Are Micro Lending Institutions Back In Business?

Are India’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) on a comeback trail? Data suggests the industry is recovering from the 2010 crisis triggered by a tough law that nearly banned the industry in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.   The gross loan portfolio of MFIs rose 23% to Rs 21,245 crore in the year ended 31 March, … Continued

Poor PM, All He Did Was Talk About Growth

Aruna Roy, well known social activist, decided recently to quit the National Advisory Council (NAC), an advisory board led by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.   Roy said that she wanted to go back to the grassroots level to work on issues related to the poor. She was also quoted … Continued

Growth hits decade-low of 5%

The economy grew 5% in the year ended March, the slowest pace in a decade, in line with the projection of the statistics office. Growth in the fourth quarter slowed to 4.8% from 5.1% a year ago.   During the year, agriculture grew at 1.9% compared with 3.6% a year ago, manufacturing at 1% against … Continued

UPA-II’s bias is in favour of growth: Aruna Roy

Social activist Aruna Roy has opted out of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC), which sets the social agenda of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, because she wants to move from an advisory role to working on issues close to the poor….   “I am leaving because I want to shift from an advisory … Continued

Direct cash transfer will not lead to misuse: Montek

Enthused by encouraging findings of a UNICEF-SEWA joint study on direct cash transfer, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said its implementation in large scale will not lead to any misuse of money.   “They prove two things. First of all, cash transfers can be organised. Secondly when you give (transfer) the money (into … Continued

Towards 2050: development imperatives

The challenge of rapid urbanisation is perhaps the one we are least equipped to meet. Our development priorities are dominated by the demands for rural infrastructure and poverty alleviation. The budget of the central ministry of urban development is Rs 10,000 crore in 2013-14, while the central government budget allocation for rural housing, rural roads … Continued

Rural India in decline

Four states have actually seen their rural populations decline since 2001: Kerala, Goa, Nagaland and Sikkim. The rural population of Andhra Pradesh has almost stagnated. It is growing at a very sluggish rate in at least 10 other states.   Meanwhile, there is a noticeable asymmetry: Nearly half of the total rural population growth across … Continued

Is the Congress missing a trick in the IPL spot-fixing mess?

Even assuming Srinivasan resigns tomorrow, what then? The reins will be passed on to another power-hungry, greedy politician/businessman looking to mint money off the game—answerable to no one save his cronies heading the various state associations. In other words, the biggest stumbling block to any truly progressive change in the BCCI is its structure and … Continued

GST rollout only after next govt comes to power: PM

The last six months may have seen a series of positive developments around the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but its implementation will happen only after a new government comes to power after the elections in April next year.   Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the Japan Business Federation that there were difficulties in … Continued

Not Everyone Wants Guaranteed Wages

   Highlights * MGNREGA has cost the taxpayer Rs 227,700 cr from its inception in 2005-06 & about 48 million households have been provided employment * Only 30% of the work projects were completed & only 22% of funds were utilised in the 182 audited districts spanning 14 states * According to a CAG report, … Continued