home > research channels > columns > leader talk
Leader Talk
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay Download
Dunce of Democracy? -- 30-Apr-21
On April 6, West Bengal remained the lone state where assembly elections were yet to be completed. An unremitting rise in daily Covid-19 cases since coincided with the campaigning in Bengal reaching a crescendo.

Jamil Khatri Download
Can We Afford to Rush? -- 30-Apr-21
Finance teams in corporate India and their auditors are currently dealing with two completely different challenges. On the one hand, they are facing personal challenges arising out of the brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic across India.

K Srinath Reddy Download
Remove Spikes on the Road -- 29-Apr-21
As India sets out on an ambitious journey of vaccinating all persons above 18 years against the spiky virus that causes Covid-19, from May 1, there are several spikes that must be cleared from the road to universal vaccination.

Kiran Somvanshi Download
Circulation is Healthy -- 29-Apr-21
Months before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a high-level group formed by the15th Finance Commission had, among other recommendations, held that the subject of health be transferred from the state list to the concurrent list of the Constitution.

Seema Sirohi Download
America Finally Feels It -- 28-Apr-21
The crisis of confidence — or rather the crisis of silence — when India’s pain seemed invisible to the US administration has lessons, starting with the biggest one: public diplomacy matters in times of trouble.

Sunil Kumar Sinha Download
The Rs.623.75 Bn Question -- 27-Apr-21
With the accelerated Phase 3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination to start from May 1, allowing persons of 18 years and above to vaccinated, an estimated 841.95 million out of India’s population of 1,333 million will be eligible for anti-Covid shots.

Jug Suraiya Download
O Barter, Where Art Thou? -- 27-Apr-21
Like the ebb and flow of ocean tides, the human sea of migrant labourers who had surged out of cities to return home after their incomes were jeopardised by the first lockdown, and who eddied back in search of urban employment...

Sushil Kumar Modi Download
Lend the Sector a Pawan Hand -- 27-Apr-21
The push for largescale privatisation and monetisation of assets was a key feature of this year’s budget. One of the key proposals related to this move was the reiteration of ‘full privatisation’ of the state-owned helicopter company...

Surjit S Bhalla Download
We Must Listen to Vax Populi -- 26-Apr-21
There will be a time for deep analysis of what could have been done differently, and how to prepare for future pandemics. But now is the time for unity and coordinated action to end the acute phase of the pandemic in India.

Priyanjali Maitra Download
In Mutual Funds-Interesting Times -- 26-Apr-21
One of the largest impacts of Covid-19 has been the crippling impact on retail investor sentiments. A sector that is the lifeblood of every large bank was haemorrhaging money with mutual fund and systematic investment plan (SIP) numbers at record lows.

Meenal Baghel Download
Shortage of Oxygen of Truth-Telling -- 26-Apr-21
During the 1943 Bengal famine, when the death toll ran over two million, the British government tried hard to suppress data from coming out. There was pressure on newspapers to calm public fears...

Omkar Goswami Download
Mayday! Mayday! in April -- 23-Apr-21
When Covid-19 surfaced in India in late February 2020, it was understandable that we were not prepared. We did not comprehend the extent of the epidemic and its epidemiology. We had insufficient testing kits.

Arvind Mayaram Download
How to Fix Our Infra PPProblems -- 23-Apr-21
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) estimates that to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, annual investments of around $4.5 trillion will be needed in developing countries.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Download
Lessons From the 2nd Wave -- 22-Apr-21
The second Covid-19 wave has hit India, and hit it hard. Record jumps in coronavirus infections on a daily basis have pushed health infrastructure to the brink in several states.

Narayani Ganesh Download
The Plastic Pandemic -- 22-Apr-21
We are fearful of breathing in the air around us because there’s a pandemic. A paper published in the Lancet (bit.ly/2Qj55rr) last week states that the Covid-19 virus could be largely airborne, more than transmission via droplets and contaminated surfaces.

Dhanendra Kumar Download
Everything is 'Essential' -- 21-Apr-21
We are all passing through extraordinary times. People are stuck indoors not by choice but by Covid-instigated government orders of lockdowns and curfews, largely due to people not adhering to Covid protocols.

Anjana Menon Download
Aatmanirbhar in Blasted Times -- 20-Apr-21
The time has come for us to be truly aatmanirbhar. We have been told time and again that self-reliance is key to our success. The summer of 2021 is the true test of our selfreliance.

Aashish Chandorkar Download
Privatisation No More a Dirty Word -- 20-Apr-21
Section 5.4 of Budget 2000 stated that GoI’s policy towards the public sector ‘is clear and unambiguous. Its main elements are: Restructure and revive potentially viable PSUs; close down PSUs which cannot be revived;

Pranab Dhal Samanta Download
All Hands on This Deck -- 20-Apr-21
Balance must return at the earliest to the political and policy conversation around the unanticipated surge in Covid-19 cases if India needs to cope with what is an extremely serious and unpredictable situation.

Siddarth Bhamre Download
Large Corrections Unlikely, but 14,250 Support Crucial -- 19-Apr-21
Technical and derivatives analysts say the Nifty index is likely to find major support at 14,250 level. The market sentiment continues to be weighed down by the record daily surge in coronavirus cases but analysts believe that big corrections are unlikely

SP Kothari Download
Profit Alone is Profitable -- 19-Apr-21
I just finished watching the Jason Hehir-directed docu-series Last Dance about basketball great Michael Jordan. It chronicles why Jordan is regarded as one of the best athletes ever — and a billionaire.

Rakesh Sinha Download
Taking Advantage of a Tragedy -- 19-Apr-21
The second wave of Covid-19 presents another grave challenge before the country — and indeed, the world — even before it has stabilised economically, physically and psychologically

Jasmine Shah Download
Ride With Delhi’s EV Riders -- 19-Apr-21
Air pollution is one of the leading causes of death in India, and a major challenge to the long-term sustainability of India’s economic engines: its cities. The World Air Quality Report 2020 puts 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities in India.

Bibek Debroy Download
Fix the Last-Mile Delivery -- 16-Apr-21
India reported a record singleday rise of over 200,000 cases on April 14. The effective reproduction number (Rt) — the number of people in a population who can get infected by one individual — has breached 2 in Uttar Pradesh (2.14), Jharkhand (2.13) and Bihar (2.09).

Sanjeev Choudhary Download
India’s Slick Riyadhpolitik -- 16-Apr-21
In a bid to challenge Saudi dominance in the global oil market, India’s State refiners have ordered one-third less oil for May from Riyadh. With state elections then around the corner, India had earlier asked Saudi Arabia and their allies to increase supplies

Sunil Alagh Download
Let’s Get Local for Local -- 15-Apr-21
For MSMEs, marketing has always been considered difficult and expensive. Today, the sector seems even more circumspect because of the second wave of Covid-19. At a macro level, the problems appear unsolvable.

