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?
One of the realizations, home-spun by Covid in India, is that there is value to “atmanirbharta” (ANB) or self-reliance – the capacity to march alone, if necessary. An admirable attribute except that “aloneness” creeps up silently on you like a habit, difficult to shake off. Looked at more cheerily, it is not so different from […]Read More Marching alone
The win in Bihar for the BJP- JD(U) combine, presages continue strength to the NDA at the center and a potential spread across more states. This is a source of anxiety for those who miss the more lassiez faire approach of previous governments, where the “dharma of coalitions” restricted strong-arm action on any front. BJP […]Read More Post Diwali sentiment boosters
In the first half of fiscal 2020-21 Union government receipts are just 25% of budgeted annual receipts as opposed to 40% in the previous fiscal. Receipts tend to have a slow start but not this slow. We are Rs 2.7 trillion short of the Rs 8.4 trillion we collected as receipts last fiscal till September. […]Read More Come September outcomes fiscal blues
We have got used to being feted by the international community as a “rising great power”. This suits our exaggerated self-perception and the choreographed diplomatic dance of real Great Powers (US and EU) with China, truly, a risen great power, albeit increasingly not a benign one. Covid mirror The Covid epidemic has shown up all […]Read More Trudging up the recession gorge
The “non-development expenditure” of state governments – the cost of keeping their government apparatus going amounted to Rs 10.5 trillion or 27.5% of their total receipts in 2019-20 (RBI Public Finance Data) versus 20% of receipts for “establishment” expenses in the Union government (Union Budget Documents). Too top heavy by half Putting the two together, […]Read More Indian States as Regional Ecological Managers