|May 13, 2013|
|Did the CAG overstep the mark?|
The Comptroller and Auditor General reports saw senior politicians, powerful ministers and top bureaucrats end up in jail. Thanks to those reports, public scams such as 2G, Coalgate and the Commonwealth Games became part of the popular discourse.
|May 06, 2013|
|Why does India need balance sheet reforms?|
In the absence of market opportunities, the management will need to persuade shareholders that legitimate methods of valuation were used and the transaction price was justifiable.
|April 25, 2013|
|Vedanta and international standards on mining|
The most significant development over the last 10 years is that such organisations have accepted the need to operate on the basis of the principle of FPIC, namely Free, Prior and Informed Consent, by the local people whom a mining project affects.
|April 16, 2013|
|Should you be brave and buy gold, or silver?|
We are in a general commodity correction wherein we must expect all commodities to bottom more or less simultaneously since money is fungible and you have no means of knowing which bull is trapped where, says
Struggle for life saving drugs
People die from diseases like AIDS, TB, etc because life saving essential medicines are either too expensive, or not available because they are not seen as financially viable.
|April 12, 2013|
|India-EU FTA: A parting kick from UPA?|
Barring a few exceptions India has a chronic trade deficit with most of its existing FTA partners as it is with most of its proposed FTA partners.
Should pharma MNCs be peeved?
In spite of all their complaints, pharma MNCs have been gaining market share in India. And this growth has come largely with generics.
|April 02, 2013|
|Can we have waterless agriculture too Mr PM?|
We need a master plan to increase our water storage capacity, improve irrigation facilities and create water networks across the country that links the draught prone with those experiencing floods.
|March 29, 2013|
|The vexing issue of 3G roaming|
The Department of Telecommunications' restriction on this service flies in the face of both policy precedents and market logic.
|March 22, 2013|
|Food security or dole?|
There is a vast grey area between a bill that promises to ensure that no one goes hungry and the political economy of producing food, writes .
|March 21, 2013|
|The invisible hand of the government|
When we have 30,000-plus colleges and scores of research labs, why is it that we do not produce a steady stream of Nobel Prize winners?
|March 19, 2013|
|Anji Reddy, healer extraordinaire|
Dr Reddy, an innovative technocrat par excellence, led from the front the countless initiatives of his famed laboratory in discovering many effective, affordable, cures for the numerous ailments of mankind, writes .
|March 09, 2013|
|Obsessing about GDP growth|
True sustainable growth can come only through an increase in productivity, and such increases can happen only through innovations, technical and organisational, in all sectors of the economy - industry, services and agriculture, writes .
|March 04, 2013|
|FM flatters, but Budget deceives|
The Budget is disappointing because it refuses to fundamentally repudiate fiscal populism.
The freebie nation
Despite warnings from a parliamentary panel, the list of tax exemptions in 2012-13 shows a rising trend.
|February 20, 2013|
|No quick fixes for high growth|
The Indian economy suffers deep structural flaws that piecemeal measures in the Budget are unlikely to solve.
|February 18, 2013|
|UPA government: A decade of decay!|
The two decades of our "spectacular economic progress" has side-stepped vast swath of our underprivileged that oscillates between twenty per cent and one-fifth of our population!
|February 13, 2013|
|One Billion Rising|
The underlying issues of male domination and the urgent need for a 'feminisation' of society and economy are much more difficult to tackle, writes .
|February 07, 2013|
|Price pooling of coal is a bad idea|
It is more than certain that coal supply is a major constraint on power production; and power is a major constraint on industrial growth.
Realising India's industrial dreams
The causes for and solutions to India's manufacturing angst may not lie in high land costs, excessively labour-friendly laws or excessive taxes.
|December 31, 2012|
|Has the time for India to lead come?|
For starters given a declining West, it is indeed unwise on our part to depend on it for any matter whatsoever for our growth.
Policy paralysis in 2013 again?
Given that there are number of state elections leading up to the national election in 2014, the government is unlikely to take hard decisions.
|December 28, 2012|
|'Celebrate the spirit of resistance'|
If you feel that the year 2012 is coming to a close on a depressing note focusing on an unusual New Year celebration in Kundankulam in Tamil Nadu might offer a glimmer of hope.
|November 20, 2012|
|Will BP's punishment teach any lesson?|
The billion dollar penalty of the kind imposed on BP will not deter risky operations but it will hopefully create an incentive for stricter safety measures.
|November 08, 2012|
|Market correction to continue|
Short-term wave counts show that there could be minor pullbacks next week, which will be small counter-trend rallies to correct for over-sold conditions. says
|November 05, 2012|
|Sebi, do no harm |
To make mutual funds go beyond the top 15 locations, Sebi has decided to rob investors and pay the funds.
How the Euro could survive
Signs of recovery in Spain and commitment from Germany must be met with the willingness to let the euro fall.
|November 01, 2012|
|All about chasing real estate's shadows|
After all, he had already, in the short three years that he had worked for us, in the middle of a punishing schedule of writing algorithms crucial for our business, found the time and energy to write two articles for international peer-reviewed journals and co-author with me a chapter in a book of readings on collective intelligence edited by a prominent US academic.
|October 25, 2012|
|From the Indus Valley Civilisation to SEZs|
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry carried out a review of municipal solid waste management in Indian cities in 2009, and found that only six of the 22 surveyed cities in the study had sanitary landfills, while 10 cities -- including major waste generators like New Delhi, Greater Mumbai (greatest generator of waste) and Kanpur -- did not have sanitary landfills.
'Thrash out' trade differences
WTO should focus more on what it 'should do' than what it 'can do'
Of foreign hands across the waters
Globalisation may have many discontents as contents.
Why the West is in disarray
The last European summit, in June, was supposed to have decided that the European Stability Mechanism would use its euro 500 billion to help directly recapitalise banks in distress, once a euro-zone banking supervisor authority was established.
|October 17, 2012|
|The positive side of reforms|
Whatever may have been the pace, sequence or quality of reforms in the last two decades, nobody can dispute their positive impact on the degree of accountability in governance standards.
|October 04, 2012|
|All about Reserve Bank's overkill on gold loans|
Back in March this year, when the Reserve Bank of India stepped in with a cap of 60 per cent on the loan-to-value ratio for gold loan non-banking financial companies, it said it was acting to pre-empt systemic risks and to safeguard public funds.
If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?
A financially successful business may be described as a good role model for its management practices -- whereas its financial success may have almost nothing to do with these practices.
|October 01, 2012|
|Has the flat C for US equities begun?|
The US markets have had a nice four-year bull run from March 2009 that just doesn't seem to be ending. The markets are on an extension. That's not surprising after the severe crash in 2008. However, these extensions can terminate at any time without notice, says
A few notifications is NOT reforms Mr PM!
For two decades while we continuously talked of infrastructure, power, ports, airports, irrigation, railways, roads, sewer systems, public transport, skill development, education, et all we also realised that our governments has very less vision to structure it, very little political will to carry it and far less managerial band-with to deliver such projects on time, writes .
|September 26, 2012|
|Manmohan Singh: A failed economist, and a prudent politician?|
But what has his two decades in 7 RCR meant for a nation in the throws of burgeoning domestic growth, a sudden global crisis and complete political turmoil? Senior Business journalist says Manmohan Singh has failed us as an economist but surprised us with his political prudence.
|September 10, 2012|
|Has gold really broken out?|
We will not know if the breakout is just a reactive pullback or the real thing for another two weeks or so, says
|September 07, 2012|
|Competitiveness in what?|
If we are to maintain stable societies and productive lives, we can no longer sustain a widening budget gap between what nature is able to provide and how much our infrastructure, economies and lifestyles require.
|August 27, 2012|
|Caution: Treacherous markets ahead|
On the whole expect a very treacherous markets as the price levels could be driven purely by the technical play between bulls and bears as the new trend is established, cautions
|August 10, 2012|
|Salvaging the UPA gravy train wreck|
It is in the interest of all politicians, ruling and opposition who hope to grab power in the next elections, to resolve the subsidies mess here and now. But how can it be done? offer a checklist
|August 09, 2012|
|Defending the Internet, loudly|
Internet businesses, including cybercafes, now stand protected because Section 79 classifies them as 'intermediaries' -- not holding them responsible for what people view and upload.
|July 25, 2012|
|Can Gujarat's growth story be attributed to Modi?|
In the decade that Narendra Modi has been chief minister, Gujarat has done well but so have other states. In fact, some have closed the gap with Gujarat, particularly in the last five years, argue
|July 04, 2012|
|Is this why DMK supported Pranab Mukherjee?|
The flow of funds to Kalignar TV begins on 23rd December 2008 and goes on till August 2009. The Finance Minister during that time was Pranab Mukherjee - the UPA's candidate for the post of Presidency.
|April 13, 2012|
|Limits to growth and how to overcome them|
We as a species are hitting global constraints imposed by Earth's ecological and bio-systems that we don't know how to mitigate or resolve as a species, says
|April 10, 2012|
|Why multitasking doesn't work|
As the brain is forced to respond to several stimuli at the same time which results in the brain switching between tasks and thus losing time as it determines which task to perform.
|March 29, 2012|
|Why China needs BRICS for the time being|
The BRICS states need to pin down China on long-term norm-based values, ideas and concrete proposals and programmes for the mutual benefit of the constituent member states.
|March 17, 2012|
|Budget 2012: More spend, yet no positive results|
Spending has been increased again, but there's still no effort in the Budget to improve outcomes.