Indrajit Hazra Download
Punish the Super-Spreaders -- 15-Apr-21
For a country — indeed, a culture — that has little qualms in spotting and then ‘taking care’ of perceived miscreants jeopardising the perceived safety of communities, strangely,

Seema Sirohi Download
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON Biden’s Come September -- 14-Apr-21
Playing the ‘get-out-of-Afghanistan’ card was easier as veepee. But as president, Joe Biden was finding it hard to make a decision that satisfies all constituencies, and was also the ‘right’ one.

Anil Padmanabhan Download
Get Rid of Our Roadkillers -- 13-Apr-21
On April 1, the Delhi-Meerut Expressway was opened to the public. It took 16 years to deliver on the government promise to build an 82 km access-controlled highway — entailing the construction of 24 bridges, 10 flyovers, 95 underpasses,

Somnath Mukherjee Download
The Oracle of Archegos -- 13-Apr-21
Every time there is a blow-out in the financial markets, this generation looks nervously over its shoulder towards Lehman 2008. Those with longer memories, think of long-term capital management (LTCM).

M Damodaran Download
Well-Groomed, Well-Bred -- 12-Apr-21
In December 2020, National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) Chairman R Sridharan described the view expressed in 1896 by Judge Henry Lopes that the auditor is ‘a watchdog, but not a bloodhound’ to be a ‘serious misconception’.

Sudha G Tilak Download
Don’t Put Warriors for Life to Test -- 12-Apr-21
As comments rapidly poured in on social media on April 7 over the PM’s live chat with students set to take their board exams, ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’, I recalled the quote of a Gujarati icon...

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Elephants in the Climate Room -- 12-Apr-21
After four years of denial in the world’s largest economy, climate change is back centre stage. On April 22, Joe Biden will host 40 world leaders, including Narendra Modi, at a virtual summit.

Ritwik Banerjee Download
Treating Underestimation -- 09-Apr-21
Legend has it that the king wanted to reward Sissa ibn Dahir for having invented chaturanga, the precursor of modern-day chess. Ibn Dahir requested only a grain of wheat on the first square of the board, two grains on the second...

Ateesh Tankha Download
Big Brothers Watching -- 09-Apr-21
As Covid-ridden 2020 drew to a close, it appeared that Facebook, Google and Amazon had captured more than 50% of all advertising spending in the US for the first time. As startling as this sounds...

Apoorva Javadekar Download
Competition Success -- 08-Apr-21
From the bank nationalisation movement in 1970s to the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) proposed by GoI recently, India has completed a full circle. Higher gross nonperforming asset ratios

Pranab Dhal Samanta Download
More Than About Hot Air -- 08-Apr-21
The renewed climate change conversation between India and the US is at a delicate starting point from where it can either turn into a great opportunity — even a gamechanger — or just turn ideological and go the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test- Ban Treaty) way — unsigned, unratified and unfinished.

Omkar Goswami Download
Bring the Corporations In -- 07-Apr-21
As I write this piece on April 6, India’s Covid-19 second wave has become a typhoon. On Sunday, April 4, the number of fresh cases crossed a lakh — 1,03,558 to be precise — the biggest one-day figure since the advent of the pandemic last year.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh Download
Healthy, Equality, Fraternity -- 07-Apr-21
For well over a year now, marginalised communities across the world have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. In all countries, socioeconomic, political, educational and geographic factors have facilitated the spread of Sars-CoV-2

Hemant Lamba Download
Big Deals No More a Big Deal -- 07-Apr-21
How Covid-19 has caused extensive business disruptions worldwide is known to all by now. This led companies across all sectors to move rapidly towards strong digital technologies and the cloud,

Soumya Kanti Ghosh Download
Pour Gangajal On Bribery -- 06-Apr-21
Much has been written and discussed about corruption having a negative impact on economic growth, with malfunctioning government institutions affecting investments, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Preeti Malhotra Download
Get India to be Worldly Wise -- 05-Apr-21
In his last visit to India, Jeff Bezos famously announced that the 21st century belonged to India. While it could have been pure PR, there is much merit to Bezos’ claim. India’s bullish spree has inspired a positive business sentiment across the world.

Amit Garg Download
The Real Net-Zero Sum Game -- 05-Apr-21
A net-zero target must be preceded by peaking of emissions. Industrialised countries that have pledged to achieve net-zero by 2050 peaked their emissions in the 1990s-early 2000s. India is likely to peak around 2040.

Varun Gandhi Download
A Healthy Transformation -- 01-Apr-21
In late March 2020, there was a notable prediction by Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, on India’s ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Arvind P Datar Download
A Levy to Equalise, Not Obfuscate -- 31-Mar-21
An unnecessary controversy has arisen over whether the equalisation levy (EL) of 2% after April1, 2020, also applies to the import of physical goods or provision of physical services. Considering the nature of EL, and on a plain reading of the statutory provisions, this levy is confined to the supply of digital goods and services.

Seema Sirohi Download
Biden, Big Pharma or the People? -- 31-Mar-21
Joe Biden has a great opportunity to prove to the world ‘America is back’ and ‘all’ lives matter. He can side with hundreds of millions in need of a vaccine in developing countries against pharmaceutical giants and their mindnumbing profits.

Sanjay Jaju Download
A Reformative Step Throws Open Indian Defence... -- 30-Mar-21
A recent announcement that .1,000 crore would be set apart this year for procurement from defence startups has spurred enough enthusiasm among the innovators and youth of the nation to focus their energies towards strengthening India’s defence capabilities through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

S P Kothari Download
10, 9, 8... $5 Trillion Lift-Off -- 30-Mar-21
India has set an ambitious target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Because of the Covid-19 body blow, if this target date is reset to five years from now, India must grow from its current size of $3 trillion to $5 trillion by 2026-27.

Ronnie Screwvala Download
Plug Into Digital Classrooms -- 30-Mar-21
2020 saw a radical shift in education delivery. This move towards digital delivery of education created investor interest in it, and H1 2020 saw $4.5 billion invested in education technologies (edtech) globally.

Dipankar Gupta Download
Public-Private Partnership -- 26-Mar-21
For the media, social media included, to effectively deal with the contrary claims of privacy protection and open public information, it is essential to clarify the terms ‘public’ and ‘private’.

Bhupender Yadav Download
Law & Behold in Democratic India -- 26-Mar-21
Modern democracies have parliaments whose primary function is to make laws. Parliamentarians, both elected and nominated, are, thus, lawmakers. But who decides what laws a country should make?

Arvind Mayaram Download
Curb Your Overenthusiasm -- 26-Mar-21
Global sentiment is to tame Big Tech, and rightly so. It has been more than a decade since the Big Tech saga began. But regulators across the world are still grappling with concerns arising from the reach of the digital world...

Akshay Rout Download
India, You Better Behave -- 25-Mar-21
The sense of urgency is back. The meticulously worked out downturn of the Covid-19 curve has been reversed in about half the states and Union territories. Maharashtra once again leads this round, while there has been an alarming 150% increase in 70 districts of the country.

