Congress workers were blasted last week by their leaders for the poor showing of the party in the national elections. P. Chidambaram, possibly the most distinguished Congress leader today, who has held key portfolios like Commerce, Home and Finance, followed in the wake of his party bosses and fingered bureaucrats, as the main stumbling blocks […]Read More Unjustly flaying the “small g” – the bureaucracy
We are all of the “buy and forget” generation, which expects not to be distracted from its primary focus — be it mere survival or amassing wealth; remaining young forever; spirituality; saving the planet from self-destruction or just studying to score a perfect 100 per cent in the exams. This extreme focus leaves little time […]Read More Can Modi 2.0 cater to the bindaas Vote and Forget generation?
“Shoot and scoot” is a phrase made popular by the Bofors field gun – infamous in India, for the alleged corruption in its acquisition. But a winner in performance. Raghuram Rajan – “Shoot & scoot” Governor RBI Four decades later, the phrase became applicable to the rock star Governor of the RBI, Raghuram Rajan. He […]Read More Arvind Subramanian – a “scoot & shoot” economist
Finance high table – not a man’s world anymore There is a heady feeling to being India’s finance minister. Finance is fungible, unlike other factors of production — including the ubiquitous “ahlu” in North Indian cuisine — which gives it the centrality others lack. FM as Magic Maker This unique status of the FM also […]Read More Make the Union Budget credible again
It’s a terrible time to be a minister in the Union government. The economy is tanking under the weight of debt funded public expenditure and low private investment due to the lacklustre consumer demand. Private corporate headline growth is low on the back of low capacity utilisation, which hits government tax revenues adversely and casts […]Read More Modi 2.0: Time for frugal good governance
Nirmala Sitharaman has notched up a record merely by taking over as Finance Minister in the Modi 2.0 government. She will be the first woman to hold this position as a stand-alone charge. Indira Gandhi was the first woman Finance Minister in 1970-71. But she was already Prime Minister and assumed the position from Finance […]Read More Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman – an avatar of Durga or Laxmi?
The 2019 election results illustrated the transformative political and social changes sweeping India. Will the new Narendra Modi government adapt its economic policies to fit the changed expectations or will it dish out more of the same? The honeymoon is over The 2014 Budget was expectedly a laundry list of good intentions. Five years down […]Read More Modi 2.0 Different Economic Strokes?
So, the laddoos will remain to be savoured in the spanking new BJP headquarters. But formal celebrations are delayed. The results cannot be announced till 5 vote-verified-paper-audit-trail (VVPAT) per assembly segment are matched with the vote count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)– a concession the Supreme Court gave to the wailing opposition parties who […]Read More Modi 2.0 Benign Ambition
The exit polls would have us believe that the National Democratic Alliance (BJP plus allies) will win 65 per cent of Lok Sabha seats. Could this be a repeat of 2004, when the NDA was supposed to sail home but the heaps of ladoos at the BJP office had to be transferred to the Congress […]Read More NDAs winner’s curse
So hotly are the elections being contested that it is easy to forget the real life challenges awaiting the new government. Challenges come in three buckets — institutional; policy design and uncertainties from external and domestic shocks. Poor policy choices are easily reversed, institutional change happens slowly while shocks can neither be forecast nor fully […]Read More Bitter morning-after pill awaiting new government