Best of BS Opinion: Reality in J&K, breaking down companies, and more

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Some 15,000 workers, mostly under the casual category, are out of work as auto-majors, from Tata Motors to Ashok Leyland and Hero Motocorp cut production in response to slowing demand. But Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declined to provide a timeline for a policy response. Meanwhile, defence minister Rajnath Singh suggested that India could jettison the long-standing ‘No First Use’ pledge on nuclear weapons depending on “circumstances”. With Pakistan clearly restive over the constitutional readjustments to Jammu & Kashmir’s status, a loosening of that commitment could have serious consequences. Meanwhile, columnists on the opinion pages focus on the economy, J&K, Brexit and the extension of state power into the corporate sphere. Kanika Datta sums up the views

Services exports have almost caught up with merchandise exports, presaging a tipping point in the economy but the focus on Make in India and poor negotiating strategy in global trade talks suggests that India may not be prepared for this, says T N Ninan. Read it here

Modi has broken the post-Simla status quo on Kashmir, says Shekhar Gupta, and the new reality has to be accepted to move on from its complex and complicated past. Read it here

T C A Srinivasa Raghavan argues that disagreements over Jammu & Kashmir’s status are polarised between the fundamentalism of the religious and constitutional “nutcases”. Read it here

From CSR to Brexit to the controversy over protesting employees in Cathay Pacific, state power in the corporate sector is on the rise, says Mihir Sharma here

Brexit has thrown Britain in limbo for three years and most MPs don't really want it. Why can’t the Queen use her royal prerogative to salvage matters? Sunanda K Datta-Ray explains the constitutional nuances. Read it here

It is not the right time to talk about any roadmap or stimulus package because discussions are still on in the (finance) ministry and PMO. When we are ready to reveal anything we will do so’
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman