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The Economic Times

Budget 2014: FM Arun Jaitley must act tough for 2 years, bring long-term change

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s first budget should spell out his vision for the next five years, downplaying projections for the coming year. This vision must include a tough budget this year and another tough one next year, pruning populist excesses and improving tax administration. That will build a sound foundation for fast economic growth in More >

Sher ki soorat, khargosh ka kaleja

Narendra Modi’s fans expect him to extend his Gujarat model of development to all India. They think Modi’s “tough love” will lead to hard decisions that hurt immediately, but later yield handsome dividends. They believe Modi will, as promised in his campaign pledges, treat Indians not as recipients of doles and subsidies but as aspirants More >

NGOs and their ideas seen as hurting development should be countered , not banned

Free access to ideas of all sorts is a fundamental right. Many ideas may be terrible, but battles against them should be fought in the high country of the mind, not through censorship or bans. Caveat: ideas accompanied by or leading to violence are subject to reasonable restrictions. Yet, such restrictions need to be minimal. More >

Free the media, abolish the I&B ministry

Dear Prakash Javadekar, Your first instincts as Information and Broadcasting minister seem sound. You say you are willing “philosophically and ideologically“ to work towards abolition of the I&B Ministry, which has no place in a democracy with a free media. You accept there is no logic in prohibiting news broadcasts by private radio stations. Rather More >

How migrant labourers worked in Modi’s favour

Most of us are still struggling to grasp the dimensions of Narendra Modi’s victory. He won a mind-boggling 71 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 seats. So he won far more seats in UP than the Congress party did in all India. Mayawati, who aspired to become prime minister in a hung Parliament, was so engulfed by More >

What a strong Modi govt implies for markets & economy

Exit polls suggest an absolute majority for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). If so, India will have a strong Modi-led government, free from fickle allies. What will be the outcome for Indian politics, the economy and markets? No party or combination has won an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha since 1984. So, the More >

Strong pro-Modi sentiment in eastern UP, central Bihar

ET Now caught up with its Consulting Editor Swaminathan Aiyar for his take on the current political scenario and the possible election outcome. Excerpts: ET Now: You are just back from your election yatra. You have travelled across eastern UP and Bihar. What is the mood like on the ground? Is there a strong Modi More >

90 per cent chance of Narendra Modi becoming PM

In the Lok Sabha polls 2014, people have voted for BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi because of his good work in Gujarat, feels Swaminathan Aiyar, Consulting Editor at ET Now. “People have voted for Modi as he has done good work in Gujarat,” Aiyar told ET Now. Aiyar sees a ninety per cent chance More >

Disarmament is for wimps. Go get your nukes if you can

All my life I have opposed nuclear bombs. I have argued that such bombs are basically unusable; that, instead of ensuring security, they risk escalation of small conflicts into disasters; and that they lead to undesirable macho foreign policies. Most Indians exulted after India’s nuclear tests of 1998, claiming India was now a great power More >

Modi should shun jingoism & must learn from WW I and Vietnam War

This year is the 100th anniversary of World War I, and the 50th anniversary of the US escalation of war against North Vietnam. In both cases, small incidents escalated into horrific wars because of jingoistic bravado and lack of cool heads. This holds lessons for India, which has border clashes with China and Pakistan. Narendra More >

Gujarat is India’s top state in economic freedom

Does Narendra Modi actually have a great Gujarat model, or just wellpackaged hype? Critics say that Gujarat has grown fast, but some others have grown faster. The Raghuram Rajan Committee on development indicators says Gujarat’s social indicators are just middling. Looking at children of class 3-5 who can do subtraction, Gujarat has declined from 22nd More >

UPA’s 10-year averages are just statistical spin

Collapsing economic growth, high inflation and corruption explain why the Congress is heading for its worst defeat ever. GDP growth averaged 9% for much of UPA rule, but has halved to 4.5% in its final two years, crushing incomes and opportunities. The Congress manifesto explains this away by using long-term averages. It says GDP growth More >

Short-term capital inflows boosting the rupee will render exports uncompetitive

Prospects of a Modi election victory have induced a dollar flood into Indian bonds and equities. The rupee has strengthened to below Rs 60 per dollar. If the strong rupee was caused by an export boom, everyone would be delighted. In fact, it has been caused by hot money plunging into the speculative froth of More >

To catch a crook: Three lessons from the Rajaratnam case

Last week, I wrote on how not to catch corporate and political crooks. Readers naturally asked, what is the right way? Some analysts say India has only 1.3 policemen per 1,000 citizens against 2.5 in the US, 5.3 in Turkey and 5.5 in Russia. But China has only 1.2 per 1,000, yet convicts and executes More >

Why babuji goes too slow

Politicians make policy, bureaucrats implement them. Trust and harmony between the two can produce amazing results. If trust and harmony decline, so do decision-making and economic performance. Bureaucrats can function brilliantly if they get clear signals from their political bosses, and assurance that being decisive (which typically includes short-cuts through a jungle of rules) will More >