It can’t be very gratifying being the Finance Minister when the International Monetary Fund is calling out India for being a growth laggard pulling down world growth in 2019 to 2.9 per cent (from 3.3 per cent forecast earlier) and in 2020 to 3.4 per cent (from 3.6 per cent forecast earlier). International Financial Institutions […]Read More Is India the global fall-guy?
In the run up to the annual budget it is said the Prime Minister is engaged in reviewing the working of departments in eleven hour long meetings. The PMs brand managers possibly think this nugget will comfort the nation that all is well, now that the man at the helm has his hand on the […]Read More Modi takes charge of the budget
Tough reform decisions are best taken in times of grave crisis not when the going is good. Economic reform, at the best of times, is highly disruptive. It makes little political sense, in the real world, to throw away the benefits of a stable, growing economy, in the hope that the future would be brighter […]Read More BJP needs a consistent Economic Ideology
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!
So, the laddoos will remain to be savoured in the spanking new BJP headquarters. But formal celebrations are delayed. The results cannot be announced till 5 vote-verified-paper-audit-trail (VVPAT) per assembly segment are matched with the vote count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)– a concession the Supreme Court gave to the wailing opposition parties who […]Read More Modi 2.0 Benign Ambition
The exit polls would have us believe that the National Democratic Alliance (BJP plus allies) will win 65 per cent of Lok Sabha seats. Could this be a repeat of 2004, when the NDA was supposed to sail home but the heaps of ladoos at the BJP office had to be transferred to the Congress […]Read More NDAs winner’s curse
So hotly are the elections being contested that it is easy to forget the real life challenges awaiting the new government. Challenges come in three buckets — institutional; policy design and uncertainties from external and domestic shocks. Poor policy choices are easily reversed, institutional change happens slowly while shocks can neither be forecast nor fully […]Read More Bitter morning-after pill awaiting new government
A core staff of just around 400 persons borrowed from the Union government, leveraged temporarily with an additional five million staff from the Centre and state governments to manage polling for 900 million electors — more than 66 per cent of whom are expected to cast their vote this year — would be a recipe […]Read More Weak institutions undermine India’s Election Commission
A duality of capacity and intent casts a patina over elections in India. At one end, battery-powered, surround-sound “hologram discs” worn around a party worker’s neck shock and awe while belting out the BJP’s message in remote Himachal Pradesh. At the other end, the less well-endowed Aam Aadmi Party in metropolitan Delhi is falling back […]Read More Elections highlight the duality of Indian politics
BJP president Amit Shah is technically correct to say that Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the accused in the September 2008 Malegaon (Maharashtra) bomb blast case, who is on bail, has a right, under our liberal electoral laws, to contest the elections. It hardly matters that she voluntarily claimed being part of the Hindutava forces […]Read More The Sadhvi as a symbol of New India