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As India celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, the roadmap for the next phase of growth is of prime importance and much interest across the spectrum. While the details are being debated upon, the three focus areas of greater details on the financing of new investments, efficient allocation of government funds and innovative steps around the privatisation of government assets deserve increased attention.
Greater clarity must emerge around the actual financing path of the large-scale investments that the government plans to undertake to boost investor sentiment. For instance, the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan” on the creation of water assets in India is a well-thought-out and vital idea. As various estimates will emerge in regarding the total investment required, concurrently more significant details must start appearing about how exactly the multiple components such as access to piped water, river linking and water conservation projects of the much-required and ambitious water projects will be delivered.
Financial details, as discussed above, are essential since not all projects will have financial viability utilising project generated cashflows, and perhaps certain large projects will have significant economic value with no cashflows at all. Therefore, a clear roadmap that lays out the financing plan in terms of investments, revenue generation and sources of financing is vital. As more important details regarding the sources, utilisation and timelines emerge regarding the large-scale infrastructure projects, investor sentiment will get a significant boost. A gradual but detailed delineation of the financing path will both provide related sectors with a good idea of the capital inflow
and more importantly allow investors to brace themselves for imminent opportunities.
As the clarion call for higher government spending, tax-cuts and rebates picks up momentum to boost the economy, the efficiency in the financial management of government resources deserves more attention. True, that asset monetisation, greater tax compliance, and privatisation are all essential elements of the investment scenario, better efficiency in utilising available government funds is as important. For instance, of the funds collected through the coal cess, amounting to RS 86,440 crore between 2010 and 2018, approximately Rs 29,645 crore has been transferred to the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) and the rest is sadly idling.
As per GST law implemented in 2017, the coal cess is to be utilised for compensating states for revenue loss. Now a well-thought-out policy is needed to balance out both the requirements that are of importance. While some stakeholders have strongly advocated the utilisation of coal cess only for financing a clean energy transformation for India, a balanced approach that also understands the importance of stable state financing for growth is needed. The critical lesson from the unused coal cess is that greater clarity about the utilisation of government resources to achieve intended outcomes is as crucial as levying the cess. As India looks to garner huge investments, especially in a high-energy consuming economy, the utilisation of available funds is as important as identifying new sources of finances.
The talk around asset monetisation and listing of assets has been in the news of late and is a topic of prime importance. Recent news suggests that the government might consider listing Airports Authority of India (AAI). While this is the right thing to do to unlock value and much-needed capital, India also needs to look far beyond and innovate further by considering whether instead of AAI, the listing of individual airports or a pool of airports is possible. The aim must be greater clarity and transparency around the listing process that listing individual airports, or a pool of such airports might provide, in addition to kickstarting a process of listing valuable government assets to generate capital.
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Perhaps the most critical aspect of the listing process besides the details of the assets being listed is the fund utilisation from the proceeds that accrue to the government. A transparent method of the implementation of bespoke asset listing, fund utilisation and management of the listed asset will be needed for the listing process to flourish. Another important point that needs to be kept in mind is that the process being utilised for the listings must create a template that can be both used and improved upon to be applied to other sectors of the economy. As India looks to boost the economy, the country needs a roadmap that lays out the source, path and utilisation of capital. The positive multiplier effect on private investment, incomes and consumption that such a roadmap can provide is vital for the next phase of growth. (IANS)
A large majority of Indians seem convinced that social media is responsible for the increased gulf between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the country.
This was revealed by a nationwide poll conducted by IANS-CVoter with a sample size of 1942 using random sampling on December 5, one day before the beginning of the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
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Close to half the respondents surveyed, 48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.
About 23 per cent of the respondents felt that social media had increased the gulf to some extent. In effect, more than 71 per cent Indians hold social media responsible for the recent friction between the two communities.
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In contrast, 28.6 per cent were of the opinion that social media had no role to play in this phenomenon. If you look at political divides, 40.7 per cent of NDA voters felt social media was responsible to a large extent while 53.6 per cent of opposition voters felt the same.
48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.Unsplash
Social media platforms have come under increased scrutiny of late for their alleged role in spreading misinformation, fake news, abusive and defamatory content and direct incitement to violence. It has become routine for state and local level administrations to temporarily ban access to social media platforms in areas that report tension and fears of violence.
A parliamentary committee has recently submitted a set of recommendations to regulate social media platforms. One major recommendation is to treat them as publishers while the other is to form a regulatory body on the lines of Press Council of India to regulate their activities. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : social media, Hindu, Muslim, community, country, poll, respondents, political, religious, misinformation, violence. abuse, regulations)
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Final preparations are in full swing at Six Senses Fort Barwara which will host the much talked about wedding of celebrity couple Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif.
According to sources, the event company working for this wedding has procured crystal balls and chandeliers from abroad to give a royal look to the wedding. These will be installed in the hotel soon.
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Six Senses Hotel has also parked indicator vehicles on the road at frequent intervals for the guests to reach the hotel easily. A glass 'mandap' has been prepared and decorated in Rajwada style for the couple to take 'pheres' (rounds around the fire) as per Hindu rituals. Moreover, the glass carvings on the mandap is such that it creates an optical illusion.
This wedding ceremony will be held amidst tight security arrangements. Secret codes have been given to each of the guests, so that it is impossible to know which guest is staying in which room.
Mobile phones have been banned inside the venue. International photographers have been hired to shoot the entire wedding. The ceremonies will be held from December 7 to December 9, with bouncers and police personnel looking after the security arrangements. As many as 100 bouncers have arrived from Jaipur to look after security arrangements at the wedding.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9.Unsplash
Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif's outfits have been designed in Mumbai which they will wear during different wedding ceremonies.
As per information, Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal are scheduled to reach Hotel Six Senses Fort Barwara located at Chauth Ka Barwara, by 9 p.m. on Monday, via car from Jaipur where both are expected to receive a grand welcome by the hotel management.
Along with Vicky and Katrina, their family members too will reach the hotel on Monday. However, some close family members and other guests will reach the venue separately. Katrina's sister Natasha and friends reached Jaipur airport on Monday afternoon from where they left for the wedding venue by car.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : wedding, Bollywood, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Rajasthan, hotel, Fort Barwara, ceremony, photographer, bouncer, outfit)
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Meta-owned WhatsApp on Monday announced an incubator programme in India that will select 10 organisations and help them build digital solutions to tackle critical health issues.
Called the WhatsApp Incubator Programme (WIP), the initiative aims to facilitate positive and measurable health outcomes at scale by leveraging the WhatsApp Business Platform.
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"During the pandemic we have seen several innovative use cases of the WhatsApp Business Platform by government organisations, civic actors, city administrations and many more NGOs, both large and small, across sectors and locations," said Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India.
The selected organisations will also be provided with technical support in order to design, prototype and pilot their health use cases.Unsplash
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"We hope the WhatsApp Incubator Programme brings forth more such innovative and unique solutions that will help solve India's healthcare needs," he said in a statement.
The selected organizations will also be provided with technical support in order to design, prototype and pilot their health use cases.
The company said that participating organizations get the opportunity to be mentored by industry experts, access on-ground ecosystems, receive support with impact measurement guidance, and a chance to network with funders to scale their use cases.
The programme, for which applications are open till December 24, is being administered by Quicksand Design Studio, WhatsApp said. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Whatsapp, incubator, organizations, digital, health, business, pandemic, innovative, technical)
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