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?
The recent statistical dogfight around job creation, using data as ammunition was between NITI Aayog, intent on proving that there is no slow-down in job creation or more accurately productive work and the CMIE convinced that there has been a net job loss during the Modi years, with no give on either side. Empowered elites […]Read More The common sense on jobs
The galvanising energy – one new scheme a week – which characterised the Modi years is ironically, also the cause of an uncertain victory this year. Too many reform steps pancaked Three simultaneous, mega reform initiatives stand out – reducing the fiscal deficit; implementing the Goods and Services Tax and cleaning out bank balance sheets. […]Read More Triple whammy spoils BJP fiscal end game
Babus are hugely upset, understandably so, at the less than laudatory media coverage of Shaktikanta Das, an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre who had retired as secretary, economic affairs, in the finance ministry and was appointed the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India last week. The first two governors of the […]Read More Das – the new Raja of Mint Street
It was an unequal fight to begin with. Structurally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central bank, is squarely under the government’s thumb. The government appoints the governor of the RBI and can curtail his tenure. Two-thirds of the RBI’s board consists of government appointees who are not RBI officials. The government can […]Read More Urjit Patel the only winner in the Govt-RBI slugfest
Nothing makes Diwali sparkle more than the comforting bulge of spare cash in one’s pocket. This year there are few who could claim that privilege. Suffering in tandem are the unfortunates who catch the trickle lower downstream. Body blows to carefree spending have taken their toll. The combined effect of the Goods and Services Tax, […]Read More Deepawali depression unwarranted
Conspiracy theorists are hard at work to identify the drivers behind the ongoing cash crunch, that has left the automated teller machines (ATMs) in cities and towns across large parts of the country dry. There is much finger pointing between the Reserve Bank of India and the commercial banks, both private and public sector, each […]Read More What the cash crunch foretells
The international bond market, with an outstanding volume of around $22 trillion, is the final arbiter of a country’s destiny. Bonds, unlike loans, can be traded, or “marked to market”. This makes trustworthy credit ratings, like Moodys’, critical to give pricing signals. Since there is a market, even discards are recycled. Discards are called “junk” […]Read More Moody God of bond markets
The politics around “demonetisation” — a misused term for what happened on November 8, 2016 — has taken centerstage in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh (that voted yesterday) and Gujarat (which goes to the polls in December). Finance minister Arun Jaitley has added “morality” to the cluster of objectives, that seemingly […]Read More “Demonetisation” as a morality play