Regulating Political Parties and Opaque Election Finance

Elections are to democracy what financial markets are to the economy. Elections channel the flow of political power, from the people to the government via political parties, which act like asset management companies in financial markets, enhancing market contestability and assuring stability. The absence of an omnibus law to regulate elections and political parties in […]

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India: Export for Growth

After inflation levels off, hopefully in the first quarter of the next fiscal year, after the Ukraine crisis becomes dormant, yet again, through exhaustion or accommodation (as in 2014) and thinking beyond the growing domestic political contestation, as India prepares for the quinquennial national electoral contest in April 2024, the problem of low growth is […]

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Storm in India’s monetary tea cup

The Reserve Bank of India-led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) brewed a storm in a teacup by continuing its accommodative monetary policy stance—retaining the Repo rate (the cost of borrowing from the RBI) at 4 percent and the Reverse Repo (the cost of depositing funds with the RBI) at 3.35 percent. The MPC is a device, initiated in […]

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To spend or not to spend

Governments are habitually profligate and gladly eat into an ever-larger share of GDP growth. The United States, the richest, big country in 1990, spent 40.6 percent of GDP on government expenditure. By 2011 its government was spending even more at 43.7 percent of the GDP. Countries which went in the opposite direction were rare- such as […]

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Tamil Nadu needs an economic reboot

Tamil is an ancient language which jostles Sanskrit on antiquity but remains in vibrant, modern use. It is also a cultural identity. Post-Independence, in 1947, the erstwhile Madras Presidency became the Madras State within the Union of India. In 1956, its borders were redrawn to shed the non-Tamil speaking peripheral areas of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, […]

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A bottom up look at the annual budget

Despite the hoopla around the Union government’s Budget, for citizens, allocations in their state budgets matter more. Nearly two-thirds of total government expenditure is done by states and for capex, this could be even higher (FY 2020-21 BE data). Union FM primus inter pares Twenty-eight states and eight Union Territories share the enlarged pie at […]

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