Kashmir’s Dogged Troubles

The challenges of managing civic equilibrium can be far more daunting than one imagines. While we focus on larger expenditure issues, there are cases where economically backward regions have to reckon with near Dickensian situations that might seem irrelevant in the larger scheme of things but yet capable of causing considerable hardship to ordinary people.   … Continued

Power Balance

India’s Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde presented an optimistic picture of the opportunities in India’s power sector at the 8th India Investment Forum  in New York in the last week of September. He invited power companies to invest in India. He pointed out that while the present installed generation capacity in India is about 1,81,000 … Continued

Tracking Government Subsidies

Here’s a look at the Government’s subsidy outflow during 2006-07 and 2009-10. Look at the chart for the percentages and the breakup in the ‘Others’ section. It will give you an idea. Other Subsidy Heads: *For export promotion and market development*For new industrial units in backward areas*To General Insurance Corporation (GIC) for Central Corporation Insurance Fund*For … Continued

Till Debt Do Us Part

India’s external debt stands at $305 bn. It’s worth going a little deeper into how this is split up and the interesting role that non resident Indians play here. Of total external debt, the long term debt was at $240.9 billion while short-term debt stood at US$ 65.0 billion at end-March 2011. NRI Deposits are … Continued

Another Higher Education Riddle

The Delhi High Court, in September, fined the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong  Rs 1 lakh for leaving 22 seats vacant in its Post Graduate programme in the current academic year till 2013. Reports say the High Court reprimanded the educational institute for not filling up all 120 seats available and thus “wasting public … Continued

Air-India’s Dreams Line Up

Sinking national carrier Air India is reportedly considering cancelling or postponing a deal to acquire 27 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft. The aircraft were ordered in 2005, as part of a Rs 30,000 crore ($6.6 billion), 68 aircraft acquisition programme, say media reports. The delivery of the Dreamliner is also running two years late.   Recently annointed … Continued

India’s Hottest Stock?

The Reserve Bank of India, India’s Central Bank, turned in an income of Rs 37,070 crore ($8.2 billion) last year and passed on Rs 15,009 crore ($3.5 billion) to the Government, its owner. Well, what if the RBI were listed? Well, it’s not improbable. The Swiss National Bank, the central bank of Switzerland is 55% … Continued

Ministry Of Fudge

Several cabinet ministers have `declared’ their assets recently on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s website. The figures are astounding for their inaccuracy and lack of connect with reality. Particularly when it comes to values of real estate. A Wall Street Journal article even termed these figures as being generated from the Department Of Opaqueness.   … Continued

Does One Feel Angry Or Sad?

A senior Indian politician travelling on tax payer’s money breaks journey inexplicably in the fine cities of London and Paris. He (and she) ran up bills of thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and chauffeur driven limousines (a relatively big deal unlike in India) for no apparent, official reason. Why?   SPR has highlighted many … Continued

NAL Needs Rs 7,555 Crore To Develop 90-Seater Passenger Aircraft

Someone pointed out how it cost Gillette more than $750 million to develop its Mach3 series of razor blades. While India was developing entire automotive programmes like Mahindra Scorpio or Tata Nano in less than $500 million. Or better still, aircraft development.   India’s National Aerospace Laboratory or NAL has said it needs Rs 7,555 crore … Continued