Budget 2012: A good move towards GST, but reforms neglected
This Budget must be complimented for having taken two very positive steps towards the goods and services tax, or GST.
Budget 2012 fell short of the world's expectations
The fiery 'India Shining' and 'India Everywhere' slogans of a not-so-distant past may have been empty bluster, as the bravado has been replaced by a mood of despondency in the Indian business community.
Budget 2012: Not a disaster but not enough, either
The Budget arithmetic seemed to be more realistic this time, though the final 5.9 per cent fiscal deficit will be more like 6.1 per cent for this year, and the target for 2012-13 of 5.1 per cent may be more like 5.3 per cent.
Budget: Hike in shipping tonnage tax at the wrong time
The shipping industry unlike other industries attracts tonnage tax and the budget has proposed to increase the tonnage tax by more than 50% on various class of tonnage effective from April 1, 2013.
A Budget for credibility
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was saddled with a number of handicaps when he presented the Union Budget 2012-13 on Friday morning.
'Budget 2012-Neither too cruel, nor too kind'
Pragmatism, perseverance, patience, persistence -- and a lot of detailed work.
|March 13, 2012|
|UPA II: Dressing up to go nowhere|
The methods being used by the government to window-dress the fiscal deficit will fool no one, least of all foreign investors or bodies like the IMF, warns
|January 26, 2012|
|Pirates of the modern world|
Filtering of websites has now been introduced as a discussable topic. The current battle is about who will control the most visible and glamorous layer, the content layer.
|December 12, 2011|
|Consume or Kill? Save or Spend?|
'The public are being told to consume more, even in China and India. A part of the global problem is being attributed to the saving patterns of people in Asia and we are being told that greater demand and consumption in BRIC countries can help ease the pain of the developed world,' says B S Prakash.
|October 07, 2011|
|The story of Kasimbazar's networks|
If you do not know much about Kasimbazar, I would not hold it against you; after all it has a population of only 10,000 and lies in one of the most neglected corners of the state of West Bengal.
|October 06, 2011|
|Steve Jobs: The CEO as auteur|
Mr Jobs's place in management history is assured for being the model CEO who spent his waking hours obsessing about making their products 'insanely great', says .
|October 03, 2011|
|Playing dirty politics with the poor|
'Second-generation neoliberal policies, coupled with multiple failures on the food front, could do to the UPA what India Shining did to the NDA in 2004,' says .
|September 08, 2011|
|Steve Jobs: The role model CEO|
Mr Jobs' resignation has prompted various eulogies, with many aptly calling him America's greatest industrialist ranked right up there with the likes of Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. But many also made references to his "micro-managing".
|July 20, 2011|
|Indo-US ties: it's the economies, stupid|
To read Raymond Vickery's hugely interesting book while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still on Indian soil reminds one of the great distance India and the US have travelled since the 1998 nuclear tests.
|February 28, 2011|
|Does the Budget have a human face?|
Now 60 per cent of India's agriculture is rainfed and rainfed farmers and areas have the largest concentration of poorest people.
|February 09, 2011|
|The DB Realty-DMK puzzle|
'The CBI suspects A Raja of favouring Swan Telecom, a wing of DB Realty. A chain of firms connected to DB Realty transferred over Rs 200 crore to a television network connected to M Karunanidhi's immediate family....'
|February 07, 2011|
|Do we have job recovery?|
Global growth may be rebounding, but labour markets are not, or only very weakly and unevenly.
|January 10, 2011|
|Should a stock exchange also be a regulator?|
The securities market regulators were not to be born till a couple of centuries later and it was the stock exchanges that had to lay down the rules for admitting members and conditions for trading.
|December 29, 2010|
|2010 saw regulators testing their autonomy|
Several found their powers challenged or at least redefined -- insurance, stock market, and telecom -- and plans for a new 'autonomous' regulator -- for civil aviation -- were up in the air.
|December 09, 2010|
|How to counter rising rates|
The classic answers are to cut exposure to medium-and-long-term debt funds as well as financial stocks.
|November 26, 2010|
|Market may look crazy, but Indian stocks to do well|
The bottom line is that one should stay invested and not get spooked out of one's equity holdings, says .
Time to reinvent DD and AIR
The unending travails of Prasar Bharati Corporation, now made worse by allegations of corruption in high places and a threatened strike by its employees, point once again to the need for new thinking on public broadcasting.
|November 02, 2010|
|CDS: How to design a regulatory framework|
The decision to allow a product or not, should depend on its economic value addition and not on its mere availability and wide usage in the "sophisticated" markets.
|October 18, 2010|
|It's time to audit the Commonwealth Games|
Allegations of corruption in construction and procurement need to be investigated and all those responsible brought to book.
Reasons for the clash of currencies
The principal topic of hot debate in the previous week-end's IMF-World Bank meetings was the need for realignment of currencies to reduce the global imbalances (read US deficit and unemployment).
US financial crisis over? Not really
Not only is the current US financial crisis not solved, the seeds are there for even more serious crises in the future, writes .
Micro loans, macro returns
One of the main criticisms of microfinance institutions one hears is that they charge high interest rates. One reason for this perception is the reference to interest rates as a percentage of the loan amount.
|October 15, 2010|
|Financial news: Lessons from the past|
Indian equities were one of the first out of the gate, followed in short order by more gold, a wide array of commodities and, finally - by the end of September - the rupee and other animals.
|October 06, 2010|
|Can the G20 rescue deadlocked Doha?|
The Seoul meeting could provide an opportunity to sort out differences between the US and emerging economies within the larger framework of global adjustment.
|September 29, 2010|
|In microfinance, big is beautiful |
There is an inevitable good fallout from the government's recent proposal to limit the interest rate levied by large microfinance institutions getting priority sector loans from banks.
|September 27, 2010|
|Getting to know the India that is Bharat|
It is heartening to know that, on the eve of the formulation of India's 12th Five Year Plan, the Planning Commission is making an attempt to sensitise senior officers, advisers and experts to the country's ground realities.
|September 20, 2010|
|'Indian economy has covered significant ground'|
Though this growth slowed down a little in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, our economy has rebounded. After dipping to 6.7 per cent in 2008, growth this year is expected to be in the region of 8.5 per cent.
|September 08, 2010|
|DTC: Baby steps in tax reform|
It's important to make the penalty system an effective deterrent to ensure greater efficiency in the tax system, says .
|September 02, 2010|
|Free foodgrain to needy: To give or not to give|
The Supreme Court's order on free distribution of grains to the needy is most likely meant to be a one-time exercise, feels .
How to sustain a high GDP growth
The 8.8 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2010-11 (that comes on the heels of 8.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2009-10) should put to rest any doubts about the durability of the economic recovery.
It's time to end <i>Dabba </i>trading
A parallel system of futures trading in commodities, operating outside recognised commodity exchanges, better known by its colloquial epithet <I>Dabba, </I>has been thriving unchecked and is believed to be now generating bigger trading volumes than the regular exchanges.
|August 16, 2010|
|The $8.5 billion gamble?|
Given it is in a completely different business, it's a question if Vedanta can seamlessly implement the optimal strategy for Cairn
|August 11, 2010|
|You can't have it both ways, Mr FM|
If he expects the states to take steps for controlling inflation, he should also respect the country's federal structure and not assume a veto power at the GST Council.
|July 28, 2010|
|Is splitting RBI an option?|
RBI as the monetary policy authority deserves autonomy. The problem arises when it also functions as the regulator for banks.
|July 21, 2010|
|Stock markets? Nah! How about rum instead?|
Dilip D'Souza is totally baffled by the strange and unfathomable ways of the stock markets.
The business of financial inclusion
Business systems that serve customers who are starkly above or below the average customer on any parameter need to be differently designed. Forcing one-size-fits-all products is not a good solution, says .
|July 12, 2010|
|What's the philosophy of investing?|
Very few investors give a serious thought to the underlying issues involved in an investing style and if it fits their personal risk-profile.
Bandhs: Acts of terror by another name
If Naxalites and extremists disrupt normal life, destroy public property, inject fear into people and make them retreat into their homes and away from public places, we call that terrorism. What is a state-sponsored bandh?
|July 08, 2010|
|Flight delays? Time to fix 'soft' infrastructure|
We need is to build a culture of systemic planning and skills of facilitation to align objectives and goals if we really want to solve the complex issues we face in our lives today.
|July 07, 2010|
|India's growth? Private sector to the fore|
India needs more public investment, to sustain upwards of 9 per cent national income growth and also to fuel private sector dynamism.
The PM has 8 councils of advisors, but...
With an eighth council now in place, no one can accuse Manmohan Singh of being ill-advised.
Food security? Over 8 crore fake ration cards!
The real challenge before the government is to improve the institutions that are charged with the responsibility of delivering food to the consumer through the existing public distribution system (PDS).
