Unraveling fiscal stress

Economists belabour the point that emerging out of the pandemic–induced economic downturn is qualitatively different from emerging out of a long–drawn economic recession. Simply put, it is easier to get back to where you were. Turning on a light switch and flooding a dark room with light instantly is apt for describing what happens once […]

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Decentralize to empower the bottom of the income pyramid

Over the last three decades, it has become customary to disregard the fears of the “little woman” at the bottom of the income pyramid, as mere misinformed or worse—unenlightened, unreasonable insecurity. Unrequited love for markets After all, markets, if regulated appropriately, have delivered wonderfully and poorer economies have benefited more than developed ones. South Asian […]

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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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