Is India the global fall-guy?

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?

RBI Gov Shakti Das does a U turn

Since the government no longer leaks information to the press on what is about to happen, it is tough to figure out whether the unanimous decision to hold the repo rate (the bank rate) at 5.15 per cent by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on December 6 has the Union government’s blessings. Maybe this is […]

Read More RBI Gov Shakti Das does a U turn

India’s Raj inheritance

Delhi has yet to overcome its Raj inheritance. The capital exudes the complacence of satiated imperialism, decades after the rest of the country has been democratized.  The most egregious twin dogmas Two particularly deep-seated Raj dogmas plague Delhi. First, that India has an entitlement to lead the world and second, that our long-term foe is […]

Read More India’s Raj inheritance

India shies away from free trade

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

A hybrid export model might fly

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

Tango in Mamallapuram

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

Its’ smart to stoke private demand

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

Indian Economy – The great slide

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