Rahul Mazumdar Download
Firming Up a Sonar Bangla-India -- 25-Mar-21
Narendra Modi will visit Bangladesh on March 26-27 to attend the 50th-year celebrations of Bangladesh. Both India and Bangladesh can reap benefits from global value chains, while acknowledging each other’s comparative advantages.

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Shale Shock: Oil’s Not Lost, In Fact… -- 25-Mar-21
In April 2020, oil had a near-death experience. Contracts for the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude in the US fell below $0 a barrel. That means sellers had to pay buyers to sign a contract.

Amit Agarwal Download
Ecommerce an Ally in Realising Atmanirbhar Bharat Vision -- 24-Mar-21
About a year back, the world saw the dramatic repercussions of a black swan event like Covid-19 on lives and livelihoods. It resulted in a complete shutdown of socio-economic activities across the world for months

Jeffrey Owens Download
How to Stick to Treaties, Not Tricks -- 24-Mar-21
The unanimous decision against India at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Vodafone and Cairn Energy cases highlights the significance of the Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) clause in bilateral investment treaties (BIT).

Raj Shekhar Joshi Download
Careful With This Gold Rush -- 23-Mar-21
Everyone seems to be singing paeans for special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) and their recent astronomical growth in US markets. But it’s wise to conduct a reality check on their performances and risks.

Prashant Singhal Download
Quickening the Special Purpose -- 23-Mar-21
Currently, access to foreign capital markets for Indian companies is possible only through global depository receipts (GDRs), or American depositary receipts (ADRs). These require companies to be listed on the Indian stock exchange(s).

Pranab Dhal Samanta Download
Foreign Correspondence -- 23-Mar-21
Narendra Modi’s term in office has entered an interesting new phase, one where his principal challenges are likely to be less internal, more external. In fact, even what may traditionally appear domestic — be it Kashmir

Abhilash Pagaria Download
Nifty Likely to Trade in 14,450 to 14,950 Range -- 22-Mar-21
Technical analysts expect the Nifty to move in 14,450-14,950 range this week after posting its first weekly loss in three weeks. They expect selling to resume once the index touches 15,200.

Harsh Gupta Madhusudan Download
No Longer About Either-Or -- 22-Mar-21
India is a civilisation of synthesis. It is at the centre of the ‘old world’ of Africa, Europe, Asia and the Indian Ocean. Hence in many aspects it comes across as Janus-faced as it absorbs external influences while adding its own ideas.

Jug Suraiya Download
Dilli Dur Ast Just Got Farther -- 22-Mar-21
The saying ‘Dilli dur ast’ (Delhi is distant) is widely attributed to the Sufi sage Hazrat Nizamuddin. Today, the capital is becoming more and more dur from the rest of the country.

M Damodaran Download
Don’t Promote Promoterphobia -- 22-Mar-21
Some 40 years ago, while dropping me to a meeting at Yojana Bhavan, the driver asked me, ‘Do the problems of people like us get discussed in your meetings?’ I have been increasingly reminded of the driver’s question

Kaushik Das Download
Things Shouldn’t Get Oily -- 19-Mar-21
Global oil prices (Brent) are currently hovering close to $65 a barrel, which is about a 25% increase from end-December 2020 levels. If Brent prices were to average $75 a barrel, India’s FY2022

Vinayak Chatterjee Download
New Wine From An Old Bottle? -- 18-Mar-21
India’s quest for funds to build infrastructure is neverending. Over the decades, it has taken many forms, but almost every one of them ended up in failure.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Download
A Lesson From India -- 18-Mar-21
The Covid-19 pandemic caught the education system across the world off guard. With 33 crore students, 1,000 universities, 45,000 colleges, more than 15 lakh schools, and more than one crore teachers, the Indian education sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience.

Indrajit Hazra Download
A Truly Anti-India Toolkit -- 17-Mar-21
Bengal wants its daughter only’ (Bangla nijer meykei chay) is the latest Trinamool Congress (TMC) election jingle being pumped into phones in the state. It’s certainly straight out of the central government’s ‘Vocal for Local’ toolkit.

Arijit Barman Download
Go Public to Privatise -- 17-Mar-21
Earlier this month, when Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) decided to sell a large chunk of its treasury stocks in the market, the brisk response from institutional investors prompted the company and its bankers to upsize the issue to Rs.5,525 crore

Abheek Barua Download
Who's Afraid of Stimulus? -- 16-Mar-21
A senior economist of the government was recently reported to have told a group of industrialists that asset creation, and not fiscal stimulus, was the budget’s aim.

Aditi Gopalakrishnan Download
No Space for Turf Wars -- 16-Mar-21
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently published its market study on the telecom sector in India. It acknowledges that competition regulation could also involve a breach of data protection rules.

Krishnamurthy Subramanian Download
What Past Crises Taught Us -- 15-Mar-21
How did India handle the previous two economic crises — the Asian and the global financial crises? What can we learn from them to understand the rationale behind GoI’s policy response to the Covid crisis?

Ravi Mahajan Download
With Royalty Verdict Comes Clarity -- 15-Mar-21
On March 2, the Supreme Court ruled that payments made to non-residents for software purchase can’t be taxed as royalty. The ruling is a detailed exposition of the interplay between the domestic tax law, tax treaties entered into by India with various countries

Seema Sirohi Download
The Quad, a Force to Reckon With -- 15-Mar-21
Narendra Modi’s remark last Friday that the Quad has ‘come of age’ encapsulates the state of play. The Quad didn’t ‘dissipate’ like ‘foam on the sea’ as a certain foreign minister had predicted.

Saubhik Chakrabarti Download
Economy's FY22 Moment -- 12-Mar-21
Some of the best news on a slowing economy that got savagely hit by Covid has come in February-March. Starting with what was Nirmala Sitharaman’s best budget, and the latest being a flurry of FY22 GDP projections

Sriram Balasubramanian Download
Space Beyond the Cities -- 12-Mar-21
Debate and discussion on inequality in India have been largely centred around two key themes: one, focus on the top 1% ‘billionaire class’ and its exponential growth over the last few decades; two, on those residing below poverty levels (BPL).

Bibek Debroy Download
It’ll Be Money, Mati, Manush -- 11-Mar-21
Just after May Day, there will be a new government in West Bengal. Even if the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is reelected, it will technically be a new government. That new government, shorn of emotions

Jayant Sinha Download
Net Zero is Net Gain -- 11-Mar-21
Rapid glacial melting in Uttarakhand, massive floods in Kerala, drought in Bundelkhand, devastating cyclones in West Bengal — India is experiencing a series of extreme weather events triggered by global warming.

Avinash Mohananey Download
Aim of New Game in Afghanistan -- 10-Mar-21
Peace in the war-torn Afghanistan would remain a distant dream, as foreign forces are unlikely to exit any time soon and external influences would continue to fuel instability and violence there.

S P Kothari Download
SPACs, the Final Frontier -- 10-Mar-21
Special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) have been all the rage recently in the US. Last year alone, they raised $83 billion in 248 IPO listings. By February 10, 2021, in mere 40 days, Spacs have raked in $38 billion with128 new listings.

