Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 May 2018 10:28:30

SINCE the day US President Mr. Donald Trump expressed willingness to hold talks with North Korean leader Mr. Kim Jong-un, international experts were apprehensive of a volte-face by the former. As is his wont, Mr. Trump did not disappoint the experts and called off the much-awaited June 12 summit meeting with Mr. Jong-un inSingapore. The US feels that the North Korean assurance of denuclearisation is merely a verbal exercise. The development has yet again proved Mr. Trump’s daft functioning that has been criticised by world leaders since the day he assumed office.

Cancellation of the Singapore summit comes just days after Mr. Trump walked out of the nuclear deal with Iran which the world has castigated as a foolish decision. Stage was set for the meeting between two fierce adversaries in Mr. Trump and Mr Jong-un, who had drastically scaled down his war-mongering and adopted a conciliatory mode. Ideally, this should have been enough ground for Mr. Trump to engage in talks with North Korea to know its real intent. A good chance has yet again gone abegging thanks to Mr. Trump.



FACED with criticism over relentless rise in petrol and diesel prices  Union Petroleum Minister Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the Government was working on finding a permanent solution to contain fuel prices. For most part of its tenure the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government enjoyed the bonanza of of plummeting fuel prices in international market. As a result petrol and diesel prices remained within the reach of the common man and simultaneously the Government was less worried over the import bill on account of fuel imports.

Now that the international situation on oil front has turned volatile and the rupee is in a free-fall mode, the situation has become worrisome. This threatens to upset the Government’s calculations on Current Account Deficit (CAD) and could fuel inflation on domestic front. Besides States appear to be unwilling to lower their tax component in fuel prices. If they lower the taxes and bring them under the purview of GST , there is still hope of a remedy. Both states and Centre need to act together on the matter.