The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for November, 2005

It is ownership, not competition.

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Ramnath, in his second point here, repeats the usual argument that “Ownership doesnt matter as much as competition” refering to privatization of PSUs. The argument is that if PSUs were forced to compete in a free market, then it wouldn’t matter that they are publicly owned. Sorry, but I don’t buy that argument. To compete [...]

Why we oppose regulation.

Monday, November 28th, 2005

When I wrote my post “Most Blogs are terrible” it is only the patient who understood that my my actual target was regulation, not the quality of blogs. Now I am afraid that Manjunath’s tragic killing has brought things into sharper focus. Amit points to this article by Ila Patnaik, which argues that it is [...]

Bad Economics Can Kill

Monday, November 28th, 2005

In an excellent Op-Ed in the Indian Express titled “Who killed Manjunath?” Ila Patnaik writes: It is well understood that the structure of economic incentives is a far stronger force than policing. It is easy to blame the law and order situation for the murder. But the real blame lies with the petroleum price policy [...]

Getting To The Future

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Business Week writes about the success of two commodities exchanges in India. Two years ago government deregulation allowed two competing Indian exchanges, the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), which deals mostly with agricultural products, and the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), which mostly handles energy and metals, to open for business. The fully electronic exchanges [...]

The Best Livelihood Available

Friday, November 25th, 2005

Sanjeev Naik points me to a piece by Amelia Gentleman in the International Herald Tribune that speaks about the plans of the West Bengal government to ban hand-pulled rickshaws. Gentleman writes: The mayor describes the job as “despicable”; the chief minister of the state of West Bengal, a Marxist, says it is “barbaric.” City officials [...]

Incentives For Good Behaviour

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

In response to my post on airports, reader Ila Bhatt writes in: The next time i read an article/blog/column/whatever on improving pax. facilities at airports i am going to scream! I have spent a week travelling on a mix of old and new carriers in india and quite frankly, flying is now infinitely more dangerous [...]

Development, Development, What Development?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

So, it does seem the Laloo Prasad Yadav era is Bihar is over. His erstwhile ally, Nitish Kumar, has led the JD (U)-BJP combine to a comprehensive win in the Bihar state elections. Laloo is not the only person to have lost his sheen; Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP has been reduced to just 14 seats, [...]

Ten Billion Dollars

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

That’s the amount of money that is going to spent on revamping India’s airports and building new ones in the next four years, according to this report. I hope most of it comes from private investment, which is always more efficient than government spending, and I think it would be money well spent. Why so? [...]

China V India: Some random numbers

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Barry Ritholtz culls some interesting China numbers from a WSJ story. • China has about $1 trillion in personal savings and a savings rate of close to 50%. The U.S. has about $158 billion in personal savings and an average savings rate of only about 2%. • Shanghai boasts 4,000 skyscrapers — double the number [...]

The Languages Divide

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Sudheendra Kulkarni writes in the Indian Express: [T]he neglect of Indian languages, and the unstoppable dominance of English, is not limited to literature. It can also be seen in education, administration, judiciary, and commerce. The decline and slow decay of our native languages is one of the most worrisome socio-cultural phenomena in contemporary India. It [...]

Cities And Their Oxygen

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

Celebrity isn’t wisdom. And yet, newspapers run after celebs and get them to pontificate grandly on all kinds of subjects. Check out this piece in DNA in which Raveena Tandon expresses the view that Mumbai should have a cap to its population, and it should not “accept or absorb” any more people after that limit [...]

Don’t Get Fooled By Success

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Consider this experiment: you are a punter, and you get a letter from me saying that I have the ability to forecast the result of all cricket matches, and if you pay me Rs. 10,000, I shall tell you what will happen in the next game so that you can make a killing — perhaps [...]

Young North, Old South

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on Asia’s graying populations, Nicholas Eberstadt writes on India: The overall population profile [of India] will remain relatively youthful, with a median age projected at just over 30 in 2025. But this is an arithmetic expression averaging diverse components of a vast nation. Closer examination reveals two [...]

“Robbing Peter To Pay Paul”

Monday, November 14th, 2005

DNA speaks to Prakash Karat and comes away with the conclusion that the left is going to continue pushing the policies that have failed India for the last 58 years: redistributing wealth instead of generating it.

Telecom Sector Update

Monday, November 14th, 2005

The telecom sector in India continued to record rapid growth in the month of October, adding 3.24 million new subscribers. This takes the total subscriber base to 116 million and the tele-density to 10.66 (per 100 population). In the mobile phone sector alone, 2.9 million new subscribers were added, taking the GSM subscriber base to [...]

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