted the attorney general, who is regarded as the most supreme advisor to the government on constitutional matters, in this instance.
India reiterates its stance on food subsidies in WTO deal
India has been facing significant pressure from the developed countries for providing its agreement to what is being billed as a landmark deal by the WTO. As per the concerned deal, the customs rules are supposed to be made more convenient and the area of food subsidy, a major area of concern for the Indian government, will be neglected. The developed countries are of the opinion that if this deal is not executed then it shall have a debilitating effect on trade reforms that could happen around the world.
The trade ministers from various countries of the world had recently congregated at Bali and carried out some good work on behalf of the WTO. If India does not provide its consent to the said deal there is a good chance that this good work will be undone. Anjali Prasad, the Indian ambassador to the WTO, has stated that it is not right to sacrifice the issue of food security for millions of people just because of some problems in the rules and so, further decision on the same should be held back till a proper solution can be arrived at.
US concerned with relations between India and Russia
India is one of the few nations that have good relations with several countries that are at loggerheads in international politics. For example, it has decent ties with Iran, which is opposed by several powerful nations of the western hemisphere for its nuclear policy and arsenal. It is also on good terms with Russia, which according to the US, is indulging in violence in Ukraine. Important officials from the US have been in contact with India owing to the close ties between the two countries and have expressed their concern over the same.
Neha Desai Biswal, who is the US assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia, has stated that the discussions represent an effort to inform India of how it views its relations with Russia and what can be the effects of the same. She has said that in the next few days the US will keep on discussing these issues with India. There is a feeling among legislators in the US that India has approved of the steps taken by Russia in Crimea and accorded legitimacy to the same. One feels that in the days to come this could have a detrimental effect on the relations shared by India and the US.
UK aiming to improve energy partnership with India
UK is looking to improve its partnership with India in the domain of energy resources. Edward Davey, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, has also stated that India has in it to essay a crucial role when it comes to dealing with climate change related problems that can have a global impact. The UK expects that consolidation and fortification of its energy ties with India will enable the energy sector to become a prosperous and secure one.
As has been rightly said by Davey there is a requirement to take head on the various issues that are leading to unwanted changes in the planet’s ecosystem considering the fact that these changes are threatening the very existence of the planet in the long term. India and UK have collaborated in top quality research in this domain and the estimated aggregate worth of these joint ventures is in excess of 150 million pounds. As of now, there are at least 30 projects that are dealing with sustainable energy as well as climate change.