Is India the global fall-guy?

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 […]

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Governance reform baby steps

Good governance day aka Christmas and the late Atalji – India’s poet politician’s – birthday, dawned with some good news. The government unleashed two initiatives to signal its commitment to “jointness” a clumsy European synonym for better teamwork. Both initiatives, curiously, relate to the breaking down of self- sufficient silos in administration to promote better […]

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RBI Gov Shakti Das does a U turn

Since the government no longer leaks information to the press on what is about to happen, it is tough to figure out whether the unanimous decision to hold the repo rate (the bank rate) at 5.15 per cent by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on December 6 has the Union government’s blessings. Maybe this is […]

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India’s Raj inheritance

Delhi has yet to overcome its Raj inheritance. The capital exudes the complacence of satiated imperialism, decades after the rest of the country has been democratized.  The most egregious twin dogmas Two particularly deep-seated Raj dogmas plague Delhi. First, that India has an entitlement to lead the world and second, that our long-term foe is […]

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A hybrid export model might fly

Exports in the first half of this fiscal year were $267 billion, 1.9 per cent higher than last year. This was dismal if exports are to be the engine driving GDP growth. Imports, at $312 billion, reflected poor domestic demand and contracted by 3.2 per cent. The only good news was that the trade deficit […]

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Beware a dystopic democracy

The film Joker – starring the amazingly versatile Joaquin Phoenix – now playing in the capital’s theaters – is a graphically violent and deeply despairing portrayal of a society sans any empathy for “losers” – those who end up believing they are one. Every society has its share of drop-outs, misfits and the unlucky. Good, […]

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Early shoots of reforms revival

Amid the doom and gloom of the world economy, there are encouraging signs that the Indian government is now taking tangible steps to reverse the worst aspects of the slowdown in India. Ministers take the lead This is a huge step away from the collective “Nelson’s eye” which was being turned to the crisis earlier. […]

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Tango in Mamallapuram

Two burly, senior citizens – Prime Minister Modi and President Xi doing a tango on the beach at Mamallapuram doesn’t quite evoke the carefully synchronised but fiercely intense passion of this Argentinian dance form. Even the cool looking, athletic Barrack Obama was left with two left feet when he was led onto the floor for a […]

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