Why Pawar must quit as agriculture minister
The Union Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Agriculture, Sharad Pawar, who also doubled as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and has now become president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has reportedly pleaded with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his ministerial burdens be reduced so that he can devote more of his time to his cricketing responsibilities.
7 ways to improve infrastructure in Indian cities
The challenge for India is to write a new chapter in low-cost urban development.
|July 06, 2010|
|Recover your environment! Here's how|
Next week's 'Recover your environment' workshop in Hyderabad is a tiny step towards compensating for how little has changed since the Bhopal tragedy, says .
|June 28, 2010|
|City scape: Where reason drives action|
A peek outside your airplane window as you land in any Indian metropolis is confirmation of the fact that 26 per cent of Mumbai and an astounding 60 per cent of New Delhi lives in slums or substandard housing.
Why India had no choice but to hike fuel prices
The government must be complimented for finally showing some determination in biting the bullet on petroleum prices. It must now stand its ground and ride the wave of political protests that are bound to be staged by an Opposition waiting to return to relevance.
|June 10, 2010|
|All about the business of humanity|
To cope with the backlash against globalisation, more and more transnational corporations are adopting strategies that go beyond short-term profit maximisation.
|June 07, 2010|
|Prosperity? The key lies in de-growth|
What is required instead is a 'steady state economy' - where human economic activity strives for a balance with nature's economy in ways that would reduce or eliminate waste.
|June 03, 2010|
|India's sorry spectrum story|
The approach to spectrum management is an object lesson in how not to use information and communications technology for development.
GDP data: More shades of grey
The latest gross domestic product (GDP) numbers are reassuring, at first glance. GDP grew 8.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009-10 (Q4FY10), with manufacturing and mining playing stellar roles.
|June 02, 2010|
|This is the century of innovation, Krishna tells USIBC|
The India-US example, similarly, draws its strength not merely from engagement and understanding between governments, but from the vitality of private partnerships and the warmth of ties between our peoples. .
|May 18, 2010|
|Trai and the Great Democratic Liberator|
The cellphone is a Great Democratic Liberator: 'Great' because of its impact on people; 'democratic' because it gives the same benefits to all; and 'liberator' because it frees us from the terrible infrastructure, says Rama Bijapurkar.
Greek lessons for world economy
Democracy, nation-state and globalisation can't go together; we can have at the most two at one time, says .
|May 14, 2010|
|Greece crisis and the consequences for India|
If the Greek crisis spirals into a larger European sovereign debt crisis and possible fragmentation of the eurozone, India's trade and capital flows could be hit, says .
|May 06, 2010|
|What India must learn from China|
Emulate China's coordinated policies for strategic sectors, and we'll rely less on commodity exports.
Can you trust the IMD's weather forecast?
Given IMD's past record on forecasts, the latest one could also go wrong.
Glut of MBAs: Where are the jobs?
There are no easy solutions except that MBA colleges have to reinvent themselves and their programmes immediately before they add more capacity, and all new aspirants for an MBA programme should keep in mind that an MBA degree from even a high-ranking institute may not translate into a dream job in the near future!
|April 29, 2010|
|The crisis in economics|
The free fall of economies could be arrested only after a massive coordinated effort by world leaders from the G-20 nations.
How India can bring down cost of medicines
With the deadline for filing the information having ended on March 31, all attention is now centred on what the Patent Office will reveal in coming days.
Three factors that can derail India's growth
Climate change, water, land won't be the only obstacle to India's growth prospects; water and land have an almost equal potential to derail things.
|April 28, 2010|
|The G-20, power, and ideas |
The dispersion of global economic power augurs well for the role of ideas in policy-making.
Learning to live with hawkers
The embattled Left Front has done one more volte face by deciding to regularise hawkers in Kolkata's busiest streets.
|April 23, 2010|
|India must learn to fly|
The first thing that needs to be addressed is Air India's cost structure. If it were a private airline, Air India could apply for bankruptcy, but as a national airline that option is not on the table, says .
Urban India will be like a giant slum by 2030
Not paying attention to our cities is perilous and could result in massive urban decay.
Why the climate deal is bad for us
There is no way the Copenhagen Accord can be billed as a climate change agreement. It is simply an agreement to legitimise the right to pollute.
|April 17, 2010|
|'Prahalad truly believed India will become a leader of the world'|
Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Capital Funds Ltd Gopal Srinivasan was a student of Prahalad at the University of Michigan. In a tribute to his guru, he remembers how Prahalad had imagined India@75.
'The corporate world has lost a strategist of the highest order'
In the demise of C K Prahalad, the corporate world has lost a management guru and a corporate strategist of the highest order. While he will indeed be missed by all in the corporate world, his lifelong commitment and work towards helping shape the future of global economy will inspire and guide leaders all over the world for a long time to come. His fresh and ever-evolving business insights, and the sheer depth and breadth of his knowledge helped entrepreneurial ambitions
|April 14, 2010|
|Tharoor-Modi row: Conflict of business interests|
There is nothing wrong in business persons and professionals entering public life and becoming ministers. But once they do so, they should keep at an arms length their private interests, both of their own and their near and dear ones.
|April 07, 2010|
|Should RBI hike rates further?|
RBI does need to keep signalling to the markets that it is tough on inflation.
The politics behind slow economic reforms
Popular anguish over the slow pace of economic reforms has grown more intense in the last few weeks even as Congress President Sonia Gandhi takes charge as the head of the National Advisory Council and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's grip on the policy-making apparatus of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appears to get weaker.
India, US could agree on reinventing IMF
India is not particularly enamoured by the AMF idea and would much rather see the Fund revitalised and reinvented as a multilateral institution. Indeed, there could be a meeting of minds between India and the US on the IMF's future.
Three tears for PSUs
The SC laments that they spend most of their time in covering their back rather than in achieving their goals.
|April 02, 2010|
|How much of business is truly customer-centric?|
Customer centricity is about understanding the ecosystem in which a product is operating in the customer's life and working towards making every element of the ecosystem friendly and enjoyable to the customer.
Lessons from E&Y and Lehman crisis
Perhaps these new revelations about E&Y and Lehman will inspire the govt to reopen the subject for more radical change.
|April 01, 2010|
|How to make BSNL, MTNL more relevant|
The telecom majors should focus on improving service quality with a strong partner, and not on one-shot stake sales.
Bt cotton: Monsanto is back in courts over royalty
Not all state governments have been kind to the global seed giant Monsanto. And cotton farmers have been less than grateful for the genetically modified technology that is said to have changed their fortunes dramatically.
|March 23, 2010|
|How to tide over seed shortage|
An acute shortage of healthy seeding materials for horticulture requires redrafting of the Seeds Bill, 2004.
|March 22, 2010|
|Can India be a great power in the post-Lehman era?|
If India counts itself as a 'great power', it will have to play a role in framing and enforcing new global rules, says .
Why the Foreign Universities Bill is elitist
The Bill suggests to the backward classes that 'the best from the West is not for you, the home-grown is good enough for you', says .
JNNURM: How has it transformed cities?
Urbanisation in India has been like climate change in the world. It has been happening inexorably for decades, not receiving much attention, its significance not noted. 300 million Indians live in towns and cities, underserved by utilities, with inadequate housing, and now choking in traffic.
NREGS: Tamil Nadu's success story
The Tamil Nadu development formula makes programmes like the NREGS work through simple but top-down solutions.
A nation must educate its own, foreigners can only help at the margin.
|March 18, 2010|
|Educating India, in a B-Grade American style|
Nothing can be more dangerous than programming the mindset of the young generation of India through an education system that has nothing to do with the great culture.
|March 09, 2010|
|How safe are your dollars?|
They may well be, but investments in euro-denominated bonds will give higher safe returns, says .
|March 02, 2010|
|Tension between FinMin and RBI on the cards|
The FM's proposal on new banks and a Financial Stability and Development Council could spark tension with RBI.
Budget: Are the upsides greater than the downsides?
Given the tight control on expenditure the finance minister has exercised and how niggardly the increases have been on flagship programmes - Bharat Nirman has risen from Rs 32,473 crore (Rs 324.73 billion) to Rs 35,953 crore (Rs 359.53 billion) and employment guarantee from Rs 39,100 crore (Rs 391 billion) to Rs 40,100 crore (Rs 401 billion) - it's natural to wonder whether the deficit reduction targets are for real.
Trusteeship and how it can spawn development
If the endeavour that was flagged off in Udaipur flourishes and diverse energies combine to refine the lens of Trusteeship, 'growth' itself could be redefined. Then 'inclusion' will be an inherent rather than a separate goal, says .
Reviving agriculture: What the FM missed
The agricultural growth package mooted in the Union Budget for 2010-11 seems well conceived but not adequately supported by funding for its key elements. This, surprisingly, is despite the 21.6 per cent increase in the overall Central plan outlay for agriculture and allied sectors, the highest hike in recent years.
Finance ministry: Return of the Gladstonians
The global financial crisis has empowered fiscal conservatives in India.
|February 23, 2010|
|Reason triumphs over Bt brinjal!|
By embargoing Bt brinjal, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh may have done a greater service to democracy than he intended, says .
|February 17, 2010|
|Lessons from the NTPC fiasco|
There can be no forgetting the Margaret Thatcher principle of leaving something on the table for the small investor.
|February 12, 2010|
|Jairam Ramesh is right|
The research on Bt brinjal isn't unequivocal and hasn't been publicly-funded either - given the concerns, it's not worth the risk, says .