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Can India Lead in Tech? -- 10-Mar-21
Technology and innovation are the biggest drivers of change in the global economy. Now, at the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, they will determine the economic trajectory of nations more than ever before.

Kanwal Sibal Download
China’s Military Climbdown in Ladakh Leads to LoC Ceasefire -- 09-Mar-21
If the Chinese gave five different explanations for why they moved into Ladakh, there could be several reasons for their withdrawal, partial for the moment, with complete disengagement across the front unlikely to happen quickly enough.

Sarthak Agrawal Download
Pool in to Rope in Fuel -- 09-Mar-21
The recent conundrum of exorbitant domestic petroleum prices, even as crude remains soft by historical standards, has much to do with the high excise duties and value-added tax (VAT) imposed by GoI and state governments.

Pranab Dhal Samanta Download
Bengal Club Membership -- 09-Mar-21
The upcoming West Bengal elections are as significant for Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial second term as the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections were for his first. While a wellfought defeat with an improved tally would be more than acceptable

Rohit Srivastava Download
Nifty Could Touch New Highs in Mar -- 08-Mar-21
The downside should now be limited with good support below 15,000, that we might not break meaningfully. However, going into the financial year-end, markets can remain subdued and therefore do not expect a run-away move immediately.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay Download
Charge of the Heavy Brigade -- 08-Mar-21
The Election Commission’s (Ec) Schedule For Polls In Four States And One Union Territory Makes It Clear That The Contest In West Bengal Is The One To Watch Out For. This Is Not Just Because Of The Enhanced Security Threat, To Overcome Which Ec Will Complete Polling On April 6 Everywhere, Barring In The 234 Remaining Seats In Bengal.

M Muneer Download
More Women On Board -- 08-Mar-21
Gender diversity and gender parity are two items Indian boardrooms are reluctant to grant admission. This, despite the fact that this top UN Sustainability Development (UNSD) goal is given much lip service by most companies.

Anil Padmanabhan Download
Putting India on the Map -- 05-Mar-21
Last month, GoI undertook a radical makeover of the rules governing the acquisition and production of geospatial data. But for a small no-go list, every bit of geospatial data that will capture the geographical location of a street light, home, office, river, road, etc, can now be mapped by anyone

Lubna Kably Download
Address Office Matters -- 05-Mar-21
The newly introduced rule for social media intermediaries has sparked off intense debates among tax professionals. The avowed objective of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Anoop Singh Download
India Needs to Raise Govt Revenue to Ensure Equalisation & Growth -- 04-Mar-21
Globally, resource availability has long been a critical challenge for meeting equalisation and growth needs at all levels of government. This challenge is accentuated due to the shock on government revenues from a sharp drop...

Amitabh Kant Download
Panchatantra Version 2021 -- 04-Mar-21
Covid-19 has extensively disrupted economies and lives. At the same time, it has presented us with unique opportunities that can be leveraged. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and later China focused on sunrise sectors,

Srivatsa Krishna Download
SPACs Spick and Span? -- 04-Mar-21
An unintended consequence of Covid-19 has been the preponderance of yet another acronym: SPAC, or Special Purpose Acquisition Company. It is a legal shell company set up by investors with the sole purpose of raising money through an initial public offering (IPO)

Debjani Ghosh Download
Responsibility With (Tech) Power -- 03-Mar-21
A few years ago, no crystal ballgazing could have predicted the hyperdata and information explosion era we live in. With the ability to share information, shape perspectives and build communities, our lives today revolve around the internet and the always-connected world.

Seema Sirohi Download
What’s in India’s Image? A Lot -- 03-Mar-21
There’s no denying that India’s image has taken a beating recently — shutdown by internet shutdown, case by sedition case, and protest by farmers’ protest. The attrition of soft power seems to be happening faster than the accumulation of hard power.

Ateesh Tankha Download
1 Bad Plan: 2 Birds, 1 Stone -- 02-Mar-21
Imagine a market with many manufacturers but only a few distribution channels. One day, the government takes issue with a particular channel because it refuses to comply with a request to stop advertising a specific brand of, say, imported gummy lozenge.

Mythili Bhusnurmath Download
V for Victory, or Before W? -- 01-Mar-21
Trying to make sense of macroeconomic numbers in a large and complex economy like India, with a sizeable unorganised sector to boot, is a bit like trying to fit the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Some pieces fit, while others just don’t.

Dhanendra Kumar Download
FYI, PLI is Having the Right Effect -- 01-Mar-21
The production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to galvanise investments into manufacturing and exports has been a thumping success. The scheme will have GoI distribute $20 billion among eligible manufacturers,

Vinod Rai Download
For a Brave New World of PSBs -- 01-Mar-21
Budget 2021 has finally made longawaited policy pronouncements of a reformist nature in the banking and financial sector. Governments are prone to make announcements that catch headlines, but soon fade away with only half-hearted implementation.

Satya Nadella Download
Nadella for Uniform Global Data Privacy Regulations -- 24-Feb-21
MS chief calls for norms akin to drug and food safety regulations instead of fragmented rules.

Salil Parekh Download
Clients Spending on Digital from Investment Budgets too -- 24-Feb-21
Infosys CEO Parekh says IT firm seeing better win rate in large deals due to ‘one Infosys’ approach, digital focus

Kanwal Sibal Download
Speculation on Biden Term Unfounded -- 10-Nov-20
Speculation about what Biden’s presidency would mean for India is unnecessary. India- US ties are now strong, with growing strategic convergences and mutuality of interest. If the US can contribute to India’s economic growth, technology modernisation and expanded international role, India’s value to the US as an economic and security partner

Saibal Dasgupta Download
A Democratic World -- 10-Nov-20
The Us Election Verdict Has Provided Chinese President Xi Jinping With A Unique Gift. Though Donald Trump Has Been The Butt Of Jokes And Anger In China’s Social Media For The Past Few Years, His Accusations May Have Affected The Communist Party Of China’s (Cpc) Perception Among The Growing Class Of English-speaking Chinese Youth.

Tarun Bajaj Download
Roll Up, India’s Open for Business -- 10-Nov-20
As the world deals with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, India, too, could be witnessing early signs of a spur in economy activity. Over the last few months, GoI has undertaken reforms that have provided liquidity in the financial system. During April-August, India attracted over $35 billion as foreign direct investment (FDI), the highest ever for a five-month period.

Dara Khosrowshahi Download
A Gig the World Can Follow -- 29-Oct-20
Every year, millions of young Indians enter the country’s rapidly expanding workforce. By 2030, it’s estimated that the Indian government will need to create work opportunities for 60 million new workers. This represents a significant challenge for GoI. Since Uber launched in India seven years ago

Vineet Toshniwal Download
A Leg-Up to Really Start Things Up -- 29-Oct-20
GoI has been an avid supporter of the startup ecosystem and has launched more than 50 schemes to boost India’s entrepreneurial wave. Till date, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has recognised over 36,000 startups providing employment to 4.2 lakh people, which is an almost 300% growth since 2016.

