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The Economic Times

RK Pachauri needs to go

As a feminist, I am dismayed that the Delhi High Court has allowed RK Pachauri, accused of molestation and harassment by several women at The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), to visit all but two offices of the organisation. Pachauri has been the long-time head of Teri, but the sex scandal obliged him to go More >

Why foreign acquisitions need opportunism, not gigantism

Back in 2008, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian co-authored a paper showing that India had overtaken China in outward FDI as a proportion of GDP. Typically, FDI flows from rich to poor countries, and many Indian economists warned in 1991 that Indian industry would be decimated by multinationals if India opened up. Subramanian showed that More >

Both PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi can learn a few things from the British election results

Many lessons flow from David Cameron’s victory in the British elections for Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. First and foremost: it’s the economy, stupid! Economic performance in your last two years matters hugely, even though it’s not the only factor. The last Labour government ended with an economic downslide and so lost the 2010 election. More >

The new GDP data shouldn’t cause euphoria

Most analysts have wailed and moaned about India’s weak economic performance in the last three years. But suddenly, data revisions by the Central Statistical Organisation suggest that the economy has done pretty well, growing as fast as 6.9% in 2013-14 — against the original estimate of just 5%. Most analysts think the economy will fare More >

A public spending spree without raising productivity is too risky

Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian wants increased public investment in the country’s infrastructure to energise the sluggish economy. The problem: this would be risky right now, with threats looming of dollars flooding out of all emerging markets. The public-private partnership (PPP) model in infrastructure is broken. Many private infrastructure companies have huge, unpayable debts that More >

Why the public-private partnership model for infrastructure is broken

GDP data show manufacturing growing by only 0.1 per cent, and fixed capital formation stagnant. Rs 6 lakh crore worth of cleared projects are simply not translating into orders for machinery and construction. Lags alone cannot explain this. Let’s face it: the public-private partnership (PPP) model for infrastructure is broken. The government is trying to More >

Chidambaram’s ghosts

Narendra Modi has generated much hope and enthusiasm. He has been praised for the Jan Dhan Yojana, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, higher FDI limits for defence and insurance, punctuality requirements for bureaucrats and selfcertification of documents by citizens. Some of these are simply extensions of old Congress schemes, but Modi has done a fine sales More >

Falling commodity prices are good, unless they signal global recession

The stock markets have soared this year, with blue chips up 30% and some midcaps up 100% or more. Many analysts believe that, even without radical reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administrative dynamism will help raise GDP growth from last year’s 4.7% to 5.5% this year, 6.5% next year, and 7% later. Some stock market More >

PM Modi’s US Visit: Rock show in New York over, it’s time to roll action in India

Narendra Modi’s Madison Square Garden address to overseas Indians was more a rockstar concert than a prime minister’s lecture. He had delirious fans cheering, clapping, and chanting “Modi, Modi, Modi!” He plucked their heartstrings, praising them lavishly for raising India’s global image, and promised that India would become a stunning success that would make them More >

Denationalize coal, produce gas along with it

Denationalize coal. Auction all future coal blocks. Allow all winners to produce associated gas (methane) as well as coal. These should be the key features of a new coal policy, following the Supreme Court’s striking down of 214 coal block allocations since 1993. Many analysts call this a verdict against corruption. Actually, the court has More >

PM Modi’s US Visit: India has to look like a superpower to get US investors interested again

WASHINGTON DC: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit is a damage repair job, not a triumphal clinching of a strategic relationship. Indo-US relations resemble a broken-down car covered with dust. Modi must do more than wipe off the dust. He must convert India into an economic powerhouse that is globally relevant again, and has strategic More >

If Indians aren’t investing here, will foreigners?

Narendra Modi came to power by promising fast economic growth to create millions of jobs. So, it’s mysterious that he has spent so much time on foreign visits and receiving foreign dignitaries like Chinese president Xi Jinping. Foreign relations matter, but cannot create millions of jobs – that requires structural reforms that dynamise Indian investment. More >

A Kelkar Committee model could be the best option for oil and gas pricing

Media analyses of the Kelkar Committee on reducing import dependency in oil and gas have focused on the committee’s suggestions on gas pricing. But it has also proposed new models for exploration and production contracts to reduce disputes and corruption, while improving bidders’ interest in new exploration blocks. For decades, India has signed production-sharing contracts More >

Sell gas at top prices like coal blocks, spectrum

The Kelkar Committee has produced a road map for a market-determined price for natural gas. Inter-generational equity, it says, requires non-renewable resources like gas to be sold to the highest bidder. A lower price deprives future generations of their full entitlement to national resources. This novel argument strengthens the simple logic of auctioning resources to More >

Modi’s been lucky; now make it sustainable

When a general with excellent credentials was recommended for promotion, Napoleon asked “But is he lucky?“ In politics, as in war, luck counts for a lot. Narendra Modi today is riding a wave of good luck. GDP growth in the April-June quarter hit 5.7%, the highest for two years. BJP spin-masters say “achhe din“ have More >