To spend or not to spend

Governments are habitually profligate and gladly eat into an ever-larger share of GDP growth. The United States, the richest, big country in 1990, spent 40.6 percent of GDP on government expenditure. By 2011 its government was spending even more at 43.7 percent of the GDP. Countries which went in the opposite direction were rare- such as […]

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Leasing-out operational public assets to boost private investment

The Modi government launches new initiatives with blindsiding flamboyance. The National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) announced August 23 does not disappoint. It targets raising INR 6 trillion over four years (Fiscal 2022 to 2025) by leasing out operational public sector assets. The target for this year, with just six months in hand, is INR 0.9 trillion when disinvestment […]

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Tamil Nadu needs an economic reboot

Tamil is an ancient language which jostles Sanskrit on antiquity but remains in vibrant, modern use. It is also a cultural identity. Post-Independence, in 1947, the erstwhile Madras Presidency became the Madras State within the Union of India. In 1956, its borders were redrawn to shed the non-Tamil speaking peripheral areas of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, […]

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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. […]

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Unraveling fiscal stress

Economists belabour the point that emerging out of the pandemic–induced economic downturn is qualitatively different from emerging out of a long–drawn economic recession. Simply put, it is easier to get back to where you were. Turning on a light switch and flooding a dark room with light instantly is apt for describing what happens once […]

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A bottom up look at the annual budget

Despite the hoopla around the Union government’s Budget, for citizens, allocations in their state budgets matter more. Nearly two-thirds of total government expenditure is done by states and for capex, this could be even higher (FY 2020-21 BE data). Union FM primus inter pares Twenty-eight states and eight Union Territories share the enlarged pie at […]

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