Daniel H Rosen Download
Make China’s Loss, India’s Gain -- 29-Oct-20
The Covid-19 pandemic has elevated long-simmering debates about dependence on China-centred global supply chains. This rethink has created tremendous opportunities for India and other developing countries in the region — if they can seize them.

Ateesh Tankha Download
New East India Companies -- 27-Oct-20
In 1911, Standard Oil was found guilty by the US Supreme Court of unfairly restraining trade through price-fixing, bribery and suppressing competitor throughput. But the court insisted that it is incumbent on the prosecution to prove that a monopoly has acted ‘unreasonably’ to suppress competition.

Sunil Alagh Download
To Get the Economy Purring Again -- 27-Oct-20
Covid-19 has taught us not to make five-year plans any more. All those who did last year are now having to restructure everything. To get the economy purring again in these Covid times, here are three suggestions:

Debjani Ghosh Download
How to Follow Through StrAIght -- 27-Oct-20
According to the August 2020 National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom)- McKinsey report, ‘Unlocking Value From Data and AI: The India Opportunity’, artificial intelligence (AI) deployments, if done right, could add about .500 billion to India’s GDP in the next five years.

Arun Maira Download
We Also Make Jewellery -- 22-Oct-20
Titan, a Tata company, posted an advertisement for their popular jewellery brand, Tanishq, on social media to promote communal harmony. Earlier this month, the antiharmony brigades noticed it

Sidharath Kapur Download
Don’t Fly Off the Tarmac -- 22-Oct-20
The two decades-old Indian airport privatisation story has, arguably, been the most successful among global airport privatisation stories. Till 2019, Delhi and Mumbai airports have paid over .30,000 crore to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Harish Krishnan Download
Focus on State Policies -- 21-Oct-20
Talk about consumption taxes, and invariably knives come out as to how they are prohibitively high in India. No doubt GoI taxes on fuel, autos and many other items are very high. But surely, our expenses on transportation fuels or autos are only a fraction of our total consumption?

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Gods of Small Things? -- 20-Oct-20
Is economics in a period of introspection? Or in a process of re-evaluating the possibilities in, and capabilities of, the dismal science? In the middle of the biggest economic shock of the last nine decades

Sanjiv Kapoor Download
Peace of Mind in the Clouds -- 19-Oct-20
The travel industry has been one of the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is unclear when normalcy will return. It is clear, however, that demand, especially for international and corporate travel, will not substantially come back until two things happen

Aaditya Thackeray Download
Easiest Way of Doing Business -- 19-Oct-20
Even as we deal with the Covid-19 pandemic — and opening up has become a slow, steady standard operating procedure, the clichéd ‘SoP’ — the Maharashtra government has passed a landmark proposal to catalyse ease of doing business for opening up new hotels and restaurants.

Chaitanya Giri Download
Test Before Having BECA at Our Call -- 19-Oct-20
New Delhi will be hosting the India-US 2+2 (foreign and defence) ministerial meeting on October 26-27. A number of deliverables will reportedly be explored, including the content of the last of the India-US foundational agreements

Javeed Ahmed Download
Primary Rights Can't be Violated in Name of Law & Order -- 16-Oct-20
The political discourse in UP has always given disproportionately high weightage to law and order. Every government proclaims its success in providing an ‘apraadh mukt’ (crime-free) environment where investment and industry can thrive, while opposition parties use every crime incident to pick holes in the government’s claims.

Varun Gandhi Download
Finally, in Working Condition -- 16-Oct-20
Until recently, a textile firm with more than 300 workers could not shut down its plant without government approval. Labour laws actually required a 30- to 90-day notice period to carry out any such action. A regulatory regime like that meant that India’s textile firms chose to stay small and to employ fewer workers.

Purvi Mehta Download
Chew on These Facts -- 16-Oct-20
Today, on World Food Day, it would be apt to take note that over the decades, Malthusian fears predicting that growing populations would overwhelm food supplies leading to famine and conflicts over resources have proven to be wrong.

Sanjeev Sanyal Download
A Very Asymmetric Opinion -- 09-Oct-20
In A Video Conference Organised By The Federation Of Indian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry’s (Ficci) West Bengal State Council On October 6, Joseph Stiglitz Made Some Strong Statements About India’s Economy And Its Handling Of The Covid-19 Pandemic.

Ateesh Tankha Download
An RBI Therapy That’s Fraudian -- 09-Oct-20
Recently, RBI used Amitabh Bachchan to build ‘fraud awareness’ among users of digital loans and payments. When you consider that this tantamounts to offering a reluctant volunteer a well-worded homily prior to his entering a tiger’s cage, in the hope that this will suffice to transfer the onus of any future misadventure to his care, the initiative passes from the silly to the disreputable.

Barry Eichengreen Download
Keep Targeting on Target -- 08-Oct-20
The monetary policy framework of inflation targeting will soon celebrate its sixth birthday, if we date its nascence to the inflation-targeting agreement signed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and GoI in February 2015. 'Celebrated' may not be exactly the right word, however, since the conduct of monetary policy has been heavily criticised

Ajoy Bose Download
Not the Valmiki Narrative -- 07-Oct-20
The alleged rape and murder of a teenage dalit girl in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh, and its traumatic aftermath, could have a serious impact on the political scenario in India’s most populous state. While rape is tragically a routine crime across India

Anjana Menon Download
Who's Anti-Vikas in UP? -- 07-Oct-20
In just a fortnight, Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh has reinforced everything that is wrong with India's most populous state in particular, and India in general, and how things may never get better.

Kanwal Sibal Download
China’s Arrogant Rejection of New Map of Ladakh an Affront -- 05-Oct-20
China is boxing both itself and India in an untenable situation in Ladakh. It will gain nothing and lose a lot from the current confrontation. There can be no Asian century if India and China are at loggerheads, with China seeking to impede India’s rise and India ready to develop partnerships to constrain China’s overvaulting ambitions.

Mythili Bhusnurmathn Download
Better Never Than Late -- 05-Oct-20
In case the title of this article has left you scratching your head, let me disabuse you of the notion that a blooper has occurred on this page. It merely reflects my fervent wish that when it comes to the apex court’s decision to take up or not the matter of levy of interest on interest later today, it will realise that never is better, indeed far better, than late.

Vinod Zutshi Download
Make India Hospitable Again -- 05-Oct-20
The tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the top drivers of growth among India’s service sectors. It has also been one of the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Steps taken by the tourism industry in general, and the hospitality sector in particular, with regard to health safety and hygiene should inspire confidence and play a role in welcoming back guests.

Vivek Singh Download
When You Oughta Go, You Gotta Go -- 05-Oct-20
Economic reforms have become quite the buzzword, with many describing them as a panacea for all ills. Several commentators are right in noting how past reforms were undertaken by compulsion, rather than as outcomes of conviction

Punit Renjen Download
When the Going Gets Tough -- 01-Oct-20
A few months ago, many of us in leadership roles imagined ‘thriving’ as leading our organisations to a better normal after the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, our responsibilities as leaders now are compounded by concurrent challenges of social injustice and inequality, economic uncertainties and climate change.