Car makers want stimulus to go on. Here's why
Car makers fear that when car prices go up and loans become expensive, running a car will also cost more. Thus a stimulus-pullback will act as the straw that broke the camel's back, says .
Why the coming Budget is very significant
The time has come to seize the opportunity and convince investors that UPA means business, says .
|February 01, 2010|
|Budget: The best vs the good|
While the time frame may therefore be pushed back by a year, the debate on various aspects of the new tax regime has begun in earnest. Prominent among these is the question of whether there should be two sets of rates (one for the Centre, one for the states) or a single rate, the revenues from which would be shared between the Centre and the states.
Money alone can't buy inclusive growth
The signal is that it is willing, but it is a bit open if it will be able to.
The death threat to Gori Ganga!
If you are confused about the severity of human-induced climate change, it might help to focus on the death threat to Gori Ganga, says .
|January 28, 2010|
|Poor farmers' price pangs|
The business models developed to help farmers realise better returns are facing several hurdles, says .
Where innovation creates value
Value innovation can help improve efficiency across the organisation and deliver better results, says Richard Lee.
FM needs a miracle to save banks
This is not a new or unknown problem, but every time it crops up, our policy-makers have tried to wish it away. In the present circumstances too, the government has stopgap arrangements. It is borrowing from the World Bank (that's window-dressing fiscal deficit), says .
|January 22, 2010|
|Have time, will waste|
Managers of the world seem to be united in their passion for wasting time at work.
|January 21, 2010|
|Basu-led Left Front's labour story|
It is worth wondering how far the fulsome national coverage Jyoti Basu received this week was warranted, except on the basis of his record as India's longest-serving chief minister.
|January 15, 2010|
|Yet another economic shock may be lurking around the corner|
To sum up, it is increasingly likely that in the last quarter of 2010, there may be another round of convulsions in western economies. The consequent opportunity costs for India of not having insurance mechanisms in place and pushing for reforms could be higher than usual.
Going green: Take the bus or buy a hybrid car?
The garbage in cities is growing by the day, even as governments scramble to find ways of reducing plastic and hiding the rest in landfills in far-off places. Air pollution in cities is worse and toxins hurt our bodies, damaging our lungs. All in all, the report card is not good.
Incredible India's credible media plan
Unknown to the public eye, the Incredible India campaign bid has triggered a row of sorts.
|January 14, 2010|
|The paradox of India's new prosperity|
The most aspirational and optimistic youth are in places that have seen the least growth and yet they are hardly turning out to vote.
|January 11, 2010|
|Meri Dilli, aamchi Mumbai|
It may not be possible for the Indian city and its architecture today to reflect the multifaceted nature of its citizens but perhaps with the use or even reuse of a sensitively planned public domain, people can acquire the character of their cities -- recalibrating themselves to regain a lost civic pride that changes the word 'my' from its singular format to a collective identity.
What is the answer to Delhi's traffic woes?
The proliferating flyovers, eyesores every one of them, merely redistribute traffic to new choke points.
India's aerospace industry to boost economy
Over the last 16 years, India has seen more engineering and R&D investments in aerospace than the US or Europe.
Bollywood's global market beckons
A WTO ruling opening up China to Hollywood should help Bollywood too
Subsidies are injurious to health
Major subsidies must be knifed before unwinding excise cuts
India's 'real' poverty
Even if you raise the poverty line as much as the Expert Group does, it turns out just 11 per cent of Indians are poor, not 37 per cent -- that's a huge poverty of estimation.
'Barefoot' lawyers to help the poor in AP
Andhra Pradesh sets up centres to provide legal help to the poor caught in land disputes; the model may be replicated in other states.
|January 07, 2010|
|How India can get the best researchers|
Aggregate domestic R&D spend in India has never exceeded 1 per cent of GDP, and over 80 per cent of Indian firms spend nothing on research.
|December 30, 2009|
|The great betrayal at Copenhagen|
India caved in to a bad deal at Copenhagen, says .
Water woes: Is it self-made?
As global warming makes the weather more unpredictable, the water economy of urban India will have to be planned without depending on reservoirs getting routinely filled up by rain every year.
|December 28, 2009|
|Tax reform needs careful implementation|
'The challenge is particularly daunting in the case of services, where it is often hard to define the exact amount of the service rendered.'
Don't ignore External Commercial Borrowings
While RBI is right to worry about the share of outstanding ECBs in our reserves, firms need these to finance investment -- some prudent limits need to be set, says .
How India can be a successful economy
Much hard work remains to be done if the country is to become a successful economy and a modern society.
A new act to make mining community-friendly
A new law has been put together to actually take control of the mining sector away from the government, specially the Union government, and make regulation by an independent authority the basis of mineral development in India.
|December 23, 2009|
|The fourth 'G' of 3G|
So, if the government is looking for a healthy industry, as it must, it will be better to clear the policy on M&As so that only those who really want 3G spectrum to offer 3G services will bid for it.
Coping well with Copenhagen climate
The climate accord secured for India a place at the high table in recognition of its importance for the rest of the world, says .
Tax reforms for higher growth
Indirect tax reforms may help strengthen the Indian state and hence long-run growth.
|December 18, 2009|
|Where are the jobs?|
Indeed, although total industrial employment grew by over 6 per cent annually, organised industrial sector employment fell by 1 per cent per year, bringing the share of organised industrial sector employment down from 18 per cent (of total industrial employment) in 1998 to only 10 per cent in 2004.
|December 17, 2009|
|The Copenhagen climate circus|
The main G-77 concern was to get the developed countries to recognise their historical culpability and primary responsibility.
Why we must 'speed up' India
The environment minister doesn't focus on India needing more roads to ensure the Nano brings mobility to millions.
An Indian tribute: Paul Samuelson, Guru
'In the 1990s after we ushered in reforms, Paul Samuelson wrote me a letter expressing happiness that "at last, India has discovered economic growth."'
|December 16, 2009|
|Lessons from Dubai crisis|
Turbulence in financial markets could mean that 'exit' from expansionary policies will be delayed.
|December 11, 2009|
|What Bengaluru must learn from San Francisco|
San Francisco and Bangalore have a lot in common but there is a lot more that is different.Bangalore needs to imbibe the spirit of San Francisco.
The cost of land
That the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy Limited (REL) will be affected by the Allahabad High Court's decision on the land acquired by it for its 7,500 Mw Dadri power plant is obvious since the entire process of inviting objections to the acquisition has to be initiated from scratch.
|December 10, 2009|
|'Foreign hands' in Indian business|
Just a decade ago, a kind of muscular nationalism was the leitmotif for talent management within Indian corporations. Any suggestion of bringing in foreign talent had managers bristling with indignation.
|December 07, 2009|
|Single person to constitute a Company|
With the implementation of the Companies Bill 2009, a single person will constitute a Company, under the One Person Company (OPC) concept.
The resurgence of brand mascots
The Amul girl is still synonymous with branded butter and the iconic billboards continue to be conversation starters.
It's time for a 'Look Further East Policy'
India has to catch up with East Asian regional economic integration.
14 days to avert an approaching calamity
The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history's judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.
How India can cut its energy needs by 20%!
Using energy more efficiently can reduce our energy needs by one fifth; it is a strategy we must pursue even as we promote renewables, says .
It's the right climate for change
In defining a new and nuanced stance on India's negotiating position at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have left some at home dissatisfied but his perspective appears to have been defined by a larger view of how India should deal with global challenges.
|December 04, 2009|
|The secret behind successful marketing|
Stories that are able to multiply effect through word of mouth have a better chance to overcome clutter and cynicism.
Should India rescue Dubai?
Is this the time to use India's forex reserves to bail out Dubai? The emirate might be grateful, but how would the others in the United Arab Emirates react? asks TVR Shenoy.
|December 02, 2009|
|Agriculture growth figures: Wishful thinking or gimmickry?|
Foodgrain production in current is fiscal is likely to fall by at least 10%, if not more. It may be better to be realistic in our estimates than give unrealistic positive spin to these figures, says .
How will history remember this decade?
The first decade of the 21st century is about to end. It is difficult to encompass a decade's major trends and developments in a short essay. However, it would be instructive to recall a few of them. Globally, the decade began with the breakdown of trust in corporate governance. Corporate scandals and acts of malfeasance that may have been kept hidden from public gaze in all the previous decades came tumbling out of the cupboard as the first decade of the 21st century began.
The biggest risk for financial markets
The prospect of the Chinese central bank tightening rates is the biggest risk for the financial markets, says .
|November 30, 2009|
|Act now, before Mumbai, Kolkata drown!|
In India, there is a perception that the current ecological disaster is a responsibility of the developed world. If we want to play in the big league we must stop seeing ecological solutions as impositions, say .
The good, bad & the ugly of music downloads
In fact, a research conducted by Jupiter in 2008 estimates the cumulative effect of downloading to result in losses in 2012 around £1.1 billion.
