PM Modi’s “Cooperative federalism”; distant vision or national glue?

(photo How close is India to achieving the PM’s vision of “cooperative federalism”? Very far I would say on current trends. Federalism itself is a distant goal, cooperative, or otherwise. There are too many unitary features in our constitution to qualify us as a federation. Just to list a few; (1) the vertically higher […]

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Tax Policy & Corruption in India

  photo credit: The ability of a sovereign to levy and collect tax sustainably, on an equitable basis and without overt coercion is a sound measure of the strength of the “social compact” between the State and citizens. In India, the “social compact” is weak partly due to our colonial past but mostly due […]

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The Sahib and his Officer

PM Modi has gone to great lengths to get the Principal Secretary of his choice. Institutional “purists” may cavil at his amending the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) law to enable the individual to work in government post retirement from the position of Chairman TRAI. But viewed from the perspective of optics this is […]

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Jaitley’s budget tricks flop

FM Jaitley presented a soft budget with a hard Fiscal Deficit target. Such miracles can only happen if supported by “tricks”.  One such trick could be to fund the increased expenditure, over 2013-14, of around Rs 100,000 crores (Rs 10,000 billion) through a fast track resolution of the Rs  400,000 crores in tax arbitration. This […]

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The JaMo; an unbeatable combination

The “Jaitley-Modi” team is working out to be invincible. Who, amongst the chattering classes, would have conceded, even as late as May 1, that Modi could transform himself from a hands-on, salt-of-the-earth, provincial, micro manager,  into a suave opinion maker, at perfect ease trading handshakes (though not yet air kissing) with the international jet set? […]

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Jaitley’s Maiden Budget Mujra

“Mujra”, the traditional PakIndia dance of seduction honed in glittering Lahore, immortalized by the ever beautiful, dusky Rekha in Umrao Jan, a classic film by our very own desi, aristocrat, designer Muzaffar Ali. Mujra is a dance of deception. The idea is for the danseuse to so mesmerize the viewers, that their head gets delinked […]

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