Reetika Khera Download
Where is the Covid Money, Honey? -- 01-Oct-20
For a minuscule minority whose jobs or salaries remained safe, the Covid-19 lockdown has been a blessing. Some rediscovered old talents, others developed new skills. Images of gourmet meals flooded social media. It was disconcerting to see them interspersed with images of exhausted, badgered, hungry workers.

Ajay Chhibber Download
So, It Takes a Pandemic... -- 01-Oct-20
India’s democracy is in action once again as GoI reformed the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to remove restrictions on where farmers must sell their produce. Debate and peaceful protest is part of the process, even as it is often driven by narrow political interest.

Rameesh Kailasam Download
Against eCommercial Interests -- 30-Sep-20
Budget 2020 introduced Section 194-O of the Income-Tax (I-T) Act. Its primary intent was to widen the tax base by bringing the ecommerce ecosystem into it. Participants in this ecosystem, it was believed, neither paid taxes nor filed their tax returns, thereby escaping tax liability.

Seema Sirohi Download
A Judicial Wall America’s Building -- 30-Sep-20
The last ‘most fervent wish’ of former US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a global feminist icon — was that her replacement be named after the election by a new president to ensure respect for the people’s verdict and fairness of process. But there is no space for niceties in US democracy today.

Vivek Wadhwa Download
Make in Our Own Image -- 29-Sep-20
For a moment in time, there was complete harmony in the social media world. US President Donald Trump demanded that TikTok be sold to a US company, and China’s propaganda outlet Global Times tweeted, ‘The US restructuring of TikTok’s stake and actual control should be used as a model and promoted globally.

Indira Rajaraman Download
Natural Leadership, Unnatural Intellect -- 29-Sep-20
A few months before her untimely death on September 26, Isher Judge Ahluwalia demitted office as chairperson of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a post she had held since 2005. In the past, she had served a term as ICRIER director. It is unusual in India for women to be elevated to leadership positions. Ahluwalia was a natural leader.

Vinayak Chatterjee Download
Gather Funds for the Long Haul -- 29-Sep-20
Given that Covid-19 has almost snapped all external linkages in every economy, reviving growth has become a huge challenge. Advanced economies like the US are looking to relocate production bases from China. In emerging economies, such as China and India, based on domestic demand, the growth policy is looking for inward selfreliance.

Hema Ramakrishnan Download
Decisions in Baritone -- 28-Sep-20
At 10 am every morning in North Block, Jaswant Singh, finance minister (July 2002-May 2004) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, was handed a slip by his finance secretary S Narayan, listing out at least 10 decisions that needed to be taken that day. A brief discussion would follow, after which Singh would tick at least six or seven of the items in the list and leave it to his officials to complete the job.

Brijendra Singh Download
Reforms for Refarming India -- 25-Sep-20
Pre-Independence Punjab was relatively accomplished in agricultural production. By the 1930s, however, the farming community was mired in indebtedness due to the exploitative nature of the existing system.

Sanjay Kapoor Download
KYC Experience is Key -- 25-Sep-20
Almost eight months into the pandemic, we are more or less reconciled with a few aspects of ‘Covid life’. Economies with tighter social distancing are likely to experience more negative shocks in their domestic sector. Demand, as opposed to supply, is becoming a bigger concern, especially for sectors associated with discretionary activities.

Varun Gandhi Download
Don’t Shed Crocodile Tears -- 24-Sep-20
In December 2010, newspapers ran out of print reporting on what was dubbed as ‘The Great Indian Onion Robbery’. They highlighted speculative traders cornering the onion markets, with wholesale traders in Delhi purchasing the vegetable at.34 a kg, while it was retailed at .80 a kg, a mark-up of 135%.

Gauri Kumar Download
Workers Incorporated -- 24-Sep-20
The passage of three Bills on labour codes by Parliament on Wednesday is a historic milestone, both for industry and workers. It facilitates industry to identify informal workers, critical to the economy, and bring them under the formal fold, thereby securing their longterm commitment to organisations in safe work environments.

Srivatsa Krishna Download
Opposing for Posing's Sake -- 23-Sep-20
Plato, in Euthydemus, complains that the philosophers known as the sophists are indifferent to what is actually true or false, but are interested only in winning arguments. In other words, they are no different from our modern political class on the current agriculture reforms, where many of them are only trying to spread bovine faeces (read: bull shit) outside farms, disregarding economic logic.

C Rangarajan Download
Look for an Inflatable Model -- 22-Sep-20
With consumer price index (CPI) inflation touching 6.9%, there is some concern about where inflation is headed. But somehow these discussions are more focused on causes behind sectoral price increases, such as food price, than the reason for the increase in the general price level. The clear distinction between the two is being overlooked.

Sanjeev Sanyal Download
The Importance of Bilateral Netting -- 22-Sep-20
The Government of India has just placed a very important financial sector reform in Parliament — the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill 2020. The new law will allow financial institutions to ‘net’ out their exposures against each other rather than have to manage exposure on a gross basis. Why is this reform so important?

Sugata Ghosh Download
Speak Your Clever Minds -- 21-Sep-20
Career economists, the garden variety kind, and those who position themselves as one, are in various camps as the ‘atmanirbhar’ story plays out. To many, it’s a silly, stop-gap slogan, sparked by China and a dip in global earnings, which will die out when the world leaves behind the horrors of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jug Suraiya Download
Alchemy in the Time of Covid -- 21-Sep-20
Has Covid-19 literally given a shot in the arm to the ancient protoscience-cumtransformational philosophy of alchemy? In medieval Europe, alchemy was an occult science whose practitioners sought to transmute base metals, such as lead, into ‘noble’ metals like gold, through a process called chrysopoeia.

Minhaz Merchant Download
Out of the Closet, Into the Cabinet -- 21-Sep-20
Quick. Name a dozen Union Cabinet ministers in the Narendra Modi government. There are 57 ministers and ministers of state in the Cabinet. Some are doing an excellent job. Some are not.

Bibek Debroy Download
Sense and Vulnerability -- 18-Sep-20
What will Covid-19, lockdowns and their aftermath do to poverty and inequality? Most commentaries presume both will increase. This isn’t axiomatic — at least the inequality bit. Poverty is an absolute concept, defined with respect to minimum standard of living. The multidimensional measures of poverty are correlated with the conventional poverty rate or head count ratio, percentage of population below a poverty line.

Malavika Raghavan Download
Trust Goes a Long Way -- 18-Sep-20
On August 30, Paytm Mall allegedly suffered a massive data breach after being targeted of a group of hackers. The allegations were made by Cyble, a US cyber-risk intelligence firm. These were immediately denied by Paytm Mall, which, in turn, threatened to take legal action against Cyble. Meanwhile, customers and vendors have no way of verifying whether a breach occurred, or if their data has been compromised, in the absence of legal requirements to serve breach notifications or declare breaches to a regulator.

