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May 26

'The nuclear explosions give the impression of a stable government'
This might be the best chance for the BJP government to go ahead and take some tough decisions in the forthcoming Budget to help the country become an economic superpower, says R C Bhargava, former managing director of Maruti Udyog Ltd.

After Pokhran, government prepares for Budget session
The Budget session begins on May 27 and will last till July 29. The Railway Budget will be presented on May 29, and the general Budget on June 1.

Insurance employees to protest against opening up of sector
Insurance employees do not want LIC or GIC privatised, they do not want private insurance companies, and they certainly do not want foreign companies in the sector. They have claimed that competition will hurt their service to the rural poor, that that they are capable of meeting all the country's requirements.

May 24

Bechtel, Mitsubishi must storm India
The entry of such construction industry giants needs to be encouraged. False notions of unwarranted national pride and self-reliance which have deprived the overwhelming majority of the most basic necessity of housing for over four decades need to be given a quick and speedy burial, writes Dilip Thakore.

May 23

PM's five-point plan to accelerate growth
The highlights of the plan are: top priority for the science and technology sector with special emphasis on software development; emphasis on doubling farm production within the next decade; higher priorities for health care, drinking water, education and sanitation; higher allocations for infrastructural development including roads, ports, airports, power and telecom sectors, and equitable distribution of water resources.

Budget to level playing field for Indian industry
The government hopes to achieve this by correcting existing anomalies in duties, and include provisions for deferred duty payment for specificied companies (subject of course to revenue safeguards), besides an overhaul of the anti-evasion machinery.

Govt told not to use PSU disinvestment to meet budgetary deficit
The disinvestment process in the public sector undertakings should be delinked from the budgetary process in case the stock is sold through the capital markets, said the department of public enterprises.

'Allow banks to operate in badla market'
Making this plea in a pre-Budget memorandum to Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, the Federation of Indian Stock Exchanges has said that income tax benefits should be offered to encourage investment in stocks. The FISE is promoted by 18 stock exchanges in the country.

Open up insurance: CII
Urging the government to liberalise the life and general insurance market, the Confederation of Indian Industry has said that the Insurance Regulatory Authority bill should be reintroduced.

May 22

CII's 15-point plan targets 7 per cent growth
The present growth rate is less than five per cent, according to a study conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation.

May 21

Budget may focus on savings, spare tax structure
In the area of direct taxes, it is expected that the government may retain the existing rates. The BJP-led coalition's national agenda for governance has laid stress on stepping up savings. The Budget is, therefore, likely to provide incentives for savings. It is likely that the Budget may come out with fresh initiative in the housing and construction sector which has great potential for generating demand in a large number of industries while creating largescale employment. bomb

Rail Budget to focus on modernisation
The other objective of the Railway Budget for 1998-99, to be presented to the Lok Sabha on May 29, will be to develop the railways in the backward areas.