The Modi budgets- High achievements sans institutionalised changes

Budgets reflect the economic philosophy, near-term political economy pressures, and the long-term vision of a government. A review of budget metrics (table below) across the twilight years of the Manmohan Singh UPA government and the Modi government reveals a surprisingly elevated level of similarity, despite differentiated specific outcomes. In plainer words, the rulers changed but […]

Read More The Modi budgets- High achievements sans institutionalised changes

Budget Fy 2023 – Saying sorry is ok

The drama and spectacle around Budgets in India are completely undeserved. More than four-fifths of the Union Budget demands relate to expenditure that is carried through from past decisions, leaving little leeway for bold new outlays. And even when such programmes are budgeted, it is unclear who is going to pay for the added expense. […]

Read More Budget Fy 2023 – Saying sorry is ok

The upside of farm laws repeal

The dominant view is dire on the impact of the proposed roll back of the three Farm Laws, enacted in haste in 2020, even as the pandemic raged. Opinion is divided whether it is proof of the government’s shallow commitment to deep reform or that it proclaims doom for agriculture, which has committed Hara-kiri by […]

Read More The upside of farm laws repeal

Repurposing governance- trim the fat in state governments

The tragic snafu over making sufficient oxygen available to meet the spike in demand from COVID-related morbidity is a red flag for an underlying malaise—of overlapping mandates, state governments enfeebled by decades of Union government spoon feeding, and under capacitated local government. Sadly, state governments have voluntarily accepted this hollowing out of their core functions. […]

Read More Repurposing governance- trim the fat in state governments

India till 2030- Testing the marginal utility of political stability

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