Dubai crisis: Don't panic, but hedge your bets
For the last one year, there have been far too many stories coming out of the region on real and potential bankruptcies, plans being shelved, excess capacity and inadequate demand.
I have been advocating flexibility: Jairam Ramesh
"Sir, my only purpose has been to open up windows of flexibility for India because the world is changing; different countries are taking different positions."
Of US, economics, and the rising power of China
Even if the Chinese become even more powerful as they lend even more money to the Americans, they do find an open confrontation with America too risky. For that the Chinese are too new on the global stage.
Roads, flyover, yes. . . but what about pedestrians?
It is important that urban planners for roads in cities make their outlook a little more inclusive and provide for reasonable space for pedestrians and cyclists on roads by protecting their right to use sidewalks.
The rise of renminbi
The renminbi is likely to be used increasingly for current account purposes, but its use in capital account transactions will hinge on convertibility in China.
Spectrum: The govt faces big trouble
With even the division bench of the Delhi High Court ruling that Communications Minister A Raja's decision to come up with an arbitrary cut-off date of September 25, 2007 was illegal, the government is in huge trouble.
Delhi flourishes, as Mumbai loses sheen
Do the Thackerays really believe that Mumbai will not lose jobs if banks and companies lose the freedom to hire whom they choose.
|November 27, 2009|
|Has RBI been diversifying out of dollars?|
RBI kept on adding non-SDR currencies over the next couple of years till they reached about 7.5% of reserves, which is the level they continue to hold.
|November 20, 2009|
|More standard ratings, less moody ones|
In the wake of the sharp downturn in the valuations of mortgage-backed securities last year, financial firms justified their investment in these non-transparent instruments on the triple ratings accorded to them.
Tata's tata to Tata
Like many other Indian companies, the Tata group too has globalised in the past decade. It is a testimony to the success of Indian enterprise in the global marketplace that many of them have done well, in the face of severe competition.
Of Naxals and rich land of the poor
India's mineral-rich areas have the largest number of poor and are Naxal-affected - there's an obvious story here.
Who'll finance 'affordable' housing?
Tata Housing's efforts at helping less privileged sections of society are commendable, but after a point it won't be able to do much for the simple reason that there aren't going to be enough lenders to give loans to these prospective home buyers.
|November 19, 2009|
|G-20: A new global oligarchy|
The G-20's new-found importance should be used to challenge North Atlantic hegemony.
The reign of rural retail
The monsoon rains may have failed and crop output may be lower but, after a small blip, the rural markets are back on track.
Women workforce: A revolution in the making
One of the most important implications will be on account of a rapid increase of women in the workforce in the coming years, leading to an unprecedented economic and social empowerment for them and thereby a dramatic redefinition of their roles and influence.
|November 16, 2009|
|Making the Asean FTA work|
The formalisation of Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) covering the goods sector marks an important step towards India's deepening trade links with its partners in the Asian region.
|November 13, 2009|
|The cost of living in India|
Why life for an average Indian is a real struggle right from morning till evening or even mid night as compared to his counterparts in the west. Take a look...
A 'memorable' journey in the Duronto
The greatest plus of the Duronto is the service of the outsourced catering staff.
|November 06, 2009|
|Jaipur oil mishap: IOC chairman must be fired|
The current IOC chief should be fired because this fire occurred during his tenure. He should have ensured that safety audits are done seriously. If he is fired, his successor will take safety more seriously, says .
|November 03, 2009|
|Carbon dioxide can actually be good for farming|
A national network project, run by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research since 2004, carried out to study the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture, is also throwing some light on the complex inter-relation between CO2, global warming and crop productivity.
Stimulus: It's important to time the exit right
Although not intended as fiscal stimulus, the unprecedented fiscal expansion during 2008-09 and 2009-10 did help in combating the economic slowdown, but it cannot continue and measures must be initiated to chart a route for fiscal consolidation.
|November 02, 2009|
|2010: An economic odyssey|
The collapse of Lehman Brothers was clearly a point of inflection, in which the rate of decline of the financial system accelerated sharply and its impact on the global economy intensified. In retrospect, it could have been any one or more of the global financial institutions to precipitate the collapse.
Telecom scam: Noose tightens around Raja?
It's difficult to say whether the CBI will find enough proof against telecom minister A Raja or whether it will get caught in the parcel of half-truths he's been dishing out on how he's just followed the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the actions of his predecessors.
Dealing with a weak dollar
It offers a lot of opportunities, especially in the commodities market.
|October 28, 2009|
|Time for us to sound the food alarm|
Dun and Bradstreet forecasts that overall inflation will touch 6 per cent by the end of the current fiscal, fuelled by, among others, current high food prices and the impact of the drought. The 20 per cent deficit in the monsoon is slated to bring down kharif output by 15-20 per cent. The news couldn't get worse.
|October 26, 2009|
|Opening the door to Bt brinjal, a step towards disaster|
'Ultimately, do we want sustainable agriculture that's relevant to our climate, resources and food security? Or do we want corporate farming based on high-risk GM seeds and high chemical inputs?'
Two headaches, one solution
The government simply has to find a way to deliver the basics. That is what will defeat the Maoists and hold off China.
China's economic diplomacy
China is using its growing trade power to enhance its global influence, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where it is perceived as an all-weather friend. Since opening up its economy in 1978, China's foreign trade has been growing by leaps and bounds.
Can Manmohan ditch Raja?
The solicitor general and the TDSAT have both okayed Raja's moves.
What if RBI Governor hikes interest rates tomorrow?
While there are certainly more hawks perched on monetary policy committees of central banks around the world now than a couple of months ago, the doves still have the upper hand.
Recovery in realty mart: Will it last?
Developers are tweaking their business model by launching smaller apartment sizes and playing the volume game to keep prices low and create buyer interest.
|October 15, 2009|
|Of growth and obsolescence|
Short-lived products create a spiral of wasteful consumerism that raises a whole new set of problems.
|October 09, 2009|
|Why gold is a good investment option|
Gold is a hedge against the dollar and inflation. It has a very low correlation with other asset classes like equity and debt thereby a good asset to diversify the overall portfolio.
India's strategy to fight global warming
It looks far from clear whether the climate change negotiations will succeed as developing countries like India want to be supported financially and through technology sharing with the rich industrialized world, says .
How to regulate the regulator?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority's track-record suggests it is industry-friendly, not pro-consumer.
Growth to collapse if stimulus packages withdrawn
The political mood seems to have changed in most Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development capitals, and it would be very difficult for any government to justify new stimulus measures in today's environment. Public pressure to reduce government budget deficits and minimise public debt burdens is growing across the developed world.
|October 01, 2009|
|What the IITs really need|
What is really needed is a tenure track where higher pay goes with accountability, not peer review which tends to favour the upward drift of the incumbent mediocrity.
|September 30, 2009|
|The US model: Don't follow it blindly!|
We need to be careful not to confuse financial market reform with following the US model of regulation, if finance is to remain a servant, not master, of the real economy, says .
Curbing costly CEOs!
Provided they have all the details, shareholders are best placed to do this.
Climate change talks are more about politics
I am not joining the small minority which still argues that global warming is voodoo science; there is simply too much evidence of ice melting to argue from that standpoint. But I would suggest that there is hope on the global warming front, says .
The beginning of an electric car revolution
One of the first countries which committed to replace its petrol vends with battery feeders and substitute its liquid-fuel cars with battery-operated vehicles was Israel.
|September 24, 2009|
|India's new class of entrepreneurs|
There is a rapidly advancing 'middle class' of entrepreneurs in India today.
Raising India's 'pulse' rate
With a focused and integrated approach, India has the potential to produce more than double the current output of pulses.
Policy continuity at the Reserve Bank
For those, like me, who backed the Reddy-Mohan approaches to monetary and regulatory policies, the continuity shown by Subbarao's RBI is very heartening. For earlier critics of these approaches there may be some disappointment and discomfort.
|September 22, 2009|
|The G-20's empty promises|
It would be futile to believe G-20's promises to rein in monetary and fiscal policies
|September 18, 2009|
|Of hunger and its eradication|
The media is celebrating Norman Borlaug as a great hunger-fighter, whose intervention with the 'Green Revolution' is supposed to have eradicated hunger in India. Obviously, the real starvation is of the mind, says .
|September 16, 2009|
|How green are the shoots?|
The biggest challenge for central banks of the world is to unwind liquidity without hurting recovery
|September 14, 2009|
|Preparing for recovery |
The RBI may be concerned about inflation but it is unlikely to put an abrupt end to monetary accommodation
|September 07, 2009|
|How unequal a country is India?|
In economic writings on India it is commonplace to describe Indian economic inequality to be relatively low, says .
Industrial growth you can bank upon
Once you adjust the credit growth data for seasonality, it shows an upturn that corresponds with a similar trend in industrial production, says .
|September 01, 2009|
|How to make Indian babus more productive|
The best solution is to appoint a top flight management consultant, study the working of each of the ministries, and ask the consultant to submit a detailed report that should be made public for a national debate.
Can we afford the draft direct taxes code?
A good tax system should minimise the cost of collection, compliance cost and the cost to the economy in terms of the distortions it creates while generating revenues.
