Holding a mirror to India

“Ghasiram Kotwal” Vijay Tendulkar’s brilliant Marathi satire on the predilection of the powerful to subvert ideology to their own survival, was penned in 1972. It faced rough weather in getting permissions to be staged. The Shiv Sena raged against it, presumably because it portrayed Nana Phadnavis, a prime minister of the Peshwas, in a bad […]

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Fracturing South Asia into action

South Asians integrate the least with each other as a region. Joyeeta Bhattacharjee of ORF, who studies the region, puts it down to fear of Indian domination (India accounts for 80% of the combined GDP and 74% of the combined population), historical mistrust (a colonial legacy) and targeted terrorism (a recent innovation of war by […]

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Economic bites

Now that we all live in a real time world, courtesy the near ubiquitous digitization of our lives, government processes which share economic information with a lag, are irksome at best and superfluous at worst. Consider that the scheduled release today, of the official version of GDP destruction in Q1 of fiscal 2021 (April to […]

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Deal making is back-at last!

Deal making in banking is returning after a gap of four years. Banking, not the retail stuff but the kind which gets the economy moving, is classically done through deals struck over convivial lunches and dinners. It’s tough to make deals in an environment of zero tolerance for corruption Stung by the proclivity of the […]

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The approaching fiscal storm

The government accounts for Q1 (April to June) of fiscal 2021 give hope that the governments nuanced stance on Covid 19 management which emerged post the initial panicked lock down in March, is working. Fiscal crunch in Q1 In April and May revenue receipts were at rock bottom (30% and 25% respectively of revenue receipts […]

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Pulling South Asia together

South Asia and specifically India, can learn much from the European Union (EU). Similar despite the income gap This is despite the income dissimilarities. South Asia with a per capita GDP of current $1960 is low-middle income, at best. The EU with a per capita GDP of current $34,843 is high income. Also, Europe is […]

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Sorry States

The myth of a dominant center and weak states in India is long enduring. Some of this is wish fulfillment by national elites since it reinforces their own centrality, as Delhi based movers and shakers. How granular is the “post planning”economy? The “planned” economy approach, which ended in 2014 with the Modi government, also played […]

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India’s clean energy sweepstakes

Skepticism in India about gas, as a reliable energy source, derives from our compulsion to import incremental consumption. Chronic trade deficits, the philosophy of self-sufficiency, which prevailed till economic liberalization in 1991-92 and vast reserves of domestic coal militate against enhancing gas dependence.  Limiting import dependence is not just an Indian quirk We are not […]

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Fiscal murmurs

Economic downturns are cruel. They impose traumatic disruptions in incomes and lives – salary cuts, extended long leave without pay, outright job loss, drying up of business income or bankruptcy.  The cash crunch for government is at crisis levels The government is no different. Revenue receipt of the Union government in May (Rs 0.17 trillion) […]

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Check the Emperor’s health

There are three reasons why governments, like humans, act irrationally rather than the rational economic agents they are supposed to be.  My time is up First, if governments perceive that their time in office is limited there is nothing to be lost by dropping all restraints and doing whatever they wish to – a daring […]

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