June quarter current account gap narrower than expected

India’s current account deficit (CAD) was narrower than expected at $21.8 billion, or 4.9% of gross domestic product, in the June quarter.   Still, it was wider than $18.17 billion, or 3.6% of GDP, in the three months ending in March, on a seasonal slowdown in exports and firm imports.   Five economists had predicted … Continued

Lalu Yadav convicted, sent to Ranchi jail

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was taken to the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi after a CBI designated court convicted him in the fodder scam case. The final quantum of sentencing will be announced on October 3.   Lalu Yadav has been found guilty of criminal conspiracy, corruption and cheating. Forty-four other accused have … Continued

India’s temples guard their gold from Government

India’s temples are resisting divulging their gold holdings – perhaps nearly half the amount held in Fort Knox – amid mistrust of the motives of authorities who are trying to cut a hefty import bill that is hurting the economy.   The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has already taken steps that have slowed … Continued

Tackling the runaway food inflation train

Nothing can be more ironic than to have food inflation at 18% (August 2013 over last August) in a country that takes pride in enacting the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and bestowing “the right to food” to 67% of its population by promising 5 kg cereals per capita per month (pcpm) at highly subsidised … Continued

Human Trafficking Cases Jump in India; Convictions Decline!

Highlights *3,554 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2012, an increase of 17% from 3,029 cases reported in 2008   *West Bengal and Maharashtra register large number of cases but convictions have only been about 4% & 5%, respectively *Uttar Pradesh, Delhi have the best conviction rates of people arrested for sex trafficking;  Assam, … Continued

59-60/$ right value for rupee: Chidambaram

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the right value of the rupee is 59-60 to a dollar and it should not overshoot that level.   According to the real effective exchange rate of the rupee, “the right level of the rupee should be at 59-60 to American dollar and the currency should not overshoot that level,” he said. Read … Continued

The Modi-Chidambaram GDP Slugfest & Beyond

  The Congress-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) war of words is getting shriller with each passing day as the 2014 general election comes closer. We reckon even pointing this out is passe now.   A few days ago, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi claimed the Indian economy had grown at 8.4% till 2004 during the … Continued

Right to reject a fundamental right: Supreme Court

In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court gave voters the right to reject all candidates contesting elections. The order said that right to reject was a fundamental right under the Constitution.   Delivering their judgment, a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam noted that the provision of negative voting will foster purity and vibrancy … Continued