Air India flies into another storm
Halving the productivity-linked incentive will make its salary levels unattractive and put a heavier burden on junior staffers.
|August 14, 2009|
|When expressways take their toll|
It's also true that the traffic estimates for the sea link were made quite a few years back after which a good many offices have shifted from the central business district to the western suburbs because rents had become simply unaffordable.
|August 13, 2009|
|Roti, mobile, gaadi aur necklace|
Consumer spending patterns are witnessing mega-shifts with implications for all involved parties, says .
Money, a solution to India's infrastructure woes?
India has a huge infrastructure problem and the solution so far appears to be to throw more money at the problem, without much effort to fix the core issues, says Sunil Jain.
Why India's aviation sector is in crisis
The aviation industry in India, through Air India, is a gleaming example of what the lack of corporate governance can do to a business, says Pratip Kar.
|August 11, 2009|
|Independent experts should be truly independent|
It is now widely accepted that the faith placed in independent directors, to improve the standards of corporate governance, has often been misplaced. Most of them, and not just in the case of Satyam Computers, tend to go along with the promoters who appoint them.
The remarkable saga of Narendra Jadhav
Jadhav has a certain way with the crowds with his earthy Marathi speeches he got unprecedented crowds whenever he held public meetings as the VC and his innovative schemes at Pune University which took academia to the villages have made him a popular figure in Pune.
What the new Fed chairman should do
The world economy has been run for too long by finance enthusiasts. It is time that finance sceptics began to take over.
|August 10, 2009|
|'Money lies in the mass market' |
Bubble economies don't last, and crises bring you back to reality. The truth of both these assertions has become manifest in recent weeks.
Where is the food for all?
The right to food campaign, which is a collaboration of people's movements from across the country, is now on the verge of seeing its demand of a right to food become a reality.
Good idea, bad timing
The strongest reasons for creating an independent debt management office (DMO) are also the ones for not doing it now, says .
Can India deal with the drought?
India should not allow millions to suffer the ill effects of a drought because of official apathy or sluggishness, says .
No revival in credit demand
The earliest that credit demand will revive is 2010-11, and this year's growth is unlikely to be more than 12-14 per cent, says .
Drought: How govt bungling can hurt India's economy
The government's decision to downplay the monsoon's failure has only worsened its credibility and will lead to a worse panic
|August 07, 2009|
|When corporations capture the state|
The danger of a corporate capture of government isn't imaginary, and corporations represent narrow profit-seeking interests of businessmen whose forte is not Constitutional values, says .
3 sticky issues that hamper Indo-US ties
Hillary Clinton's recent visit notwithstanding, the divergence between the US and India remains as stark as ever.
|August 04, 2009|
|Where Marx comes alive|
Europe's bloated welfare state helps you understand the old communist adage 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'.
|July 29, 2009|
|Don't tax common man to bail out Air India|
Air India, having run up losses of Rs 7,200 crore and adding about Rs 15 crore worth of red ink every twenty-four hours, is now asking for even more money to burn from the Government of India.
|July 27, 2009|
|The plans are man's, the odds are God's|
Under a third of the target for power generating capacity in 2008-09 was met. What's worse is that just better management could have fixed things, says .
|July 24, 2009|
|Email: For God's sake, use it!|
Some officials, I am told, do not even have an email address and for them, papers placed on a cardboard file and wrapped in the horizontal four-inch flaps and a thread are quite the official thing. An email which demands quick attention can stare him/her in the face unlike a file that can pile up with others on some remote shelf in the office, sometimes almost forgotten.
The Fed is in the red
Research shows the US Fed doesn't get its predictions right as often as we would like to believe. With India and China in an upbeat mood, the dark days of last September are slowly fading in memory.
Why India will do a China
Thanks to political changes, India is in the midst of a long-term growth path that will mirror China.
|July 20, 2009|
|What if our ATM network is hacked?|
Very often we all have used Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to withdraw money. But only a few of us think about the repercussions of an attack on a national centralised server which manages the transactions across ATMs.
5 ways joblessness threatens the economy
A sharp contraction in labour income has many negative effects on the economy and financial markets, says .
Labouring over the rupee
If India does not want to shed jobs in labour-intensive industries, it must have a competitive exchange rate.
Time to go, Mr Sreedharan
The Comptroller and Auditor General has indicted the way the DMRC is run and points to the novel 50:50 management structure that neither of the governments is in charge, so the company is pretty much run by the management, namely Sreedharan.
The Budget's impact on markets
While the focus on infrastructure means more business for PSU banks, the lack of risk-assessment capability is a major issue.
|July 14, 2009|
|India's daunting urban challenge|
The challenge is making governments at the Centre and in the states start focusing on the needs of towns and cities
|July 08, 2009|
|Money alone can't buy inclusive growth|
The signal is that it is willing, but it is a bit open if it will be able to.
Budget's revenue numbers: Cautious & optimistic
For starters, the assumption of nominal (ie real plus inflation) GDP growth of 10.1 per cent for 2009-10 seems on the low side if it is assumed, as Mr Mukherjee said, that the worst of the financial crisis is over. Against this backdrop, the assumption of poor tax buoyancy in 2009-10 is confusing.
|July 06, 2009|
|Budget: The best vs the good|
While the time frame may therefore be pushed back by a year, the debate on various aspects of the new tax regime has begun in earnest. Prominent among these is the question of whether there should be two sets of rates (one for the Centre, one for the states) or a single rate, the revenues from which would be shared between the Centre and the states.
|July 03, 2009|
|A rational spectrum allocation policy|
India's misplaced emphasis on this kind of spectrum efficiency results in economic inefficiency. Some basic issues concerning spectrum allocation must be addressed before misdirected considerations of government revenues or fiscal deficits lead to self-inflicted damage from ill-advised auctions.
Houses @ Rs 7 lakh: Dream or reality?
It's wonderful that Jerry Rao is planning to build houses that cost Rs 700,000 or less. The former Citibanker's model is simple enough: land is bought with the equity capital while construction is financed through bank loans at market-related rates currently anywhere between 11 and 13 per cent.
|June 29, 2009|
|Gas woes: Let's do the math|
explains why the government does not necessarily win if it applies a higher gas price.
What exporters need to understand...
The exporters need to be told sometime or the other that the playing field can never be the same for all countries. Every country has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of its natural endowments, capabilities of its manpower, stage of development, levels of technology absorption and so on. Each country has to make the best of what it has and carry on, says .
|June 22, 2009|
|Why foreign investors are scared|
Cases such as Vodafone and E*Trade are scaring foreign investors away, says .
China's Great (Fire)Wall
If the Chinese government has its way, the sexual proclivities of the grandchildren of the revolution will be remoulded. As of July 1, every personal computer sold in the PRC must ship with pre-installed censorship software called "Green Dam Youth Escort".
Choking on gas
Now that the Bombay High Court has rejected the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas' (MoPNG) attempts to help Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) wriggle out of its 2005 contract to supply 28 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas to Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL), the pressure on it has increased several times over.
Sunny Indians and dangers of optimism
Forget all those theories about the passive, fatalist Indian, long peddled by commentators, both home-grown and foreign. If recent survey data are to be believed, Indians are among the most optimistic people on earth, and this is true of consumers, investors, business managers. . . the whole spectrum.
|June 15, 2009|
|How can the common man own a house?|
The problem in India is that much of the cost of the roof over your head is on account of the land beneath your feet--which has been kept hopelessly expensive by the politician-builder nexus.
Budgeting for the mandate
Key lessons from the mandate must find reflection in Budget announcements.
|June 11, 2009|
|How to invest in a recession|
Talk to your financial advisor about employing a dollar cost averaging strategy over the next year, as well as the investment opportunities within diversified emerging markets mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Small-town India holds the key
India needs to urbanise more quickly and this can be done by making smaller urban centres a magnet for rural migration, says .
Top performers get good pay hikes
India Inc has ignored the equal treatment approach to reward its top performers with handsome pay hikes, says .
|June 09, 2009|
|Keeping the financial doors half open|
To be fair, the President's speech does separate the mention of large foreign investment flows (particularly foreign direct investment) from 'the need to augment resources in the banking and insurance sectors,' in turn 'to serve the needs of society better.' But the sentences follow each other -- the kind of wording which permits either forward movement or backtracking, depending on how matters develop, says .
Why extending retirees' tenure is unfair
Giving extensions to secretaries after fixing their tenure is unfair to the rest.
|June 08, 2009|
|India & WTO: A rethink needed|
The huge increase in WTO membership and the rising share of emerging economies in world trade belie the perception that the WTO exclusively serves the rich countries' interests.
'Search' a big business opportunity
In the digital age, the art of searching has become an entirely separate domain of knowledge. It is only in the past 15 years that search has become location-independent. It is the biggest entirely new business opportunity spawned by the Web.
A licence raj mindset on spectrum
Everyone, from the government to companies and customers, is paying a price for the short-sighted policy on spectrum.
|June 05, 2009|
|Malvinder Singh's Ranbaxy report card|
One reform that Malvinder couldn't do was that of the company's board of directors. For long, doctors and scientists have been inadequately represented on the Ranbaxy board. The new owner will have to address this problem.
