The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Scrap The Spending Limit

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

There are two special things about the ongoing elections in Karnataka. The first is the presence of a large number of real estate developers in the elections. The second is the virtual non-existence of corruption, rather the removal of it, in party manifestos. These two points, I believe, are not independent. Under the current system, [...]

The Evil That Manmohan Did Will Live After Him

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

He advocates a false morality to disguise his government’s failures Dr Manmohan Singh the prime minister has routinely relied on platitudes (instead of on incentives) to motivate the UPA government’s policies. But he is getting even the platitudes wrong. In a country where the average annual per capita income hovers around an unacceptably low US$1000, [...]

From Helping Farmers To Hurting Them

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Who gets hurt when grain exports are banned? Swaminathan Iyer took the words out of this bloggers mouth. The UPA government, he writes “has suddenly shifted from protecting Indian farmers against cheap imports to protecting the consumer by cheapening imports”. He is referring to the ban on rice exports (which follow the export of wheat [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

Why Does India Have Such Terrible Politicans – 4

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

The relevant question is not Who are we going to trust but What are we going to trust? Arnold Kling wrote a freewheeling essay last year Should You Trust the Government? in which he points out In the case of government, there is good trust and there is bad trust. Good trust is trust in [...]

Oil Pricing in India

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

The crude oil prices have finally touched $100 per barrel – a psychological barrier and a statistical inanity. The composition of Indian crude basket represents average of Oman & Dubai for sour grades and Brent (dated) for sweet grade in the ratio of 59.8:40.2 since April 2006. The Indian crude basket has touched a high [...]

Why Does India Have Such Terrible Politicians — 3

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Russell Roberts says We should be realistic about politicians. George Stigler used to contrast his theory of politics with Ralph Nader’s. In Nader’s view, all of the ugly aspects of government were caused by the wrong people getting elected. If we could just elect better people, then we’d get better policies. Stigler argued that it [...]

Meet The New Boss…?

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Removing corruption in India entails a look at ultimate reasons, not proximate causes Here’s a supposedly novel approach to corruption, the legalization of bribery, courtesy Ajay Shankar Pandey, the Municipal Commissioner of Ghaziabad [Chicago Tribune]. Today, contractors being paid after finishing long-delayed construction projects write the municipality a check for the 15 percent bribe that [...]

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 [...]

Pakistan – Emergency & Economy

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

While declaring the emergency on 3 November, the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lamented – I am observing that Capital and Business that was flowing into the country is now stopped – they are now questioning whether to invest here or not Pakistan will remain stable. Our economy, the livelihood of our nation which improved over [...]

When Manekshaw Confronted Indira’s Cabinet

Friday, October 12th, 2007

I then asked her what she wanted me to do.

She said, “I want you to enter Pakistan.”

And I responded, “That means war!”

She said, “I do not mind if it is war.”

“Have you read the Bible?”, I said.

The Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh asked, “What has Bible got to do with this?”

Urban Indians Love Free Markets & Free Trade

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Ajay Shah has a post on the results of the Pew Institute’s latest survey: They have three key questions that measure economic liberalism, covering attitudes towards international trade, attitudes towards foreign companies and attitudes towards free markets. The results contain many surprises. As an example, in urban India, they find 89% are supportive of international [...]

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 [...]

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