Ashvin Parekh Download
The Emerging Order of New Age Banking -- 17-Sep-20
Banking has changed in the last two decades entirely. Like so many things in our lives, each innovation brings about very fresh way of conducting our affairs. Digital banking perhaps owes its roots to the Basel accords and newer ways of risk management demanding technology developments.

Omkar Goswami Download
Eats Shoots and Leaves -- 17-Sep-20
With the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India rising by some 95,000 a day to cross five million — which puts us well on course to cross the US total by end-September to become the worst pandemic-struck country in the world — GoI is trying hard to suggest that green shoots abound. The apparent ‘proof’ of this are various V-shaped curves, with the bottom of the V representing April 2020, when we were under a nationwide lockdown.

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Not Economists for FM -- 17-Sep-20
Should an economist be finance minister as the economy fights its way out of Covidinduced shock? Many economists would say yes, and put in an application for the job. But, right now, a ‘full-time’ politician is best suited for the task at hand.

Seema Sirohi Download
Pre-Election Bhai-Bhai -- 16-Sep-20
Memo to China: the Indo-Pacific strategy is slowly becoming a reality. Military agreements are being signed between countries, making the contours sharper and the minds clearer despite the virus.

Rajiv Kumar Download
Reinvention of Innovation -- 15-Sep-20
Ranked 48th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 (bit.ly/3k78jYm) released last week, India broke into the top-50 club for the first time. This is the result of some dramatic improvements in innovation parameters across various sectors.

Atanu Biswas Download
A Vaccine in Da House -- 15-Sep-20
During the Republican convention in late August, US President Donald Trump had stated that a Covid-19 vaccine might be ready by the end of October. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told public health departments in all 50 US states and five large cities to get ready to distribute a vaccine by November 1.

Abheek Barua Download
Spending Now is Mending -- 14-Sep-20
Now that most of us are over the initial shock of the April-June quarter GDP contraction, it may be time to ponder over a couple of things. First, it is possible that with unlocking, the worst is over. Indeed, a bunch of indicators ranging from diesel consumption to highway toll collections are looking a lot better than they did in April-May.

Manish Sabharwal Download
It’s a Wage, Not Labour, Crisis -- 14-Sep-20
India’s labour laws are neither prolabour nor pro-employer. They are pro-labour inspector. So, why don’t we change them? There are three lessons for reforming our dysfunctional labour laws. One, any change must be balanced. Two, any change needs evidence. Three, any change needs openness.

Digvijaya Singh Download
Sowing Disorder in Ordinances -- 14-Sep-20
The three Ordinances brought by GoI in the name of agrarian reform are being opposed all over the country. Farmers rightly feel that, in the name of fair price and better market, GoI is going to hand over the fortunes of farmers to multinational companies (MNCs).

Arvind Panagariya Download
End of the World Isn’t Nigh -- 11-Sep-20
The strict lockdown forced by the coronavirus during the bulk of the first quarter of FY 2020-21 has translated in a sharp decline in the gross domestic product (GDP). The latest estimates place year-onyear decline in GDP during April-June quarter at 23.9%. What this means is that if the economy were to shrink by this same percentage in the remaining three quarters, growth rate in 2020-21 would turn out to be –23.9%.

Mythili Bhusnurmath Download
Banking Without NPAs?! -- 11-Sep-20
A news report published in this paper on Wednesday stated, ‘The Reserve Bank of India’s loan restructuring plan would be a success this time as it comes with a specific time frame and there is very little scope for misuse by either corporates or banks, said KV Kamath.’ Alas. What the veteran banker left unsaid is that in the attempt to rule out misuse, RBI has effectively ensured there is very little scope for use either.

Amartya Lahiri Download
Catch a Crisis by the Horns -- 10-Sep-20
India’s GDP contracted by 23.9% in Q1of FY 2020-21. This number may well be an underestimate due to problems in data collection during this period, particularly for the informal sector that was disproportionately affected by the pandemic-induced lockdown of the economy. How troubling is this data?

Indrajit Hazra Download
Appanges, and Fudge of Question Hour -- 10-Sep-20
There are apples (genus malus), and there are oranges (genus citrus). They do not mix outside a tall glass of garbar or bowl of fruit salad. On the face of it, West Bengal’s twoday monsoon assembly session that ends today (September 10) and Parliament’s monsoon session that starts on September 14 are the same fruit — call them appanges.

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar Download
Stop the Virus Going Viral -- 09-Sep-20
I once hailed the rise of the internet as democratising free speech, enabling ordinary voiceless people to be heard by millions. Alas, along with this empowerment has come the spread of hate speech and communal falsehoods on a once-unimaginable scale that is wrecking Indian society and national unity.

Ashok V Desai Download
Central to States’ Argument -- 09-Sep-20
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s inimitable style does not make her friends. This would have been all right when the Centre and the states had their separate fiscal domains and could play their own games. What the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) has done is to join them at their hips.

Ashok V Desai Download
Beyond Locker Room Gossip -- 04-Sep-20
Everyone has suffered miserably. But that was just a feeling. Now the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has put it in numbers, giving us a national measure. But these are statistics. It would not do to pretend that they are absolutely accurate. So, we have two figures.

Shirish Sankhe Download
Reformation Before Renaissance -- 04-Sep-20
Despite its dismal Q1FY2021GDP figures, India can grow rapidly again, to gainfully employ the 90 million workers expected to enter the nonfarm job market over this decade. McKinsey Global Institute’s August 2020 report, ‘India’s Turning Point’ (mck.co/2Z1elBP), finds that India will need ‘best of the best’ growth — annual jobs growth of 1.5%, similar to the 2000s, and productivity growth of 6.5-7%, similar to the 2010s — to achieve this.

Gaurav Bhatiani Download
Greener Thumbs for Energy Efficiency -- 04-Sep-20
Delivering the 19th Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture on Friday, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres urged India to turn away from building coal-fired power stations. This comes five years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi opted to enhance India’s share of renewable energy (RE) capacity to 40% by 2022 (currently at 22%, about 84 GW).

S Naren Download
Retail Investors Must Wait for A Correction to Invest in Equities -- 03-Sep-20
The optimal approach to investments now is to stay invested across asset classes (equity, debt and gold). Each of these asset classes could be volatile from time to time. While equity and gold have witnessed some sharp movements, debt has always been, and is likely to help in moderating the risk profile of the portfolio given the lower volatility of the asset class.

Dhirendra Kumar Download
Don’t Let Your Dream House Become a Nightmare -- 03-Sep-20
India’s real estate has been under what is called a ‘time correction’ for a long time now, something like a decade. Time correction is a slightly fancy (actually, misleading) way of saying that prices are stagnant. At some point, this stagnation will end and real estate prices will head upwards.

Aditya Sood Download
Gold Sparkles in Real Negative Rate Scenario -- 03-Sep-20
In the post-Covid world, central bankers have expanded their balance sheets by about $5 trillion to $20 trillion in the span of the last four months, with the Federal Reserve taking the lead. The broad money (M2) in the US is expanding at a rate of more than 20%, a notoriety achieved only twice; WWI and WWII.