The magic of the Zoozoos
discusses the making of iconic advertising that gets talked about.
'Warrant'ing a change in rules
Why should promoters have an option to buy shares when other shareholders don't? Perhaps warrants can be done away with altogether since most promoters don't seem convinced about the value of their companies, says .
Needed: Reforms for the poor
Put the poor who have voted for this government at the centre of reforms, says .
Money sent to parents in India is tax-free
A N Shanbhag, the highly respected investment guru, and his son Sandeep Shanbhag, answers your questions on NRI investment.
|May 26, 2009|
|The ministers that really matter|
It's not clear how a party with a majority will do any better when our ability to tackle the roads, ports, power projects and airports problem has not shown marked improvement in the last five years.
Tasks for an emerging superpower
Rapid economic growth and increasing military strength are essential to meeting geo-political challenges.
|May 25, 2009|
|Sell America, buy India?|
For investors dumping dollar assets, emerging world capital markets are a clear alternative, says .
|May 21, 2009|
|Stock markets' rise: A happy surprise!|
The prime minister's comments so far suggest that he is aware of the burden of expectations; indeed, during the election campaign, he spoke somewhat uncharacteristically about a 100-day agenda.
|May 18, 2009|
|The application of three systems|
The widespread application of three is not a coincidence, it might be the pulse of everything.
Polls: Good governance wins
It is remarkable that all three states that had assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim have re-elected the parties that were running their governments till now.
Now, the spotlight is on Press Notes
Even with a clear mandate, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is unlikely to allow foreign direct investment in sensitive sectors such as retail and may like to revisit the recently issued norms that give companies elbow room in dealing with the FDI norms.
'New govt has an enormous task'
One can only hope the euphoria and sycophancy attendant with such electoral triumph does not blind the Singh government into believing its own electoral sales pitch
Now, the spotlight is on Press Notes
Even with a clear mandate, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is unlikely to allow foreign direct investment in sensitive sectors such as retail and may like to revisit the recently issued norms that give companies elbow room in dealing with the FDI norms.
|May 14, 2009|
|Markets: A game between traders and common men|
Given the very fluid state of national politics where a party can emphatically say diametrically different things at different times, it is hard to understand the basis on which brokers made this judgment.
|May 13, 2009|
|IT-BPO: Is it the end of a dream run?|
IT-BPO exports grew at a compound annual rate of 31.6 per cent in the boom years 2004-08. But the rate fell to 16 per cent last year (2008-09) and is likely to be in single digit in the current year.
Artists must demand their resale rights
India's Copyright Act allows for a percentage of any secondary art sale to be paid to the original copyright holder.
|May 12, 2009|
|Gender budgeting? A failed attempt|
Three years after the Centre decided to publish separately the money it spends on women in the Union Budget, experts are questioning the methodology adopted, which in most cases inflates the amount spent.
Y V Reddy on global turbulence
The speeches that deserve the most attention are those that include one made in July 2004 in Mussoorie to a group of civil servants, titled 'India And The Global Economy', and one made in July 2008 in Manchester, titled Global Financial Turbulence and Financial Sector in India. And of course everything in between.
Are we moving towards a de-globalised world?
Developing countries' return to high growth will require them to resume the push into tradable goods and services.
|May 07, 2009|
|Need to make the textile sector fashionable|
The continued weak financial health of this sector remains one of the big enigmas of the post-liberalisation India.
RBI: A call to action
The public can only wish banks would provide more credit and at lower rates; the RBI, however, can and must ensure that they do.
Telecom nirvana: Will MNP help?
One reason why mobile subscribers haven't shifted companies is that the service is uniformly bad. But now, with new players coming in, the picture could be different, says .
|May 05, 2009|
|What media investors want|
Both advertising growth and investments into the business have been lackadaisical. It, therefore, seems to be a good time to look at the pattern of investments into the M&E industry over the last three years.
Of global stakes and China's dogged persistence
The prime interest rate levels have hit 'record lows' and fiscal deficits 'have soared', is the sobering analysis of Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China, on the global economy.
Fake experts, faulty forecasts
The challenging task for the non-expert then is to pick up the right experts to follow, and these are not necessarily the ones who make the most noise!
Of Borge's death and why fear is the key
Being beaten up in police custody is more common than being killed by police in what they call encounters which are almost invariably staged. And policing, we are told, is always like that. It ought not to be. That fear is what we, as claims to be a part of the civilised world, need to take note of. That is a common man's biggest crisis when dealing with the police and policemen.
|May 04, 2009|
|Bank profitability set to fall|
Moreover, the RBI's use of reserve ratios, statutory liquidity ratio and cash reserve ratio as monetary policy tools affected banks' profitability: No interest is paid on CRR balances, and the interest yield on SLR securities is far lower than the yields on advances.
Dialling trouble in telecom
Decisions are also being pushed on free allotment of additional spectrum to telecom firms, on extending the licence period for 'dual technology' firms like Reliance Communications/Tata Teleservices etc, and on revising merger and acquisition norms. Given how each of these cases is so controversial, even apart from the issue of propriety, it is unacceptable that a government on its last legs should be taking such decisions.
The big city-gas dream
Policy air bubbles and implementation snags could block plans to connect India's cities to a clean fuel grid.
New pension scheme: Good over the long term
The New Pension Scheme is one of the more ambitious programmes tried out by the government. If successful, it has the power to transform India's savings habits.
Dangers and foibles of tax reform
The shrinking trade deficit
In dollar terms, exports declined by 33.3 per cent over March 2008, the largest monthly decline yet. For the year as a whole, exports came in at $168.7 billion, significantly short of the original target of $200 billion and also below the revised range of $170-175 billion.
|April 30, 2009|
|The 'Ford' test of CEO success|
The surprise was Conde Nast Portfolio's topper for the world's best-ever CEO. It was Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors. There is no doubt that Ford was a great entrepreneur and business visionary. But, with the hindsight of almost a century, it is worth questioning whether he was a good CEO. Ford could easily have won the accolade in his lifetime for revolutionising the personal transportation industry with the Model T.
Swine flu: How to deal with it
Over 150 people have already lost their lives in Mexico, the US and elsewhere, prompting the World Health Organisation to proclaim the flu as a 'public health emergency of international concern'. While the mad cow and bird flu could pass on from animals to humans through either direct contact with the diseased animals or on consumption of the under-cooked flesh of sick livestock, the swine flu virus A-H1N1 is easily transmittable from animals to humans and vice versa.
|April 29, 2009|
|The sun shines on green shoots|
By the way, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said while the banking and financial systems will need to stabilise first, at the moment he is seeing "green shoots". About time, considering all the fertiliser scattered around.
In the Nano's headlights
Nano is a tribute to India's achievements in low-cost innovation that the global automobile giants have been forced to sit up and take notice of Tata Motors' ability to design, develop and sell a sub-compact car at the lowest possible cost.
|April 28, 2009|
|Are MP funds well-spent?|
Unlike other government projects, most funds under MPLADS get spent - now to see if they're well-spent.
|April 27, 2009|
|What the Credit Policy really said|
The entire concept of PLRs ought to be recast to make them more representative.
Why independent directors are quitting in droves
More than 500 independent directors have resigned since January 1 this year.
The whys, whats and wherefores of QIPs
QIP is an investment option which is available only to QIBs -- Qualified Institutional Buyers, which are public and financial institutions, foreign venture capital and institutional investors registered with SEBI, scheduled commercial banks, mutual funds and various other categories, defined in Clause 2.2.2 B (v) of the SEBI (Disclosure & Investor Protection "DIP"), Guidelines.
Black money: Can BJP bring it back?
Vote for the BJP if you have to, but not because they're going to bring back Rs 25,00,000 crore and use this to develop roads or provide piped water to India's villages. That's a pipe dream.
How to deal with scams
When you think about it, it is scarcely believable. A large, scandal-hit company has found a buyer without presenting up-to-date accounts, and despite the fact that its previous accounting statements were largely fiction.
Showcasing Gujarat, abroad
Non-Resident Gujaratis can claim formidable achievements in most fields.
'India can safely expect a 6% GDP growth'
A stable government and more reforms are needed to hike growth beyond 6%.
|April 16, 2009|
|How to deal with India's fiscal deficit|
The first thing the new government has to do is to spell out its plan to deal with the mounting fiscal deficit.
Don't blame the global crisis
There is little doubt that the global economic crisis has worsened Indias growth prospects, but the slowdown began long before the US financial meltdown began.
Why it will be tough to get back funds in Swiss accounts
The Swiss authorities have never considered tax evasion a reason for breaking banking secrecy on an account; what they have acknowledged now is that they will cooperate in cases of tax fraud, which has a tighter definition.
|April 15, 2009|
|Indian banks spectacular compared to global peers|
The bank credit figures for 2008-09 (lowest overall credit and commercial credit growth in five years) provide further evidence, if any was needed, that a credit crunch lies at the heart of the severe slowdown that continues to beset the economy.
End of economic gloom?
Not yet, says . Economic recovery everywhere will be weaker and will take longer than expected.
|April 13, 2009|
|Orissa versus Rest of India|
It'll only be when other states start following this discrimination for a large enough number of products, presumably, that the political class will wake up to it. Hopefully, the courts will too.
