Despite receipts being 18% lower than even last year till November, largely because of the yawning gap against the aggressive budget estimate for disinvestment receipts (Rs 2,1 trillion), the Union government did well to spend almost 5% more than last year by enhancing borrowing. This is in the best traditions of trying to keep the […]Read More Budget for hope, build resilient foundations
Despite the hoopla around this year’s annual budget, it is unlikely to be a stunning display of “clever accounting” catering to all whilst pleasing none. Nor is it likely to strew goodies all around. Challenges abound The need is to spell out hard fiscal decisions. The list of challenges is long. The interest burden consumes […]Read More No room for extravagance in 2021-22 budget
Parenting is a thankless job except when your child flashes you an admiring look of appreciation and love or envelopes you in a warm, spontaneous hug. But most of the time, you — the parent — are under scrutiny, by your children, your parents and relatives, society and indeed the law — with everyone expecting […]Read More C-virus funk? Relax and respect the kids
“When you are down and out, on the streets and evening falls hard”, say songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel, friends appear magically like a bridge across troubled waters. That is exactly what 2021 needs to be for the entire world today. A magical bridge across which lies a shinning, clean, healthy and happy […]Read More 2021 – A bridge across troubled waters
Episodes of fiscal stress are unpleasant. But, like war, they are necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff in governments expenditure profile. The growing overhang of debt servicing This year interest payments account for 89% of the budgeted fiscal deficit. The accumulated debt was incurred not to finance infrastructure or enhance investments. It is […]Read More FM plays Shylock with steely grit
A decadal “look ahead,” even as geopolitical, technological and environmental disruptions push uncertainty to worrying levels, closely resembles a fool’s wager. The upside, however, is an even chance of getting it right, just like everyone else. DOMESTIC POLITICS — The silence of stability Our biggest challenges will emerge from domestic politics. The political threats are […]Read More India till 2030- Testing the marginal utility of political stability
Amitabh Kant the CEO of NITI Ayog got a taste of the underside of celebrity status when his remark on there being “too much democracy in India” created a social media storm of protest. Mr. Kant clarified subsequently that the news coverage had omitted the latter part of his sentence “……. for it to be […]Read More Democratic overload
Indian Left Liberal intellectuals are letting their shallow ideological moorings show. They support the agricultural reforms initiated by the Union government, including the corporatization of agriculture. But they oppose letting big business own banks, reflecting the colonial disdain for “box-wallahs” (business). Yes, to agricultural reform, including corporatization Farmers in Punjab and Haryana — the “gold […]Read More Big business owned banks -a Trojan Horse?
The Union government has done well to resist being dragged into “bhed-chaal” (following the herd) by blowing up its fiscal balance beyond repair in the hope of a steep economic recovery. The case for continued fiscal rectitude The fiscal deficit (FD) is on track to increase to Rs 12.5 trillion this year. The expected GDP […]Read More Fiscal rectitude flows from resilient revenues
Creativity blooms during periods of extreme turbulence. One such example is the “Doing Business” index, which was initiated in 2003, in the aftermath of the dotcom boom-bust of 2000-2004. Back then, state led development had decisively given way to a preference for an open economy, competition, markets and private enterprise. The Doing Business index benchmarked […]Read More How creative is the Indian economy?