It was an unequal fight to begin with. Structurally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central bank, is squarely under the government’s thumb. The government appoints the governor of the RBI and can curtail his tenure. Two-thirds of the RBI’s board consists of government appointees who are not RBI officials. The government can […]Read More Urjit Patel the only winner in the Govt-RBI slugfest
Rabindranath Tagore – India’s poet laureate’s prescription for healthy thinking was to open the doors and windows. The Union governments did quite the opposite, yesterday when it stuck its head into sand and came up with a desultory five-point plan to deal with the growing current account deficit (CAD) – the difference between our imports […]Read More India’s external imbalance – hiding one’s head in the sand doesn’t help
It is not often than an innocuous government statement becomes the fulcrum of a storm. The sudden announcement that Minister Nitin Gadkari’s plan to announce a policy for 100% electrification of transportation by 2030 was off the cards, sent shock waves through the industry and political analysts. Subsuming Gadkari’s proposed electric vehicle policy in a […]Read More BJP self goals dim the shine
The politics around “demonetisation” — a misused term for what happened on November 8, 2016 — has taken centerstage in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh (that voted yesterday) and Gujarat (which goes to the polls in December). Finance minister Arun Jaitley has added “morality” to the cluster of objectives, that seemingly […]Read More “Demonetisation” as a morality play
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, recently released a book titled India Transformed — 25 years of Economic Reform, edited by Rakesh Mohan, at the appropriately historic Nehru Memorial Library. After the obligatory photo-op, Dr Singh turned to finance minister Arun Jaitley and with a beatific smile, handed the book over to him, as if, symbolically, […]Read More FM Jaitley, aim for the sweet spot
Hasmukh Adhia, India’s revenue secretary, is finance minister Arun Jaitley’s chief aide for rolling out the Goods and Services Tax. Contrary to his first name, he never smiles, at least not in public. But even he can now take a break and smile. The GST juggernaut is careening ahead. In just over a week, India […]Read More Can GST make Hasmukh Adhia smile?
The embattled Finance Minister Arun Jaitley – clearly aware that the knives are out for him Finance minister Arun Jaitley will be fighting from a tight corner on February 1, 2017, boxed in by low domestic demand and the approaching international headwinds of a protectionist United States. Fighting on the backfoot is new to […]Read More Red flags for FM Jaitley
In a welcome change of national focus, becoming rich is no longer enough unless the poor are taken along. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is very au fait with international headwinds, was prescient in his December 31 address. For the first time, it was not the youth, nor non-resident Indians, nor Hindus, that the PM […]Read More Fiscal courage needed on Feb 1, 2017
Finance Minister Jaitley thinking. The Election Commission has expectedly kicked the “postpone the budget” ball -rolled out by the opposition- to the government for comments by January 10. This is smart, because it offers the government an exit strategy from the ill-conceived plan to fast forward the budget to February 1 just two days […]Read More Postpone budget 2017
It is just as well that Finance Minister Jaitley was away in Turkey rapping with the G20 about “India’s strong fiscal fundamentals”, even as a small part of that fiscal stability was compromised, with nothing much gained, except possibly 20 million votes that the armed forces represent. Faujis (armed forces) deserve better but not this […]Read More Retired Generals win OROP: will the tail of pensions now wag the dog?