Patterns in governance failures
Greed lies at the heart of all governance failures too and we, who hopefully are now a little bit more aware and wiser of the consequences of greed, may differ with Gordon Gekko.
An IMF we can love?
It will depend on how the Fund chooses to deploy its newfound power, asks .
Corporate frauds: A shocking revelation
Taking immediate corrective action and lessons from the US experience would help in restoring investor confidence.
|April 01, 2009|
|The G-20 and IMF reform|
The current Euro-Atlantic Monetary Fund must become an International Monetary Fund.
|March 31, 2009|
|'These award-winning private banks'|
The private banks won laurels because they pulled the banking system out of a decades-long stupor, combining technology and aggressive marketing to win customers. Now the shoe is on the other foot
The G-20's empty cupboard
The moot issue is whether the consumers have money to spend at a time when they have no jobs and income.
|March 28, 2009|
|Of economic crisis and the brazen deceits of the rich|
Ordinary folk, every newspaper and TV channel in the country, Congressmen (including the ones who were screaming for bank bailouts during 2008) and even people on the Wall Street (what an irony!) are furious that AIG should be paying some of its executives handsome bonuses while on the dole. The details of the AIG bailout that have been made public, reluctantly, by the government focus the spotlight more clearly on the faults of the system as a whole.
Big bucks? Authors too are getting them
Publishers who turn out between 100 and 250 titles in a year would be quite pleased if they managed to sell 2,000-3,000 copies of any particular release. In fact, tomes written for the academic world have print runs that often stop at 600. The good news is that the big books are coming out more frequently, and there is greater variety. The reason is not just a flowering of Indian creativity in English, or the arrival of quality writers, though both are of course true.
|March 27, 2009|
|Why Europe may see more economic pain|
The recent bailout of Romania by the International Monetary Fund puts the spotlight back on the East European block of countries and what it means for the Western European banking sector. If evidence is anything to go by, things are turning for the worse. In fact, if a block of countries could be termed 'sub-prime', Eastern Europe seems to qualify as the countries seem to have been battered and bruised big time by the ongoing global financial turmoil.
Of Nano, jingoism and the right question
When a car gets mixed up with national pride, just as journalism, economy and cricket have, questions are condemned to be still-born.
|March 26, 2009|
|Indonesia: The new Asian business hub?|
If Indonesia can keep up its political will, we're going to see a new business centre emerge in Asia.
India needs a marketing stimulus
This deferred or reduced spending is now extending across most major consumption sectors such as discretionary food and groceries, clothing and home textiles, consumer durables and home appliances, jewellery, furniture and furnishings, leisure travel, and entertainment. Oddly, the response of many manufacturers, marketers and retailers has been counter-intuitive.
China's recovery and global growth
The Chinese government must work towards policies that lead to higher spending by Chinese consumers.
|March 25, 2009|
|UPA will cost India economic superstardom|
After sixty years of Congress misrule, India has most of the world's poor people, and some of the worst health and nutrition indicators, even worse than much poorer sub-Saharan Africa. This is truly a crime and a national shame.
|March 23, 2009|
|Will the slowdown impact tax collections?|
Tax collections so far are pointing towards the government missing on the gross tax revenue target for the first time in several years, primarily due to a continuous decline in excise, custom and advance tax payments, says .
Beyond corporate frauds
Frauds have to be tackled with speed, focus and condign punishments of a career-ending nature by a credible single institutional agency like the Serious Fraud Investigation Office established by statute. Special courts have to be set up for effective and speedy prosecution of those guilty.
|March 20, 2009|
|Global warming: Carbon trading not enough|
Whatever little was happening on emission reductions through the carbon trading mechanism has been halted by the collapse of the carbon market, in the wake of the global economic recession.
Meltdown mantra: Shock and alter
Today, the worry is that a change in incentives against saving may tip the balance in favour of those who don't save.
It's a season for bad ideas
The widely held notion that supply constraints, coupled with protectionist policies (read export bans) in several food-surplus countries, including India, were the prime causes of the problem has virtually been discounted by this global food policy think tank.
Meltdown: A story of financial alchemy?
The financial and economic meltdown in G7 nations has had a negative impact on growth in India and other developing countries. Could anyone seriously believe that there is some form of financial alchemy which consistently provides returns on capital well in excess of national GDP growth rates and the major equity and bond indices over decades?
|March 19, 2009|
|This growth isn't crashing|
India's growth rates may be crashing, but the rates of growth of crashing on the country's roads, and those dying in these crashes, are growing by leaps and bounds.
The boiled frog syndrome
India Inc is paying the price for not noticing the slow change in the economic climate - just like the frog that boiled over.
The road to recovery
Financial and trade protectionism in the OECD could block the road to economic recovery.
VC funds available for tech start-ups
VCs also do not want to under-finance companies and are ensuring that the current capital infusion takes them through at least 18-24 months, which is the expected time when the outside fundraising environment starts to recover, says .
Health is exclusive wealth
To be fair, the problem of inadequate healthcare does not lie with these hospitals themselves but in the manner in which they have been allowed to function by the government.
|March 17, 2009|
|Will G-20 win the confidence game?|
People everywhere, consumers and investors alike, are cancelling spending plans, because the world economy seems very risky right now. The same thing happened during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Is the ESOP dream run over?
Companies are awarding even more stock to make up for the lost share prices. Except that the market, in its infinite wisdom, seems to be telling India's middle class millionaires that stock is no longer a currency for compensation, says .
Hope and despair at the G-20
Despite the assurances of UK Chancellor Alistair Darling that 'markets could have confidence that countries will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to tackle the global slowdown', there is still no agreement on how long the recession will last and whether it will turn into the classic deflation with its attendant massive social unrest.
|March 16, 2009|
|How the audit profession can heal itself|
It is the ICAI which has the wherewithal to understand what the professional issues involved are and it is they who should be in charge of the solution, believes .
The world is not flat
Tom Friedman has got his challenger. The world is not flat, says the World Bank, in its latest World Development Report.
An embarrassed forecaster's apology
Those of us who predicted a bottom for the financial markets earlier this year have reason to be contrite, says .
Can regulators effectively supervise banks?
The huge losses suffered by major banks recently, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom, have brought to the fore the weaknesses of the architecture of the Basel II capital ratios, and have also raised questions pertaining to the wisdom of fair value accounting norms.
'Infrastructure spend must be disclosed'
Strangely, no consolidated figures on infrastructure investments made on ground are ever disseminated by any official arm of the Government of India.
Is investing in gold risky?
The decline in jewellery demand is likely to make investments in this safe haven a risky proposition.
|March 14, 2009|
|Blame economists, not economics |
As the world economy tumbles off the edge of a precipice, critics of the economics profession are raising questions about its complicity in the current crisis. Rightly so: economists have plenty to answer for.
|March 07, 2009|
|The end of the immigration boom|
The global recession is beginning to seriously hurt international migration, and many migrants are forced to go home again.
|March 06, 2009|
|Japan aims at green leadership|
Being one of the most ecologically modernized state in the world, Japan heads to Copenhagen with its ambition of green leadership in the post Kyoto regime. Japan has nurtured this ambition through smart diplomatic endeavors, ecological restructuring of policies and technological innovations.
Climate change: New dawn or same old song?
As the fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, India has an important role to play in the global response to climate change.
The need for culture-sensitive marketing
Marketing gurus from the west have built their theories based on the belief that consumers, where ever they are, behave the same.
Ajit Jain: Berkshire's next Oracle?
Ajit Jain specialises in mega-catastrophe coverage, that is, he takes risks that rivals avoid.
|March 04, 2009|
|Indian economy: Nothing much to cheer|
While the forecast was still lower than what we have been recording over the last few years, it instilled a false sense of comfort that India might still weather the storm better than many other countries.
When policy makers behave like religious militants
Some modern-day officials and policy makers continue to behave like religious militants of medieval times, chanting those same mantras markets on their own will take care of everything.
Getting back to 'Hindu' growth
While the government, and market, looks at the year-on-year data for GDP growth of 6.8 per cent, in reality the economy has been growing at only a 4.5 per cent pace (GDP factor cost data).
|March 03, 2009|
|It pays to be a listed company|
Over the last six years close to Rs 96,000 crore (Rs 960 billion) has been mopped up through IPOs by nearly 300 companies while another 56 companies have picked up about Rs 47,000 crore (Rs 470 billion) from the equity market through follow-on issues.
Crunch time: Let's make the most of it
India has a better chance of growing independent of the West than any other country in Asia.
Of stimulus packages and fiscal conundrums
Several questions arise on the appropriateness of the measure in the already strained fiscal scenario, says .
|March 02, 2009|
|Slowdown hangs heavy on us, when to exhale?|
Only when we make the world less economically vulnerable and more climate-secure, can we breathe easy.
Yet another bailout
Last week, the government announced that the passengers, would be bailing out Delhi International Airport Limited by paying Rs 200 if they take a domestic flight out of Delhi airport and Rs 1,300 (which sounds pretty exorbitant) if they take an international flight out of the capital.