The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for the 'Infrastructure' Category

Coals To Newcastle… And Bengal?!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Why is Bengal, one of the largest sources of coal in the world, importing coal from abroad? Long-time reader and IEB friend, Joydeep Mukherji sent us this article with a comment: The West Bengal government has decided to import one lakh tonne of coal at higher rates to fuel the thermal power plants which have [...]

Farmers And Loans

Friday, February 29th, 2008

So the UPA government is set to improve credit availability (and write off loans) for farmers. Laveesh Bhandari tells you why, if improving the livelihood of farmers is a policy goal, the Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram are barking up the wrong tree. Here lies the crux of the matter. If use of new seeds, [...]

Capital Investment: The Next Wave of Growth

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Chandra Kochar, joint managing director and chief financial officer of India’s largest privately owned bank, $80 billion ICICI Bank, is bullish on India growth story. She contends that the growth in India is shifting from consumerism to manufacturing and infrastructure. In the last five to seven years, India has grown on the basis of its [...]

India’s Space Program – An Economy Perspective

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

The economic benefits of a space program are a continuous source of debate. In India there is the constant suggestion that the thousands of crores spent on ISRO’s adventures should be utilized elsewhere. Here are some thoughts on why a space program makes economic sense. Everyone knows that a space program offers great advantages from [...]

Water Privatization in Kundapur

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

A couple of years back, as part of an academic project (which I had also blogged about in my personal blog), I’d talked about water privatization. I had said that it is a good thing even if it pushes up costs, because it now offers people the option to get piped water supply. The analysis [...]

World Bank Loan In Rupees

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

…likely for the Maharashtra government. The BBC reports that the World Bank is considering the first ever proposal for a loan of $3.5 billion to be disbursed and repaid in rupees and not the US dollar. This is being done to ostensibly counter the fluctuating rupee- dollar rate. However, it needs no saying that a [...]

Jammu & Kashmir: the readymade SEZ

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

One of the criticisms leveled against India’s SEZ policy is that the zones are too small to make a real difference. But there’s a very big zone that could be an SEZ, especially if the state’s politicians—who are all for ‘autonomy’—decided economic freedom is something that is well in their capacity to achieve. And set [...]

On Tehelka’s Dissing Of Vibrant Gujarat

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

In a series of seven short posts over at The Acorn I show how Tehelka juggled facts and figures in order to poke holes into the “Vibrant Gujarat” story. I’m posting the concluding piece of the series here, to summarise where we are at the end of our examination of Shivam Vij’s article. There is [...]

The Case Against Sethusamudram

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Before the issue of the historicity of the characters in the Ramayana came along to cloud the issue, much of the public debate hovered around political and environmental issues. Neither the commercial viability, nor the putative military strategic benefits, were adequately scrutinised. The commercial case for the project rests on the time and cost saved [...]

Towards Building A Domestic Defence Industry

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

The bid for procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft at an estimated cost of Rs. 42,000 crores ($10.2 billion) for the Indian Air Force this week has generated a lot of buzz in the international defence market. The NYT reports that- Determined to build a domestic arms industry, India is requiring foreign suppliers to [...]

Public Transport In India

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

The term itself is a misnomer in many ways. Which transport system in India is not public? The ubiquitous auto rickshaw is used as a “hop-in and hop-out” coach in many parts of India, operating with a fixed tariff rate on predetermined routes. In Udaipur (Rajasthan), a parterre and rear vomitory has been added to [...]

The Indian Army Part 4 & 5

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Res ipsa loquitur The official figure for the shortage of officers in the Indian army is 24.1%, a shortfall of 11238 officers against an authorization of 46615. Imagine the impact on the army budget, if all the deficiencies in the officer cadre were to be suddenly made up. The current revenue to capital expenditure ratio [...]

Auto Rickshaw Pricing

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Acute shortage of parking space means I usually take an auto rickshaw whenever I have to go to the M G Road area. The usual fare is Rs. 35, so when the meter shows Rs. 45 (as it did last week), I demand an explanation from the driver. And the last time round, the driver’s [...]

What Gives in the Mobile Space?

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

This news story has got buried, for some reason, with few people I know being aware of it. According to Business Standard, the net addition to the GSM subscriber base has dropped from 6.13 million subscribers in March to 4.13 million subs in April. What gives? 1. As the story suggests, there has been an [...]

Don’t Make It Affordable

Friday, April 27th, 2007

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), in a recent move, has slashed the fares of the super luxury air-conditioned Volvo buses. The minimum fare, which had been raised to Rs. 12, has now been moved back to Rs. 10. It has been mentioned that the reduction in fares is in order to make high quality [...]

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