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!
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman might well be already thinking of penning a book on how demand vanished the moment she assumed charge. She faces an uphill task and has to carry the ball of lax governance earlier. We have sat on collapsing real estate demand for the last decade without doing anything more substantive than to […]Read More Who moved my demand curve?
Even the political surgical strike “integrating” Kashmir failed to divert attention from the woes of investors, employees and entrepreneurs — all of whom are stuck with a similar malady: poor returns. Where has the fizz gone? Why has the fizz gone out of the economy? Two alternative viewpoints suggest themselves. One is the view fingering […]Read More Indian economy riding a roller coaster
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
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