Politics is heating up. Elections in Bihar loom in November with Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu* and West Bengal tightly packed together in May next year, just after the FY 2021-22 budget. Bihar remains rural at heart. Luckily for the BJP, agriculture is the bright star in the Indian economy with expected growth of 3%. Doesn’t […]Read More The price of fiscal exuberance
It is difficult not to eulogize the lonely migrant worker trudging his way home on deserted locked-down highways and sometimes not reaching his destination. Some of this is guilt because of the economic and physical hardships they are suffering. They have tugged at heart strings by risking death or injury just to get back to […]Read More The migrant as folk hero
“Waiting for Godot”- a play by Samuel Beckett in which a fictional Godot never arrives. The title has now become a code or allegory, to describe waiting forever for something which never happens. The 2014 “election jumla” of Rs 15 lakhs of recovered hawala money to be deposited into each bank account, quickly acquired this […]Read More Fiscal stimulus – Waiting for Godot
Covid-19 has made the Bharat-India divide even sharper. The obsessive, 4G connected, masked and gloved urban Indian checking for updates and worrying about a post-Covid-19 future on the one hand and rural India, carrying on stoically as always, too busy with the daily mechanics of agricultural production to care overly about the “outside” world, except […]Read More Needed tough love not freebies
The bad news emanating from the slowing Indian economy over the last two years makes it counter-intuitive to imagine that COVID could be a blessing in disguise for halting the slow grind downwards. A crisis is also an opportunity COVID is a crisis and India – all of it- including whataboutery experts, cynics and most […]Read More Use COVID to heal society
One doesn’t quite know what it takes to win a Sveriges Riksbank Prize — instituted in 2006 in Memory of Alfred Nobel — in the Economic Sciences category. The three winners this year, of which two are also co-authors of a book – “Good Economics for Hard Times” 2019 are the ones best placed to […]Read More Saving the world from below – Nobel Prize winners Banerjee- Duflo
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
We are all of the “buy and forget” generation, which expects not to be distracted from its primary focus — be it mere survival or amassing wealth; remaining young forever; spirituality; saving the planet from self-destruction or just studying to score a perfect 100 per cent in the exams. This extreme focus leaves little time […]Read More Can Modi 2.0 cater to the bindaas Vote and Forget generation?
It’s a terrible time to be a minister in the Union government. The economy is tanking under the weight of debt funded public expenditure and low private investment due to the lacklustre consumer demand. Private corporate headline growth is low on the back of low capacity utilisation, which hits government tax revenues adversely and casts […]Read More Modi 2.0: Time for frugal good governance