In a quietly subversive “revolt” 47 officers of the Indian Revenue Service, which administers taxes on income, hit the headlines this week with a policy paper “Fiscal Options and Response to Covid-18 Epidemic” FORCE outlining the tax measures government could take to deal with the economic downside of Covid-19. Too young to be seen or […]Read More May the FORCE be with young IRS officers
Governments reveal their true character under stress. China, by design or accident, showed the world how national interest comes first, by ruthlessly stamping out the disease within Wuhan itself – at a high and possibly underreported, cost to the folks who live there. Strong willed, independent minded United Kingdom, addicted to significant anal behavior, fiddled […]Read More Unpacking India’s response to the COVID aftermath
If development, or the promise of it, won the BJP its imposing political dominance in 2014 and again in 2019, is it now destiny which will maintain the inertia of electoral endorsements? Sustainable Development metrics “Development” is best measured by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals under which there are 169 targets to be achieved by […]Read More Forget elusive growth, focus on development
The first 100 days of the Modi 2.0 government have been marked by lows and highs. Sadly, the lows are longer lasting, while the highs are transient, even in the short term. The biggest low was the Budget for FY 2019-20 in July, which was presented, in the absence of the late Arun Jaitley, with […]Read More Modi 2.0 100 not out!
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
The brouhaha over Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Nagpur, as the chief guest at a valedictory function of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), foregrounds the stunted nature of politics in India. Politics is about reaching out First, consider the absurdity of the prevailing schoolboy notion of “team” spirit extending to a ban on supping […]Read More Pranab da mimics Atal ji
Maharajakrishna Rasgotra, India’s foreign secretary from 1982 to 1985, records that in 1948, contrary to the popular perception, the wealthy “Doon School wallahs” preferred to join the domestic services, where they could keep an eye on their assets, and that the IFS boys were at a premium only amongst the urbanised, “sophisticated girls of marriageable […]Read More An “Ambassador” amongst “box wallahs”
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 Union Budget 2018-19 appears an honest and judicious construct when first viewed on video. Reading the fine print takes some of the shine off, going by precedent. The biggest relief is that there has been no substantive deviation from the path of fiscal discipline. The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is pegged at 3.5 percent […]Read More FM walks the budget plank gingerly
So when does hubris — the corrosive comfort of undiluted power — overtake a government? Conventional wisdom points to three early red flags. First, when routine tasks are ignored for grand ambitions. Second, when party cadres act out of entitlement rather than commitment. Third, when rant replaces reason as public outreach. Has this already happened […]Read More Is hubris slowing down Modi?