Daily News Tadka – 23.02.2016

PBs twisty take on the top five headlines of the day.

1. Railways may get big push – Innovative ideas to raise revenues need of the hour!

Suresh Prabhu has a big task ahead of tomorrow’s budget. Challenge is to improve its financial health without increasing passenger / freight fares. There is a talk of innovative ideas. Few suggestions:
(i) Allow lease of stations to corporates, states to be renamed and all maintenance to be provided by corporate for a up-front fee
(ii) Reduce ticket less travel, regulate entry and exit points at stations like in Delhi Metro
(iii) Regulate entry and exit in passenger coaches thru smart tickets

2. Budget 2016 – Jaitley under pressure to deliver!

Jaitley is under pressure to deliver in this Budget. Few people already questioning whether he is the right man for the job. Global economic slowdown has impacted our corporates’ profitability and in turn direct tax collection as well as exports. Rupee is testing all time lows. He has been lucky that crude oil prices are low. This has led to lower trade deficit and has made up for low exports. He has managed the fiscal deficit targets by not passing the benefits of low crude prices to customers and raising indirect taxes. Everybody is hooked up what he has in store this time.

3. PNB declares 900 cos wilful defaulters; owe Rs 11Kcr – Good start, now act to recover!

Better late than never. This is a good move. Apart from proceeding legally against the borrowers, the bank should also move the Chambers of Commerce to bring pressure on these borrowers to behave in a disciplined manner when they deal with banks and borrow funds belonging to depositors. Read my related post Is bad loan waiver another 2G scam?

4. Rahul demands law for students’ protection Shows immaturity and his lack of knowledge of our constitution

There can be no separate law for any group or section of society. The Constitution of India provides protection to all the citizens of India against unjust action against them. The Courts are there to ensure that no injustice is done to anybody in this respect. Rahul playing petty politics! JP’s student movement in Bihar and Gujarat’s student agitation ultimately led to Indira’s downfall in 1977. is Rahul thinking of mobilizing students for throwing out Modi in 2019. Should remember that it is just JNU / Hyderabad and a few university students supporting. So its not a pan India student or a pan state student movement yet!

5. Bassi changes stand on Kanhaiya’s bail – Man has lost it?

Bassi’s flip flop continues. Now police will oppose his bail due to change “circumstances”. Fine. If Kanhaiyya Kumar is innocent, I am sure our courts will free him. The fact that he has been in custody for few days shows that there is a case against him. Now his supporters will even criticise courts!

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