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...Economists and the media routinely criticise governments for lacking far-sightedness and attribute this myopia to the compulsion to eke out quick political gains. Decisions are routinely described and dismissed as ‘political’ since they avoid short term costs and give the future short shrift. Thus it is somewhat ironic that the same critics have given demonetisation, undoubtedly a ‘reform’ in the textbook sense of the word, just 12 months to prove its mettle. Its first anniversary has seen a raft of opinion of how quite definitively it has failed to do any trick. In fact, some have been less patient. Quarterly capitalism, a phrase coined by Hillary Clinton to describe how fund managers are gauged, took on a new meaning altogether when DeMo bashers pounced on the April-June 2017 quarter’s dismal GDP growth to wag their fingers and accuse note-bandi of economic homicide. ...TOI on Nov. 10, 2017, 2 a.m.
...Before we get too carried away, however, here’s a quick reality check. We won’t see a new set of tax rates tomorrow or even in the next three months. This is merely the beginning of a long journey that would culminate (by passing another set of bills) in the actual choice of a single tax rate. It’s unlikely to be a smooth journey. The easiest part would be to clear the new amendments to the bill in the Lok Sabha, but then comes the more arduous process of getting it passed by at least 15 of the 31 state legislatures. This might entail another set of negotiations and bargaining. AIADMK, to take an example, is clearly not happy with the very idea of constitutional amendment and the fate of the bill in the Tamil Nadu legislature hangs in balance. There could be problems in Maharashtra. One can think of other pockets of possible turbulence. These will be have to be navigated carefully. ...TOI on Aug. 5, 2016, 2 a.m.