Budget didn’t give in to bad Covid cess idea, good it left taxes untouched

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should be commended for leaving taxes untouched and not succumbing to the bad idea of a Covid cess. Corporate India should now put its mouth where the money is and step up investment. Growth – and not redistribution of wealth – is the solution to India’s economic crisis.

Budget’s cash-for-clunkers idea to scrap old vehicles is a good start

The Budget idea of incentivising people to scrap vehicles older than 15/20 years is good for the environment, economy, consumer and for curtailing oil imports. The inspiration is the old American idea of cash-for-clunkers. It’s good that what surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari evangelised for years is now being implemented.

Budget 2021 least povertarian, with big push for post-Covid growth

Budget 2021 is a big push for growth after pandemic-driven slowdown. It’s the least povertarian since 1997-98, with impressive reform promises, especially on privatisation of PSU banks and higher FDI in insurance. But FM Sitharaman could have avoided protectionist push of higher tariffs. Indian industry needs and deserves competition.

Myanmar coup is worrying — as is China support to junta

The coup in Myanmar is a terrible setback for a country that had just begun emerging from decades of military rule. Even the so-called democratic phase wasn’t perfect. Aung San Suu Kyi’s placation of the military hasn’t spared her either. China’s support to the junta is worrying, destabilises the region.