Should We Go MAD Over CAD?

  Highlights * Largest component of Current Account Deficit is the difference between the value of imports and exports * Exports of petroleum products, gems and jewellery and transport equipment are going up * Gold demand may soften for two reasons: festival season is over and duty hike may be a dampener in the short … Continued

Where The Government’s Flagship Schemes Really Fail

In 2005, the Indian Government launched a nation-wide programme to ensure safe motherhood. Christened Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), it attempted to ensure proper facilities for maternal and newborn care.   While the scheme has now touched nearly 50 million women, its seeming success in outreach has also highlighted the problems (and some very fundamental) in … Continued

You Don’t Need High Growth To Fix Poverty

“In the past 8 years, our economy has grown at a record annual rate of 8.2%. We have ensured that poverty has declined much faster, agriculture has grown faster, and rural consumption per person has also grown faster.  We need to do more, and we will do more. But to achieve inclusiveness, we need more … Continued

India’s Right To Education Deadline Comes & Will Go

  Highlights * Over Rs 95,000 crore spent since 2009 on Right To Education Act to ensure compulsory primary education * Over 50% primary schools in Bihar don’t have complete boundary wall – a key requirement of RTE Act * Over 97% schools in Bihar don’t have electricity connection as against the all-India average of … Continued

Why The Government Needs A Plan To Fix Non-Plan Spends

“Government expenditure boosts aggregate demand and it has both good and bad consequences. Wisdom lies in finding the correct level of government expenditure” – India Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, Union Budget 2013-14 Speech.   A look back at Government expenditure numbers over the last few years highlights the significance of the Finance Minister’s words in … Continued

Maharashtra Gears Up For Drought And Elections

The Budget for 2013-14 would be the last for the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra before the elections next year.  And in a year when the state is facing an acute drought and water shortage across major districts, Budget 2013-14 has made special provisions for drought relief with an allocation of Rs 2,086 crore. The National … Continued

A 30-year, Rs 50,000 Crore Child-Care Effort Fails To Deliver

The Government allocated Rs 17,700 crore for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme in its Budget 2013-14. The ICDS is today the 5thlargest flagship scheme of the Congress-led UPA Government.   The good news is that Governments, over the years, have focused on the continuing needs of newborn and young children until the age … Continued

The Government’s (Almost Silent) Agricultural Spending Boost

Finance Minister P Chidambaram re-iterated the UPA Government’s commitment to agriculture when he announced a 22% increase in agricultural lending target to Rs 700,000 crore for banks in 2013-14. He also increased the allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture by 22% to Rs 27,049 crore.   Reserve Bank of India (India’s Central Bank) Governor D … Continued