Make In Mozambique: The Real Reason Modi Visited

It has as many people as Punjab, and its people are three times poorer. But Narendra Modi became the first prime minister to visit Mozambique in 34 years because the impoverished South African country has something every Indian wants. Dal. Or Pulses.

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The Goods and Services Tax

FOR pushing through the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the NDA government is resorting to an enormous amount of untruth. The most blatant of these is the utterly bogus claim that the GST would increase India’s GDP growth rate by 2 percent per year.

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Parrikar finds $3 billion lying forgotten in US account

Defence Minister dismisses prospect of joint patrolling by US and Indian navies Business Standard, 5th March 16 In a disquieting comment on how the ministry of defence (MoD) manages its money, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar revealed on Friday that he discovered India was paying the US Depar

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Rural rejuvenation: The anatomy of a failed strategy-Niranjan Rajadhyaksha (Mint, 11 June 2015)

The clock has turned full circle: rural distress is climbing once again.
Let us rewind to the year 2004. The National Democratic Alliance surprisingly lost the national election. The new alliance that took power that year was led by a rejuvenated Congress. The party believed it had won because the previous government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had ignored the rural areas. Manmohan Singh became the new prime minister. His speech to the nation on 15 August 2004 mentioned the need of a New Deal for rural India. The focus would be investments in irrigation, rural roads, electricity, primary education and agricultural infrastructure.
The actual strategy of his government over the next 10 years was quite different from what had been suggested initially. The United Progressive Alliance focused on policies that do not seem to have done much to free Indian farmers from the unending cycle of distress. Here are some elements of that failed strategy:a

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Situating Modinomics- Prashant Kulkarni ( Swarajya, 8 May 2015)

The 2014 verdict was understandably an endorsement of both the Hindu political right and the economic right as much as rejection of rampant crony socialism under the UPA. Expectedly, there was anticipation that Prime Minister Modi would summarily put in place the reform measures to stimulate the mired economic growth. Barring perhaps P.V. Narasimha Rao (circumstance-motivated) and A.B. Vajpayee (in part ideologically driven), no other Indian Prime Minister has been identified with the economic right as much as Modi.

Intriguingly, the bequest of past governments is defined by the scale of State involvement in the economy rather than the measure of State withdrawal. Implied in the verdict of 2014 was an increasing space for supply siders in the policy machinery. However, economic gestures originating from the government in the last 12 months perplex and mystify both friends and critics alike. Incontestably, the direction of reforms is unambiguous, yet the relatively leisurely tempo seems annoying. What is unanswered is this question: Can “Modinomics” be slotted in any particular economic school of thought?

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Profitability without accountability (M. V. RAMANA, SUVRAT RAJU in Mint, Feb 16,2015)

In its efforts to promote nuclear commerce with the United States, the Narendra Modi government has run into a dichotomy that lies at the heart of this industry. While multinational nuclear suppliers, such as G.E. and Westinghouse publicly insist that their products are extraordinarily safe, they are adamant that they will not accept any liability should an accident occur at one of their reactors. The joint announcement by Mr. Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama last month raised concerns that the government would move to effectively indemnify suppliers, contrary to the interests of potential victims. The list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) on nuclear liability released by the Ministry of External Affairs on February 8 confirms the suspicion that the Modi government is trying to reinterpret India’s liability law by executive fiat in order to protect nuclear vendors.

The government has disingenuously suggested that it achieved the recent “breakthrough” by establishing an insurance pool to support suppliers. However, to focus on this arrangement is to miss the wood for the trees as even a cursory analysis of the economics of nuclear plants shows.

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Not measure for measure (Uday Balakrishnan, Hindu, February 16, 2015)

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Purchasing Power Parity or PPP has validated a long held surmise that the poorer countries are not as badly off as they are made out to be nor the richer ones as well off as they seem. A nominal GDP ranking puts India at tenth place while a PPP one pushes it up to third, behind the United States and China. The Big Mac Index of The Economist loosely corroborates. Travelling to expensive parts of the world from our country brings this home to us tellingly.

A 2011 issue of The Economist published a controversial piece — “Comparing Indian states and territories with countries: An Indian Summary” — which purported to show that for all its size and population, the economy of Uttar Pradesh was roughly just that of Qatar, and Maharashtra’s no bigger than Singapore’s, while that of Tamil Nadu was no larger than Angola’s — all very confusing and probably wrong when in PPP terms, India as a whole is placed third in the world. So, where do we stand and what standard should one pitch for to measure ourselves against the rest of the world?

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