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Aadhaar Scheme 'Constitutionally Valid', India to Cut Oil Imports et al

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Sep 26, 2018 1:10 PM 3 min read
Editorial

Good evening reader, 

 

We're living in the era of one landmark Supreme Court judgement after another. After deeming Section 377 unconstitutional earlier this month, the court today determined the fate of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity number issued to nearly all Indians. Aadhaar's perception has shuttled from being an innocuous tool to achieve objectives of social governance, to a sinister Big Brother ploy planted by the state. 

 

However, the Apex Court has finally found the Aadhaar scheme 'constitutionally valid'. 

 

It recognized the sufficiency of its security measures and its utility to empower marginalized sections of society. Section 57, allowing sharing of data with private corporate bodies has been struck down. Duration for storing data has been reduced. Validity of linkage to PAN and tax returns maintained (sarcastic yay!), but not so much for bank accounts and mobile connections (regular yay!).

 

Aside from specific merits of the judgement itself, its much-anticipated arrival shows how Courts are filling the decision-making vacuum created by the Legislature. While such verdicts do bring a dramatic sense of 'justice', only an active Legislature is capable of bringing continuity and on way institutionalizes governance. Maybe they should start with doing something against criminal politicians. The Supreme Court won't trespass that. :)

 

Lets move to the top 6 Business stories through our End of Day Wrap Up:

 

INDIA

 

Supreme Court pronounces Aadhaar 'constitutionally valid'.

In a three-set judgment announced today, SC held government’s star scheme – Aadhaar constitutional. It has been held mandatory for filing income tax returns and allotment of PAN. However, some of the Act’s provisions for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile numbers and admissions were struck down. This move prevents private entities like telecom companies and payment apps like Paytm from asking for Aadhaar data.

 

National Digital Communications Policy aims at $100bn investment and 4mn jobs.

The Cabinet today passed the new telecom policy, which is said to be a “consumer-centric and application driven policy”. It aims to provide affordable broadband connections, 5G services etc. to all by 2022, and will create 40 lakh new jobs.

 

India to cut oil imports from Iran completely in November.

India plans to opt out of crude oil imports from Iran, reducing its exports even further after the US sanctions hit the Middle Eastern country. Indian oil companies like Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum among others have not put in any requirements for import of oil from Iran for November. India is the second largest buyer of oil from Iran, importing almost 27% of the country’s exports.

 

INR45bn boost for sugar industry for FY2019.

The government approved INR45 billion for the sugar industry for the fiscal year of 2019, and will aim to export 5 million tons of sugar addressing the surplus domestic stock, as global prices are low. This push will help in clearing of cane arrears and to provide transport subsidy to cane farmers.

 

US/INTERNATIONAL

 

US Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates by 0.25%.

Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, is widely expected to announce a US Fed rate hike after a two-day policy meeting which ends today. The rate hike is expected to be on account of robust job creation and fairly strong economic expansion.

 

Apple accused of spilling Qualcomm’s intellectual property to Intel.

Qualcomm, Apple’s former chipset provider, has accused the company of stealing its source code and log files among other intellectual properties to Intel to improve their current mobile chips, as per a lawsuit filed by Qualcomm in California.

 

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