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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FM plays Shylock with steely grit

Episodes of fiscal stress are unpleasant. But, like war, they are necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff in governments expenditure profile. The growing overhang of debt servicing This year interest payments account for 89% of the budgeted fiscal deficit. The accumulated debt was incurred not to finance infrastructure or enhance investments. It is […]

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India till 2030- Testing the marginal utility of political stability

A decadal “look ahead,” even as geopolitical, technological and environmental disruptions push uncertainty to worrying levels, closely resembles a fool’s wager. The upside, however, is an even chance of getting it right, just like everyone else. DOMESTIC POLITICS — The silence of stability Our biggest challenges will emerge from domestic politics. The political threats are […]

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Big business owned banks -a Trojan Horse?

Indian Left Liberal intellectuals are letting their shallow ideological moorings show. They support the agricultural reforms initiated by the Union government, including the corporatization of agriculture. But they oppose letting big business own banks, reflecting the colonial disdain for “box-wallahs” (business). Yes, to agricultural reform, including corporatization Farmers in Punjab and Haryana — the “gold […]

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How creative is the Indian economy?

Creativity blooms during periods of extreme turbulence. One such example is the “Doing Business” index, which was initiated in 2003, in the aftermath of the dotcom boom-bust of 2000-2004.  Back then, state led development had decisively given way to a preference for an open economy, competition, markets and private enterprise. The Doing Business index benchmarked […]

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Marching alone

One of the realizations, home-spun by Covid in India, is that there is value to “atmanirbharta” (ANB) or self-reliance – the capacity to march alone, if necessary. An admirable attribute except that “aloneness” creeps up silently on you like a habit, difficult to shake off. Looked at more cheerily, it is not so different from […]

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