Viagra Online

Should India have a Tobin Tax?

A tax on forex transactions may prove a godsend to the finance minister, should the sanctions force him to have a supplementary budget, say Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar The Asian currency crisis has revived interest in the Tobin tax, a small tax on all foreign currency transactions proposed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin in the More >

Hindu Rate of Inflation again

Finance ministers, industrialists, bankers all pay lip service to price stability. Yet they all gain so much from inflation that they have institutionalised it. In the 1950s, inflation was negligible. But since the mid-1960s it has averaged 8 to 9 per cent per year, a rate so ingrained in every nook and crevice of the More >

From Saffron to Yellow

After its nuclear tests, a triumphant Bharatiya Janata Party proclaims that saffron means toughness, courage, unwillingness to be eked around by mighty foreigners. It means standing up for your principles regardless of the cost of sanctions. We demand recognition as nuclear power, we demand ore respect from the rest of the world, says the BJP. More >

End of nuclear celebration

Sorry folks, but Pakistan has spoiled our nuclear celebration. You thought our bomb made us a great power on par with the USA? No, we remain on par with Pakistan. You thought we had become high-tech geniuses? Sorry, we are not far ahead of Pakistan. You thought we could now incinerate Pakistan? Well, it can More >

Saffron Storm Rising

People are still debating the merits of India’s nuclear tests, but that matters little now that the deed is done. What has been tested can be detested, but not detested. The relevant question is, where do we go from here? On the economic side, the government has sought to combat economic sanctions through measures to More >

Explosion of Nuclear Myths

India’s five nuclear blasts have led to a proliferation of hype and myths. Fantastic gains, say some. Terrible costs, say others. Don’t believe either. Myth No 1: The nuclear tests make India a full member of the nuclear club. Not so. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) recognises only five countries as nuclear-weapon states, and refuses to More >

Stand up to the Musclemen

The thugs are taking over in the name of religion. For decades I have told foreign friends that MF Husain epitomises India’s essential secularism. Here is a Muslim painter who has delved deep into Hindu mythology and folklore analysed these as some of the main themes running through his work.This has made Husain not just More >

Don’t Censor Caste Data

Should the census in 2001 ask people to specify their caste? Yes, say the Census Commissioner and Home Minister. Definitely not, say others indignantly. I am agnostic on this issue. I see some technical reasons to question the inclusion of caste in the census, but no moral or political ones. I am amused at the More >

Is Geography Destiny?

At the annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics this week, Jeffery Sachs and John Luke Gallup of Harvard presented a paper highlighting the importance of geography in economic outcomes. They looked at data for 150 countries and noted how temperate countries were generally rich and tropical ones generally poor. The most favourable factors, according More >

From ‘bhujiya to Rolls-Royce

Even as BJP-ruled India is adopting swadeshi, Britain is abandoning it. Rolls-Royce, long the ultimate symbol of British manufacturing prowess, has been sold to Germany’s BMW (and Volkswagen is trying to come in with a still higher bid). With this, no British-owned company makes passenger cars any more. Yet Britain is not mourning the end More >

MITI or ‘mitti’?

The BJP wants to strengthen Indian industry without scaring away foreign investors. Its manifesto talks of creating an institution like Japan’s ministry of international trade and industry (MITI), which channelled substantial financial support to select Japanese industries after World War II and helped spark the Japanese economic miracle. The Korean government, too, provided massive financial More >

The right Sort of ‘Swadeshi’

The BJP says it will usher in swadeshi economic policies. What exactly does this mean? It means, says the National Agenda on Governance, that India must be built by Indians. But it could hardly be otherwise: The World Bank and General Motors (GM) will readily agree that India must be built by Indians. So does More >

What does Low Priority mean?

Now that it seems certain Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee will become the Prime Minister, the BJP’s version of swadeshi will attract a lot of attention. Its stalwarts declare that foreign investment will be allowed in microchips but not potato chips. The official BJP manifesto is more long-winded. It says it will welcome foreign direct investment More >

Billion-Dollar Potential of Nursing

OCED countries, by 2020, could generate anything upto 60 million jobs in looking after the disabled alone, says Swaminathan S A Aiyar. In my last column I said the future of business and exports lies more in services than manufacturing. Which services have the greatest scope for exports? A recent report for the Indian Institute More >

Bonanza from Geographical Rights

I wrote last week about how the World Trade Organisation’s rules have helped, Indian basmati rice exports to increase by hundreds of millions of dollars, and gain protection for it from foreign imitation. This protection is based not on the biological composition of basmati but the fact that it comes from a particular geographical region. More >