Viagra Online

Manna from heaven, or a new recession?

The price of gold, oil and many other commodities crashed last week. The stock markets zoomed and economists smiled, suddenly seeing positive consequences in three areas — inflation, the trade deficit and the fiscal deficit. These three factors had earlier dragged down the economy to its lowest growth rate for a decade, just 4.7 per More >

Gold: The party’s over

The Indian price of gold has risen sixfold in the last decade, fuelling a record speculative import spree. Soaring gold imports have hit $42 billion in the first ten months of 2012-13 , pushing the current account deficit to near-disaster levels. The finance minister is wringing his hands in distress, while housewives say that buying More >

West should learn from India’s high patent standards

The Supreme Court’s denial of a patent for Glivec, an anti-leukaemia drug made by Novartis of Switzerland, has been widely but wrongly hailed by NGOs and castigated by pharmaceutical companies as an attack on patents and a victory for cheap medicine. Actually, the Court fully upheld the principle of patents, but set a high bar More >

Can growth tame Maoists?

Different states have different strategies to combat Maoism, which still produces violence in 80 of India’s 620 districts. Chhattisgarh has used quasi-military force and created an anti-Maoist militia, SalwaJudum, which is widely criticised for violating human rights. Andhra Pradesh has deployed a specialised anti-Maoist force, the Greyhounds, combined with development programmes in areas earlier abandoned More >

Slums are hubs of hope, progress and dignity

The Census Commissioner has released a new report showing that 64 million people, representing one in six urban residents, live in slums with unsanitary conditions “unfit for human habilitation.” This has caused much moaning and groaning. But conditions are far worse in most villages. Romantic pastoralists may fantasise about happy green villages as opposed to More >

Bihar: Champion athlete does not need steroids

At a massive Delhi rally, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar boasted of the state’s major achievements after he assumed power, and proclaimed a Bihar model of development for others to follow. If we view development as a sort of Olympics, Bihar would win several gold medals. It’s a champion athlete. Yet Kumar insists that Bihar More >

Lessons in good governance from former ‘Bimaru’ states Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh

Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, once derisively called Bimaru states, have suddenly started growing much faster than the national average. They have followed widely divergent paths to success, which need elucidation. In 2011-12, national GDP growth was 6.21%. But Bihar (13.26%), Madhya Pradesh (11.81%), Jharkhand (8.92%) and even Uttar Pradesh (6.86%) fared better than More >

Fire from ice: A promising new energy source

Massive imports of oil and natural gas have exacerbated India’s big trade deficit, which is a hurdle to the acceleration of economic growth. Light at the end of the tunnel comes from a technological breakthrough last week by JOGMEC (Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation). It succeeded in extracting natural gas from sea-bed deposits More >

The status quo prince doth protest too much

Dear Rahul Gandhi, You hit the headlines last week by saying you are disinclined to marry and have kids because then “I will become a status quoist and will become concerned about bequeathing my position to my children.” Second, you said you are not in the race to become prime minister. It would be gratifying More >

Can’t buy me an election with budget freebies

“Can’t buy me love,” sang the Beatles. “Can’t buy me an election” is the theme of this year’s budget. Finance ministers usually produce freebies, subsidies and waivers in their last budget before an election. Such attempts to buy votes have very little impact, but finance ministers persist in the hope that it may work this More >

Budget 2013: Finance minister P Chidambaram boldly votes for growth over politics

Never before has a finance minister rejected populist giveaways so decisively in an election year. Never before has a finance minister sought to win the next elections not through tax breaks and freebies, but by accelerating GDP growth and taming inflation through fiscal consolidation. Palaniappan Chidambaram has gambled on good economics proving to be good More >

Economic Survey 2013 paints a rosy picture yet again, but needs follow up

Happy days are here again, says the pre-budget Economic Survey. GDP growth is going to pick up from this year’s 5% to range between 6.1% and 6.7% in 2013-14. Wholesale price inflation will fall to 6.2-6.6% by March despite hike in diesel prices and higher rail fares and freight rates, and the medium-term price trend More >

Attempts to clear stalled projects will soon result in higher growth

The Indian economy presents a puzzle today. On the one hand, it exhibits many symptoms of overheating. On the other hand, many businesses complain of a complete lack of heat. GDP projections reflect the second phenomenon, not the first. But I suspect data revisions will ultimately show GDP to be somewhat better than suggested by More >

Our tax system should go the ASEAN way

To meet a budget crunch, taxes on income, capital gains and dividends have gone up in the US, and may rise further. This has fed speculation that the Indian budget will follow suit. There is also speculation that Chidambaram will introduce an inheritance tax, as in the US. Some Indian analysts think that soaking the More >

New economic activism has strong political roots

Six months ago, the government was seen as a hopeless, paralysed ditherer, frightened of annoying anybody (especially Mamata Banerjee). But since Chidambaram became Finance Minister, the government has started looking like an activist reformer that means business. Risking defeat in Parliament, FDI in multibrand retail has been pushed through. Rail fares have been increased, diesel More >