Independent India has never been a full-blooded international trader. But then who is a free trader in these uncertain times when even the United States is putting up tariff walls faster than physical ones? Our governmental instincts veer towards protection rather than international competitiveness. India too large, too poor To be sure, the 1991 liberalisation […]Read More India shies away from free trade
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
Two burly, senior citizens – Prime Minister Modi and President Xi doing a tango on the beach at Mamallapuram doesn’t quite evoke the carefully synchronised but fiercely intense passion of this Argentinian dance form. Even the cool looking, athletic Barrack Obama was left with two left feet when he was led onto the floor for a […]Read More Tango in Mamallapuram
It’s going to be a sombre Deepawali this year. If there were any doubts, the RBI Monetary Policy report of October 4 dispels them succinctly. Missing demand Global apprehensions abound around the policy and political uncertainty unleashed by the proxy war for access to markets between the US and China. Back home, slowing private demand […]Read More Its’ smart to stoke private demand
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
Modi 1.0 was all about learning the ropes of national governance. Budget preparation and execution is a key ingredient. Budget purists cavil that budgets under Modi 1.0 were high on fuzzy motherhood goals and discretionary expenditure but low on schematic, multiplier enhancing allocations. Arun Jaitley’s five years as FM Rhetoric and poetry are part of […]Read More Budget FY2020 – Marching to a different drum beat
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?
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?
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