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
The 2019 election results illustrated the transformative political and social changes sweeping India. Will the new Narendra Modi government adapt its economic policies to fit the changed expectations or will it dish out more of the same? The honeymoon is over The 2014 Budget was expectedly a laundry list of good intentions. Five years down […]Read More Modi 2.0 Different Economic Strokes?
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
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
The recent statistical dogfight around job creation, using data as ammunition was between NITI Aayog, intent on proving that there is no slow-down in job creation or more accurately productive work and the CMIE convinced that there has been a net job loss during the Modi years, with no give on either side. Empowered elites […]Read More The common sense on jobs
Rahul Gandhi’s electoral silver bullet to numb the BJP into relative disarray is a mega welfare scheme to transfer Rs 72,000 to each of the 50 million or 20 per cent of the poorest households. It costs Rs 3.6 trillion or 1.8 per cent of GDP. Mine versus yours The motivation is political – to […]Read More Nyay (Justice) yes! But at what cost?
Formal sector jobs in India are scarce and are highly regarded. The most generous assumption (Economic Survey FY 2018) is that there are only 127 million formal jobs in 10 million enterprises, either registered under GST, the Employees State Insurance Scheme or Employees Provident Fund Organisation. Add another 18 million jobs in the government and […]Read More A cautionary tale for decision makers
Governments are “lame ducks” in the last quarter preceding a general election. The future might not be theirs and self-assessment of achievements needs independent triangulation. So, caveat emptor prevails on both counts. Nothing, except convention, stops the government from presenting a full budget New taxes and new expenditure are “haram” in a vote on account, […]Read More Interim Budget 2019 can voice forward looking ideas
Not so well-off upper caste Hindus, Muslims and Christians, who have so far not benefited from “reservations” or quotas, woke up last week to a pleasant surprise — they had all been included! Quota politics The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019, came into force from Monday. It provides for a 10 per cent additional reservation […]Read More Including the excluded class
India’s elites – the top 0.1 per cent of families, who only shop overseas and have grown fatter the fastest – have a visceral fear of foreign buyouts. The average Indian couldn’t care less – they only look for lower prices and better quality. There are no sari clad Westestern CEOs India’s politicians, particularly in […]Read More Stopping foreigners from owning Indian retail e-commerce