It can’t be very gratifying being the Finance Minister when the International Monetary Fund is calling out India for being a growth laggard pulling down world growth in 2019 to 2.9 per cent (from 3.3 per cent forecast earlier) and in 2020 to 3.4 per cent (from 3.6 per cent forecast earlier). International Financial Institutions […]Read More Is India the global fall-guy?
India is changing – fast and on the run. Consider first, the distance Modi’s BJP has traveled from being a pro-business, pro-markets, pro small government, quasi “liberal” party in 2014 to becoming indistinguishable from the left in terms of its devotion to “welfarism” and large government. Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said as much recently in […]Read More Changing India
In the run up to the annual budget it is said the Prime Minister is engaged in reviewing the working of departments in eleven hour long meetings. The PMs brand managers possibly think this nugget will comfort the nation that all is well, now that the man at the helm has his hand on the […]Read More Modi takes charge of the budget
What sort of a legacy will Prime Minister Narendra Modi leave India? Oh, come on… say those who like him – and there are many- it’s way too early to talk about a legacy. The man is full of energy, strong in the saddle and is likely to be around till 2030. They are probably […]Read More Modi’s Legacy
So now that the wine has run dry; the Christmas cake is mere crumbs and the New Year eve shenanigans are forgotten let’s get back to basics. What is 2020 going to be about? In one word- tough except for large industry and private banks which shall clock handsome bottom lines, their bonus boosted employees […]Read More Keep the demand fires burning in 2020
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman looked relaxed and happy while briefing the press in Panaji, Goa, on Friday about the proposed corporate tax reductions. Her estimate of the loss from the revenue foregone is Rs 1.45 trillion — equal to half the estimated defence expenditure this year. Normally, any FM under fiscal pressure would have mourned […]Read More Reform in driblets keeps the party going
The first 100 days of the Modi 2.0 government have been marked by lows and highs. Sadly, the lows are longer lasting, while the highs are transient, even in the short term. The biggest low was the Budget for FY 2019-20 in July, which was presented, in the absence of the late Arun Jaitley, with […]Read More Modi 2.0 100 not out!
There is something universally uplifting about independence — be it for a teenager, a city, a village, a province or an entire country. Coming into your own is empowering. But only if opportunities exist to break free of the inevitably skewed nature of endowments and constraining regulations. The warm feeling around cooperative federalism has faded […]Read More An opportunity called Independence- use it or lose it
It is foolish to keep doing the same thing to solve a persistent problem. The Narendra Modi-led Union government has internalised this adage and strives to be big-bang innovative, as illustrated by demonetisation to control corruption, although with less than spectacular success. Article 370 – A Gordian knot or fig leaf Yet another instance is […]Read More Kashmir: Light beyond the Banihal Pass
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made history merely by standing up to present the Union Budget on Friday — being India’s first full-time woman FM to do so. True to the forceful style of the BJP, she delivered the speech with zeal and conviction to the loud thumping of desks by the treasury benches with a […]Read More Nirmala Sitharaman hits all the right buttons for a balanced budget