A visit by the United States President (POTUS), months before the American elections, can be many things — a farewell trip, collecting paybacks for past favours or simply a low-risk, synchronised “feel good” ride amidst millions of adoring Indians — reliving thereby the past grandeur of America as a global beacon for developing world fantasies […]Read More “Treating POTUS better” is good for India too
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
On top of the BJP’s rudderless leadership to get the national economy out of a rut, or very possibly because of it, comes a humiliating political defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections with Arvind Kejriwal’s broom sweeping the Congress completely out of the capital’s politics and limiting the BJP to 8 out of the 70-member […]Read More BJP electrocuted after Delhi adopts muffler-man Kejriwal
The RBIs decision to hold the repo-rate (the administered rate at which the RBI lends money to banks) at 5.15 per cent for the second time in four months, mirrors the timidity of the Finance Minister in the budget proposals presented for FY 2021. Both are twins born of the same mother of policy paralysis […]Read More RBI chickens out of stoking growth
The budget analysis commentariat heaved a sigh of relief after the budget for FY2021 was revealed. Unlike last year, at least the accounting seems accurate. So low were expectations that it was almost a pleasure to review the carefully consistent allocations across the more than 700 schemes and 300 major heads of expenditure. These soak […]Read More FY 2020 budget post script
Prime Minister Modi is a “lucky General”. At a time when India seemed most vulnerable, God has chosen to level the field a bit by hitting the global economy and China with a pandemic which is sure to slow growth even further making us look relatively better. The misery of others often comes with collateral […]Read More Red lining budget FY 2021
The sad truth is that global economic stability and growth, including for India, now depend on the unstable predilections of a global party-pooper, who is the President of the United States till at least the third quarter of FY 2021. The International Monetary Fund has said as much, albeit in “diplomatese” — not surprising as […]Read More Budgeting by band-aids must end
The faux London clouds and cold plaguing Delhi over the past two months lifted and bright sunlight came tumbling through today with the arrival of the Brazilian President– lifting spirits around. Part of the lift was triggered by the enervating sight of the young men and this time loads of young women in uniform, who […]Read More Republic Day 2020 – A turning point?
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?
Only short public memory can explain the agitation around growth (in GNI constant terms) slipping from 6.8 per cent last year to an expected 5 per cent this fiscal – a year on year reduction of around 26.5 per cent in the growth rate. Another red line we have crossed is that the growth rate […]Read More India’s choppy economic growth