Best of BS Opinion: Why the govt must step in to help telecom companies

Our edits and columns explain the danger in rejecting data that doesn’t help government narrative; the need to help struggling telecom companies, and why India should join the RCEP. 

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea raising doubts over their future because of huge losses, piling debt and pending AGR dues means that the government has to step in fast. The road ahead for the telecom industry hinges on a potential relief from the government, says our first edit.

The government’s decision to scrap the National Statistical Office's (NSO) consumer expenditure survey—the findings of which Business Standard published—because of “data quality issues” is troubling. Withholding data and rejecting official survey results damages the credibility of India’s statistical system, says our second edit.

India’s problem is not that the monetary policy rate is too high, but that it has not filtered through into most of the economy. The solution does not lie in government fiat, in orders to financial firms to change interest rates in certain ways, writes Ajay Shah. 

India must rethink its decision not to join the RCEP, the Asean-centred regional trade agreement. Foregoing the opportunity to participate in the agreement may make the case for establishing our relevance in the Asean-centric strategic construct difficult, writes Amita Batra.

"I don't have any knowledge about the near term, but I'd say over the next decade, there's potential for very rapid growth, which will lift people out of poverty and allow the government to invest in health and education priorities in a really exciting way."

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates on India’s economy

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