Congress workers were blasted last week by their leaders for the poor showing of the party in the national elections. P. Chidambaram, possibly the most distinguished Congress leader today, who has held key portfolios like Commerce, Home and Finance, followed in the wake of his party bosses and fingered bureaucrats, as the main stumbling blocks […]Read More Unjustly flaying the “small g” – the bureaucracy
We are all of the “buy and forget” generation, which expects not to be distracted from its primary focus — be it mere survival or amassing wealth; remaining young forever; spirituality; saving the planet from self-destruction or just studying to score a perfect 100 per cent in the exams. This extreme focus leaves little time […]Read More Can Modi 2.0 cater to the bindaas Vote and Forget generation?
Finance high table – not a man’s world anymore There is a heady feeling to being India’s finance minister. Finance is fungible, unlike other factors of production — including the ubiquitous “ahlu” in North Indian cuisine — which gives it the centrality others lack. FM as Magic Maker This unique status of the FM also […]Read More Make the Union Budget credible again
It’s a terrible time to be a minister in the Union government. The economy is tanking under the weight of debt funded public expenditure and low private investment due to the lacklustre consumer demand. Private corporate headline growth is low on the back of low capacity utilisation, which hits government tax revenues adversely and casts […]Read More Modi 2.0: Time for frugal good governance
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?
Deepak Gupta’s book is not a quickie, neither to read, nor would it appear, to write, from the diligent research that has gone into it. The best read book in this genre has been Phillip Mason’s The Men Who Ruled India (1954) — a racy account of the British administration in India, by one of […]Read More Book Review : Keeping the barbarians at bay
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
India’s elites – the top 0.1 per cent of families, who only shop overseas and have grown fatter the fastest – have a visceral fear of foreign buyouts. The average Indian couldn’t care less – they only look for lower prices and better quality. There are no sari clad Westestern CEOs India’s politicians, particularly in […]Read More Stopping foreigners from owning Indian retail e-commerce
Just east of India Gate –where, under the arch, an everlasting flame flickers in remembrance of martyrs – is an empty canopy built along with the rest of colonial New Delhi in the 1930s. This once housed a statue of George V – King of England when the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to […]Read More The empty canopy at India gate
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