Editorial Simplified : 27th day of May 2016
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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Business Standard”]
Editorial : Less discretion
Time to review policy on single-brand retail restrictions
What is the news?
FIPB, has agreed to proposal of Apple Inc. to set up its own retail stores in the country — but has added the proviso that 30 per cent of the value of its sales should be sourced from the Indian market.
- had allowed up to 51 % FDI in single-brand retail few years ago, but inserted 30 per cent clause to placate local retailers who resisted opening up the sector to overseas entities.
- Clause was to be waived when the foreign company promises to bring in “cutting-edge” and “state-of-the-art” technology to India.
Case with apple inc.
- DIPP in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had told the FIPB that the condition on local sourcing could be set aside for the proposal from Apple Inc.
- FIPB is not convinced that what Apple Inc. wants to sell indeed represents cutting-edge and state-of-the-art technology.
Issues being raised
- This instance demonstrates that the condition for the waiver is subjective, which leads to bureaucratic or even political discretion.
- If the government is serious about improving the ease of doing business in India, such discretionary powers need to be removed.
- The solution is to drop the local sourcing clause in its entirety for all proposals of foreign investment in single-brand retail.
- That would deny FIPB any discretion in this matter and add to the cause of transparency.
- And, as far as Apple Inc. “making in India” is concerned, the matter cannot be forced. At the end of the day, it is a business decision that the company has to make, and the government should not force this decision by putting up hurdles for the company’s plans to retail its products in India.
- Its presence, and that of its competitors, will only add to the consumer’s choice, which should be encouraged.
By stipulating that such companies locally procure 30 per cent of what they sell, the government has gained little, but consumers have been hurt.
Editorial : Drug resistance crisis
India must end indiscriminate use of antibiotics
What is the news?
Since 2008, concerns have been growing globally about resistance against antibiotics in bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens .
What is the issue?
Unchecked growth of microbial resistance may lead to end of the antibiotics era without offering any effective substitute for these drugs.
Has there been any study regarding the same?
UK government-sponsored study concluded that incurable infections could sap $100 trillion from the world economy between now and 2050, apart from killing over 10 million people every year by then.
Has there been any such cases in India?
- India is home to several drug-resistant bugs which are spreading fast and have been noticed even in the operation theatres and intensive care units (ICUs) of several hospitals.
- Country, has distinction of having the first-ever scientifically proven discovery of drug-tolerant bug being NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1).
- Chances of the spread of such microbes are higher in India as people are inclined to self-medicate with antibiotics for minor infections.
- Doctors too tend to prescribe these drugs even in cases where these are not indicated.
Strategies already in action to combat this meance
- Europe is increasing awareness among public and health care workers to ensure rational use of antibiotics.
- India had formulated a policy to rein in antimicrobial resistance in 2011
- Instructions went out under this policy to stop over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and to bar doctors from suggesting more potent antibiotics than are indicated by the disease
What further measures can be taken?
- Improvement in sanitation
- India’s Swachh Bharat campaign is aimed broadly at achieving this objective, it falls short when it comes to laying adequate emphasis on personal hygiene, like washing of hands before eating — critical to prevent the spread of infection.
- Higher investments in R&D..
- Surveillance network to monitor the use of antibiotics and the growth of resilience among microbes.
- Objective of all anti-drug resistance moves has to be to restrict the use of antibiotics by curbing the tendency to consume them even when other choices are available.
[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]
Editorial : Express Edit: Waiting to take off
Central govt has completed two years in office.
Economy re energized
- Coal and telecom spectrum auctions were made transparent and the persistent backlog in environment clearances done away
- Government took a leap forward in fiscal federalism by accepting the Finance Commission’s recommendations to part with a larger (42 per cent) share of taxes with states and lend them flexibility in spending based on their priorities and unique needs.
- Government embarked on a big public expenditure programmer in key infrastructure sectors such as roads, highways and railways.
Consumption led growth
Consumption accounts for 55 per cent of the economy, and will continue to be the mainstay given the country’s demographics.
- Government expenditure — both at the Centre and in the states — can stretch only so much, constrained as they are by commitments to meet deficit targets.
- FDI inflows have been good, but for the recovery to be meaningful and sustainable, it is imperative that private investment picks up pace.
- It is time for the government to reflect on why all the “ease of doing business” and Make in India programmes, MUDRA, Start-Up India action plan and Stand-Up India schemes are not resulting in a critical mass of activity for the economy.
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