India’s poor were delighted yesterday, to read in the newspaper, that India’s Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund – the celebrated data scientist Surjit Bhalla, assesses India’s poor to have reduced from 21.2 per cent in 2011 to just 6.3 per cent by 2018. He also asserts that the fastest reduction in poverty happened […]Read More Ending poverty statistically
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?
India is changing – fast and on the run. Consider first, the distance Modi’s BJP has traveled from being a pro-business, pro-markets, pro small government, quasi “liberal” party in 2014 to becoming indistinguishable from the left in terms of its devotion to “welfarism” and large government. Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said as much recently in […]Read More Changing India
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
Exports in the first half of this fiscal year were $267 billion, 1.9 per cent higher than last year. This was dismal if exports are to be the engine driving GDP growth. Imports, at $312 billion, reflected poor domestic demand and contracted by 3.2 per cent. The only good news was that the trade deficit […]Read More A hybrid export model might fly
If development, or the promise of it, won the BJP its imposing political dominance in 2014 and again in 2019, is it now destiny which will maintain the inertia of electoral endorsements? Sustainable Development metrics “Development” is best measured by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals under which there are 169 targets to be achieved by […]Read More Forget elusive growth, focus on development
The film Joker – starring the amazingly versatile Joaquin Phoenix – now playing in the capital’s theaters – is a graphically violent and deeply despairing portrayal of a society sans any empathy for “losers” – those who end up believing they are one. Every society has its share of drop-outs, misfits and the unlucky. Good, […]Read More Beware a dystopic democracy
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
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
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?