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!
Gowhar Geelani calls himself “a storyteller from a place where funerals of the young are political events, mourning is permanent politics and the people are in a constant battle between memory and forgetfulness”. Burhan Wani – A transition point He sets the tone by starting — dramatically — with the funeral of Burhan Wani, a […]Read More Kashmir’s still waters run deep – Book Review
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
The Reserve Bank’s decision to transfer Rs 1.76 trillion to the government as surplus follows the “golden mean” principle, often used by committees. This bonanza comes courtesy an “Expert Committee to Review the Extant Economic Capital” of the RBI, constituted in November 2018, which has now recommended a higher level of transfer as against the […]Read More RBI plays White Knight to revenue strapped government
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
There is something universally uplifting about independence — be it for a teenager, a city, a village, a province or an entire country. Coming into your own is empowering. But only if opportunities exist to break free of the inevitably skewed nature of endowments and constraining regulations. The warm feeling around cooperative federalism has faded […]Read More An opportunity called Independence- use it or lose it
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