Best of BS Opinion: GST's high point, clarity on bitcoin, and more

The goods and services tax (GST) collection reached a record Rs 1.15 trillion in December, the third consecutive month of collections in excess of Rs 1 trillion. The government is inclined to project this performance as a potent sign of economic recovery. This is misleading. A festive season bump, payment backlogs from previous years and improved compliance via the extension of compulsory e-invoicing have all contributed to the December surge. It is a pointer, perhaps, to the need to stick with more compliance-enhancing procedural reforms, the top edit suggests here.

 
Here is a round-up of other views on the opinion page today.

 
Behind the somewhat boilerplate pronouncements from the recent annual Central Economic Work Conference of the Chinese Communist Party are clear indications of what the country’s leadership sees as strengths and vulnerabilities in the new year and beyond. More than anything, these priorities underline why India finds itself on the margins of the Asian economic space, writes Shyam SaranRead it here

 
A few entries in the energy and climate calendar for 2021 give reason for optimism, even though the shadow of Covid-19 remains. Vandana Gombar outlines the main events. Read it here

 
Since January 2020, bitcoin has gone up by over 300 per cent, while Ethereum is up 650 per cent but there is no clarity on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in India. The second edit explains why we urgently need one. Read it here

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“If my firm had done a vaccine trial like AstraZeneca’s, the Indian regulator would have shut down the company”

Krishna Ella, chairman and MD, Bharat Biotech



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