How Violent Crimes In Bengal Doubled In The 4 Years Before Mamata

West Bengal’s deteriorating law and order has proved a major embarrassment for Mamata Banerjee, who came to power with the promise of better governance and improved law and order.   The Left Front, ironically, had claimed in the run up to the 2011 elections saying that law and order would crumble if her party came … Continued

Urbanisation Sounds Great But Who Has The Money To Fund It?

Most planners and economy watchers would argue for greater and faster urbanisation. Many, however, would not be aware of the largely dismal condition of state and urban local body finances which could potentially support the great shift.  Moreover, as IndiaSpend’s Prachi Salve finds out, effectively, only 5 states in India have the financial and administrative … Continued

How Bengal Lost An Opportunity To Change Its Economic Course

When & where did West Bengal’s problems really begin? A question like this could spark off a plethora of tomes, debates & addas (intellectual gatherings) that might last, well, for a long time.   IndiaSpend’s Dhritiman Gupta instead looks at available data closely to ask if the people of Bengal could have seen the alarm … Continued

Rural Poverty Falls In Orissa, Urban Poverty Rises In Gujarat

India’s ‘poverty rate’ has been debated ad infinitum ever since Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission announced the fixing of the poverty line at Rs 26 per day for rural areas and Rs 32 per day for urban areas. Those behind the uproar argued that these limits were too low.   IndiaSpend’s … Continued

J&K, Maharashtra, Project Delay Culprits; Delhi, Goa Score

Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra lead the list of states where some 190 out of 555 Central projects with investment outlays of over Rs 150 crore have reported cost overruns of Rs 1,30,089 crore or 60.3%   The sectors which are the main culprits for these overruns are Railways, Power, Petroleum and Roads Transport and Highways. … Continued

Can Haryana Break Away From The Bengal, Kerala Club?

The state of Haryana has been clubbed with Bengal, Kerala and Punjab for the state of its finances, particularly for its large revenue deficit or a ‘negative’ gap between tax and non-tax collections and its expenditure. But Haryana is getting a better grip on its finances, finds IndiaSpend’s Dhritiman Gupta.   The good news is … Continued

India’s Surprising States With ‘Real’ Fiscal Deficits: West Bengal, Kerala, Punjab & Haryana

The Government of India’s fiscal deficit touched 5.9% of GDP in 2011-12. But most states of India actually do better except for a few whose finances are in particularly bad shape. Remember that states do not bear large subsidy burdens that the Centre does or bankroll as many schemes.   But the state’s own balance … Continued

Meet India’s Chronic Over Spenders

It’s not exactly breaking news but a closer look at how various Indian states are managing their budgets is insightful.   IndiaSpend’s Dhritiman Gupta finds that many Indian states spend more than what they earn, hence consistently running deficits on the revenue account, which then have to be financed by loans.   The states can … Continued

India’s 10 Most Indebted States

Debt is not bad. Many firms raise large chunks of it in their growth and expansion phases. Some ease out of it with time. Others struggle. But while the stakeholders – banks, financial markets and shareholders – can technically put pressure on a firm to course-correct, it’s not the same or as simple with the … Continued

West Bengal: Where Film, Music & Dance Rule Over All

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra began his 2012 budget speech by blaming the erstwhile Left government for the dire state of the state finances.   He noted: “In a dozen years debt grew by a phenomenal 486 percent – almost 500 percent. In per capita terms, the debt was the largest in the country … Continued