February 19, 2017

Across the aisle: The rise and fall of the AIADMK

De mortuis nil nisi bonum. (Of the dead say nothing but the good). The best I can do is to say nothing uncharitable about Jayalalithaa the person, but simply recount the events of the last 25 years. M G Ramachandran (MGR) broke with his party (DMK) in 1972 and founded the All India Anna DMK (AIADMK). He was elected as […]
February 12, 2017

Across the aisle: Wanted expansion, got contraction

A budget is contextual.  When the new year dawned, some things were abundantly clear. Firstly, the external environment was no longer benign (rising oil prices and rising protectionism). Secondly, the growth rate of the Indian economy was slowing down (as in many countries of the world). Thirdly, while the Indian economy was growing, few jobs were being created. Fourthly, there […]
February 10, 2017

Across the aisle: Muddling through another budget, another year

Budget day has come and gone. Millions of words have been spoken and written since Wednesday. Not many will remember the numbers or the artful phrases (there was none in this edition) or the flashes of poetry (who were the poets?). What will remain is the question, did this Budget leave the average citizen with the belief that the fundamental […]
January 29, 2017

Across the aisle: Navigating through the do’s and don’ts

Every budget is determined by the context and the context is determined by the circumstances — economic, political and the year in the term of the government. Budget 2017-18 will be the fourth budget of the NDA government (one more remains) and it will be presented when, according to the RBI and the CSO, the economy is slowing down. The […]
January 22, 2017

Across the aisle: It is a balloon, it is a kite!

The Chief Economic Adviser has promised a detailed analysis of the subject in the Economic Survey that will be presented to Parliament on the eve of the Budget. However, there is no word yet from the government. It is the Budget season. The good, bad and ugly (ideas) will be on display. One idea that is in the realm of […]
January 17, 2017

Across the aisle: Prepare for ‘slow down India’

The only engine that appeared to be running was government expenditure. In this scenario, what can be expected regarding the growth rate in 2016-17? There are four engines of growth: government expenditure, private consumption, private investment and exports. Two of the engines — private investment and exports — have languished for many months. Private consumption was strong and kept the […]
January 8, 2017

Across the aisle: Whither RBI’s autonomy?

The RBI’s main objectives in 1934 and now are the same to issue bank notes and to keep the reserves. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was born under unusual circumstances. A need was felt to ‘regulate the issue of bank notes and the keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability’. However, in 1929, the world had […]
January 1, 2017

Will 2017 be a happy new year?

As 2016 draws to a close, the whole country should be celebrating the state of the economy, but there is no joy anywhere. Why are the people sullen, dejected and apprehensive about the immediate future? We should be happy that the Indian economy, according to the government, grew at an average of 7.4 per cent (new series) in 2014-15 and […]