Over-performance can, sometimes, be worse than under-performance. Going by privately shared opinions on why Vikram, the moon lander, crashed, was because the rockets supposed to decelerate its descent worked overly well, making it drift sideways instead of descending in an orderly manner — much like a skydiver thrown sideways off-target by a sudden high volume […]Read More Economy needs more than better branding
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!
It’s scarier going downhill than climbing to the top. Whilst on the way up, the heavyweight of inertia is known and hence manageable. Going downhill, inertia accelerates descent in unknown ways. The economy is no different. Flab (public sector banks), poorly maintained brakes (uncompetitive private firms), worn gear cogs (lack of structural reforms) or inadequate […]Read More Indian Economy – The great slide
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?
The spontaneous or manoeuvred fracturing of polity along traditional identities is misaligned with development—our core concern today—which, by definition, is inclusive. But just as surely, papering over political sores festering over the last seven decades, like in Kashmir, has not helped. Unlocking the constitutional logjam The constitutional coup by the Union Government on August 5th to […]Read More Kashmir gets a reality check
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
The Union Budget proposal for a Sovereign Bond by India in the international markets might have come a cropper along with its “sherpa”, Subhash Garg, our former finance secretary. Why the rush? It was never apparent why the government chose to announce in the Budget speech this year, out of the blue, almost as […]Read More Sovereign Bond Issue in “thanda basta”
Budget FY 2020, tabled on July 5 in Parliament, unintentionally unleashed a “whodunnit” type mystery with serious downstream negative fiscal impacts. The snafu was spotted by eagle-eyed economists Ratin Roy, director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and Nitin Desai, a previous Chief Economic Advisor, within hours of the tabling of the […]Read More Budget 2019-20 “malfunction” spoils the show
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made history merely by standing up to present the Union Budget on Friday — being India’s first full-time woman FM to do so. True to the forceful style of the BJP, she delivered the speech with zeal and conviction to the loud thumping of desks by the treasury benches with a […]Read More Nirmala Sitharaman hits all the right buttons for a balanced budget
Modi 1.0 was all about learning the ropes of national governance. Budget preparation and execution is a key ingredient. Budget purists cavil that budgets under Modi 1.0 were high on fuzzy motherhood goals and discretionary expenditure but low on schematic, multiplier enhancing allocations. Arun Jaitley’s five years as FM Rhetoric and poetry are part of […]Read More Budget FY2020 – Marching to a different drum beat