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Note ban, GST ruined nation: Rahul

A day after Revenue Secretary hasmukh Adhia said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) requires a major rejig, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stepped up attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dubbed the GST 'BJP's gabbar Singh Tax'.

Centre's envoy to hold talks on J&K

In a reversal of its earlier stand, the Centre on Monday announced the appointment of former Intelligence bureau (IB) chief Dineshwar Sharma as a 'special representative' to initiate and 'carry forward a dialogue' with the elected representatives, various organisations and individuals concerned in Jammu and Kashmir.


The Abe manoeuvre

The Liberal Democratic Party of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in Japan secured a valiant victory for the third term in the poll in competition to the Lower House of Japan’s Diet. This development highlights the recent trend of advanced economies of all incumbents being returned within margins. The margins of a vindication of Abe’s decision to call elections much before the schedule and the outcome increases the PM’s prospects of also winning a third term the next year as a leader of the conservative party and also standing tall as the longest-serving premier of Japan. The prospect of earning the huge majority seemed in deep waters given the public scepticism on the charter amendment, coupled with the fall of the personal ratings of Mr. Abe. However, having cleared all hurdles, Abe would want to earn support to accord the legal status to the well built Japan Self-Defence Forces, leaving intact the full fledged no-war provisions of the 1947 constitution. The recent win results of PM Abe highlights the public approval of him and his rule. A recent June assessment of the International Monetary Fund highlights to the sustained growth as well as record unemployment of the country as an evidence of the success results of the model. Also important is the support by the Fund for the Bank of Japan’s continued proper loose monetary policy in the face of weak demand. The poll promise of Mr. Abe to further strengthen stimulus should make the critics happy to say that the concerns on public debt have been visibly overplayed. Whereas the PM is weighing a rapid increase in the controversial consumption tax by up to 10% by the year 2019, the Fund has effectively proposed a more calibrated approach to it. An alternative like that would be the right one in Japan where a decline working-age population count is faced with persistently low consumer spending rates. Mr. Abe has hit target set at seeing Japan through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan would be a diverse different country then, in comparison to the 1964 Summer Games.

Economic Growth: An alternative view

The decelerating GDP growth rate of India in recent times during the last five quarters has been a cause of worry. A drop in the GDP growth rate from 7.4% during January-March 2016 to 5.7% in the month April-June 2017 is almost equal to ₹2.59 trillion. However, there can be a silver lining visible in the lower growth rate. This is because of the perspective of the economic sustainable qualities in the long run that it can bring around notable economic welfare through rapid improvements in the environmental quality. Economists who are concerned about sustainable development predict low levels of growth in the economy with huge expansions in the national income causes negative environmental consequences like pollution. These things adversely affect the environmental quality as well as the economic welfare of households which are dependent on the environment. In case of India, studies have highlighted over and time that the economic costs of the environmental damages occurring in India revealed some notable findings. Like, a 2013 World Bank research study highlighted that in the country of India, a added level of economic growth imposed a ₹3.75 trillion rate of environmental damage costs. This rate is equivalent to 5.7% of the total country’s GDP at 2009 rates. Another study research by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington stated that the air pollution in India is alone responsible for welfare loss equivalent to rate 7.69% of its GDP in the year 2013. In India, many millions of households as well as economic activities utilise the varied ecosystem services for both production and consumption. Though they are economically much valuable, the ecosystem services are not traded in the regular markets and, as such, their true values aren’t reflected well. As such, the actual value of economic welfare that is lost due to a loss of ecosystem services will be fairly higher than the actual estimate.

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