The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for November, 2005

Democracy’s Drawbacks?

Friday, November 11th, 2005

Some time back I had linked to an Economist special report, Democracy’s Drawbacks, which talked about how India’s democratic process held back reforms from time to time. A reader from Princeton, Bruce Gilley, responds in this week’s Economist. SIR – You write that India’s people have chosen representatives who have questioned dramatic economic reforms. You [...]

Empowerment, Not Slavery

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

A version of this piece was first published today in the Wall Street Journal as “Self-Delusion.” (Free link this week, but subscription from the next.) It was written a couple of weeks back, and has its genesis in this post of mine. Organized slavery ended decades ago, but to go by the criticism of some [...]

Is IEB Blocked In China?

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

A friend who just returned from a visit to China tells us The Indian Economy Blog site wasn’t accessible in China. Oddly enough the NYT and virtually every Indian paper was available. As was the WSJ and the FT. I tried the IEB site repeatedly along with BBC – which I knew was persona non [...]

How About A New White Elephant To Fund Infrastructure?

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

More of the same where the same has failed Here’s a conundrum: it is amply clear that given the abysmal state of India’s roads, railways, ports, irrigation and electricity grids, and given the rapid growth of the Indian economy over the past several years, good infrastructure is in great demand in India. Yet the central [...]

Taxation For All

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

With exceptions, of course. Do read TN Ninan’s fine piece in Business Standard, “Our ‘new class’“

Highway Robbery by the Government

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Readers might think I am referring to the cases of Natwar Singh’s oil kickbacks, or the Sub-inspector caught accepting bribes on camera. Those cases are foul, and represent how deep corruption has penetrated in the Indian system. But I am talking about an example where the government, officially and legally, is stealing from the people. And in what is a real tragic irony, the victims of this theft are the same farmers whose suicides are used by several parties and “thinkers” to oppose free market policies. Read the following article and you realise that this theft would have been extremely unlikely and difficult under a free market regime. But under this socialist regime, it is literally as easy as signing a piece of paper.

Hunger in India

Friday, November 4th, 2005

According to UN estimates, India has the largest number of hungry people. Over 200 million, or about one-fifth of India’s population, is chronically hungry. This is an apparent paradox in a country which is food-surplus on the aggregate. The Wall Street Journal of June 25th 2004 reported that according to Indian government sources, by 2001 [...]

Software – More Than Just An Industry

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Richard Celeste and Geoffrey Garrett write: Skeptics are wont to claim that India’s successes in software are not “scalable,” and cannot be the basis for countrywide development. But software is not a mere “industry” in the traditional sense of steel or textiles, to focus on two of China’s strong suits. An uber-industry, software is increasingly [...]

The Indian Consumer Cometh

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Stephen Roach is back from his third trip to India. This time, he’s ga-ga about the Indian consumer and India’s domestic consumption-led growth model. In case you’re wondering why an article by Roach matters, you certainly are underestimating the man’s influence (for better or for worse) among the movers and shakers in finance and industry [...]

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