Was Dr Reddy Right In Asking For Caps On Inflows?

Back in 2004, when India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $100 billion mark, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia proposed using a part of what was then viewed as excess reserves to finance infrastructure projects.   The proposal remained on paper and was abandoned many years later. Reserves, however, continued to balloon, mostly thanks … Continued

Why India’s Current Account Deficit Problem Vexes Everyone

In his latest Budget Speech on 28th February 2013, Finance Minister P Chidambaram expressed concern over India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD), saying “CAD continues to be high mainly because of our excessive dependence on oil imports, the high volume of coal imports, our passion for gold, and the slowdown in exports. This year, and perhaps … Continued

Budget 2013: Breaking Down The Numbers With Outcomes

Continuing with the focus on rural development, Finance Minister P Chidambaram increased the allocation for the Ministry of Rural Development by over 40% in Budget 2013-14.  IndiaSpend’s Budget primer series had raised a series of questions on rural development, urban infrastructure, controlling current account deficit and checking the fiscal deficit.  So, did Budget 2013 answer … Continued

Budget 2013: Subsidy Bill Continues to Balloon, Healthcare Still A Dream

Finance Minister P Chidambaram left a lot of questions raised in IndiaSpend’s primer series unanswered in Budget 2013-14.  Let us start with subsidies and health spending.   Question #1) Will there be a ceiling on food subsidy?   We see that food subsidy has been budgeted at Rs 80,000 crore for 2013-14 – an increase … Continued ...

Can India’s 150,000 Post Offices Really Become Banks?

India’s post offices (India Post) have tried to function as banks but have lacked an integrated banking structure or a core banking solution. Without integration, customers are confined to dealing only with post offices they have had direct dealings with.   In India’s Union Budget presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on 28 February, he … Continued

Budget 2013: The Dope On Who Gets How Much

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, while presenting Budget 2013-14, said that fiscal deficit remains high but did not cut down on spending, particularly the subsidy bill which many were watching closely.   IndiaSpend looks at the allocations to catalogue the top 10 ministries, and finds that the Ministry of Finance secures the top position (like it … Continued

Budget 2013: Here’s What The Government Is Really Betting On

  India’s Union Budget 2013-14 was presented on February 28, 2013 against a backdrop of a slowing economy and stalling investment.   IndiaSpend contributor Anupam Gupta takes a closer look at the Budget papers and finds the numbers reflecting an attempt at maintaining balance between supporting social spend and fiscal consolidation. He also brings out … Continued

IndiaSpend Budget 2013 Primer – IV: The Three Numbers That Matter

  Highlights * With growth dipping to less than 6%, tax collections till December is only 63% of Budget estimates* Fiscal deficit, the gap between government expenditure and revenue, has reached around 79% of Budget estimate by December * Target of Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestments has not been met in 2012-13 till now with … Continued

IndiaSpend Budget 2013 Primer – III: India’s Golden Handcuffs

  Highlights * India has already spent over $38 billion on importing gold between April-December 2012 * World Gold Council estimates that consumer demand in India may climb about 12% to 965 tonne in 2013 * RBI group suggests introducing new gold-backed financial products to reduce demand for physical gold   India’s demand for gold … Continued

Close To 90% Of Cheques Written Are Still Below Rs 1 Lakh

Is India moving towards a cashless society? So it seems if we look at data released recently by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) comparing electronic payments and usage of cheques for payments.   IndiaSpend’s Sourjya Bhowmick looked at the report and here are some key findings:  there is a growing trend … Continued