Bibek Debroy Download
With lockdown, a shrinking GDP was no surprise -- 03-Sep-20
Real (constant prices) GDP declined by 23.9% in Q1 (April-June) of 2020-21, compared to growth of 5.2% in Q1of 2019-20. From March 25 to May 31, India was in various phases of lockdown, and ‘Unlock 1.0’ (throughout June) involved limited opening. Measuringstringency of a lockdown is difficult, especially if it is cross-country.

Seema Sirohi Download
Trump’s Gaining Town Sheriff Points -- 03-Sep-20
You needed to take cover after the Republican Party Convention and President Donald Trump’s stark, dark message that the US will become ‘one boring socialist country that’ll go to hell’ plagued by rioting if Joe Biden were to occupy the White House. In fact, the very idea of America would be ‘cancelled’. Just look around — Portland, Kenosha

Lubna Kably Download
What the Hell is This EL Exactly? -- 03-Sep-20
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! Well, in the tax landscape, determining the exact nature of the equalisation levy (EL) isn’t proving to be that easy. Is it part of the Income- Tax (I-T) Act, which could enable the nonresident entity to claim a tax credit in its home country? Or is it an indirect tax? Or, perhaps a form of turnover tax? The debate continues.

Shyamal Mukherjee Download
Now to Put Up a Firefight -- 02-Sep-20
The ministry of statistics and programme implementation’s (Mospi) release of India’s first-quarter GDP data showing a contraction of 23.9% deserves a sharp intake of breath. With ‘Unlock 4.0’ in place and the future still uncertain, India does find itself in a hard spot.

Omkar Goswami Download
Over-Promise to Under-Deliver -- 02-Sep-20
Last week has seen a surfeit of news on the compensation cess involving the goods and services tax (GST). It is an extremely important issue that needs explaining in digestible prose. Here is an attempt.

T K Arun Download
Overhaul Congress, not Just Leaders -- 02-Sep-20
A change of leadership will not fundamentally alter the fortunes of the Congress party, unless it is accompanied by a focus on redefining its purpose and politics. The letter written by 23 senior party leaders is a step in the direction of reform, but does not go far enough.

Hardeep S Puri Download
Reaching Terminal Velocity -- 31-Aug-20
Privatisation of airports is both necessitated by, and contributes to, the phenomenal increase in air traffic. It has brought much-needed efficiency in service delivery, expertise and professionalism. The 20.44 million passengers per annum (MPPA) traffic at Delhi in 2006 before privatisation increased by 229% to 67.3 MPPA in 2019-20.

Rathin Roy Download
GoI, Don't Pass the Buck -- 31-Aug-20
In a meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on August 27, GoI has quantified the potential shortfall in the GST compensation cess. GoI has proposed that the states borrow to cover this shortfall.

Arvind Gupta Download
Two-Faced About Facebook -- 19-Aug-20
For most people, global platforms, from Facebook and Google to Twitter, are nearsynonymous with the internet. With their righteous rhetoric about 'empowerment', these tech giants have become the world's largest data repositories

Meeta Rajivlochan Download
Inject Blood into Anaemic MSMEs? -- 19-Aug-20
The Indian policy landscape has long been dominated by a fear of industry growing big — the idea being that ‘big’ industries are somehow exploitative and small industries make for a more egalitarian society. Data on the ground shows a different picture.

Seema Sirohi Download
Friends, Indians, Countrymen... -- 19-Aug-20
Who would have imagined that India’s Independence Day would mark the US political calendar in bold letters one day with both parties vying to tug at the heart for votes? August 15 is the perfect time for agendas, acknowledgements and appeals to Indian Americans.

Bibek Debroy Download
Not Fearing to Negotiate -- 18-Aug-20
There have been reports that GoI intends to review India’s regional trade agreements (RTAs). Signing RTAs or opting out of them isn’t a binary. This is akin to the old trade diversion-creation and investment diversion-creation argument in vogue since the days of economist Jacob Viner in the 1950s.

Jaideep Mishra Download
Fire Up the Bond Market -- 18-Aug-20
There's a notably welcome development in India’s reform-challenged corporate bond market. Notice the sharp fall in the bond yields, and the widening rate gap with bank lending. The issuance of corporate bonds is up sharply, no doubt because of heightened liquidity support provided by RBI to banks lately.

Arvind Panagariya Download
Giving Up on the World? -- 17-Aug-20
Since the second UPA government, India has come a long way on the road to reforms. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act (IBC), goods and services tax (GST), direct benefit transfers (DBT), National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, Ayushman Bharat Yojana

Pranab Dhal Samanta Download
North by Northwest -- 14-Aug-20
India is staring at a worsening security situation on its western Himalayan frontiers. On the one hand, Chinese troops are heavily deployed in Ladakh. On the other, Pakistan is making some quick gains using the Taliban card to draw out both the US and China for different reasons

Indrajit Hazra Download
Fifty Shades of 'Person of Color' -- 14-Aug-20
No need to eyeroll, now. This piece is not about being PC, but about being a PoC. Ever since Jamaica’s 2.7 million and India’s 1.3 billion jumped with pride and joy upon learning that Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden had chosen Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential nominee for the US elections in November

Dinesh Kanabar Download
Like a Bridge Over Taxing Waters -- 14-Aug-20
Historically, the relationship between the revenue and the taxpayer in India has been perceived to be adversarial in nature. While in the recent past, India has admirably moved up the ranks in the ease of doing business, the biggest negative contributor has been the Indian tax regime.

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar Download
Infant, Not Infantilism, Care -- 13-Aug-20
India has banned TikTok and other Chinese apps, supposedly for security, but actually to punish Chinese military intrusion in Ladakh. For similar, though not identical, security reasons, the US is banning TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese apps. Microsoft, Google and other US rivals now want to buy Tik-Tok and other Chinese apps.

Seema Sirohi Download
Kamala Too 'Left' or Enough Indian? -- 13-Aug-20
Kamala Harris, as Joe Biden’s vicepresidential nominee for the Democratic Party ticket, is a choice that delights both African Americans and Indian Americans — but in different measure. Harris was always one of the top contenders, but her attack on Biden’s civil rights record during one of the presidential debates had soured some in the campaign.

Soumya Kanti Ghosh Download
The Technical 'Write-Off' Passage -- 13-Aug-20
There’s a common notion that the amount of loans written off by public sector banks (PSBs) is staggering, while recovery amounts have been minimal. Facts have been misrepresented here, and it’s time that the smokescreen around ‘write-offs’ is cleared.

Ajay Chhibber Download
Strongman Weaknesses -- 12-Aug-20
The global recession of 2008-09 sparked a populist surge across many parts of the world in the last decade. The Great Covid-19 Pandemic may now signal its retreat. In Brazil, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, the US and Britain, populist leaders have performed very poorly when it comes to Covid-mitigation, leading to huge damage to life and livelihoods.

Dhiraj Nayyar Download
Calling All Investments -- 12-Aug-20
GoI believes it can see green shoots of recovery in an economy ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, some high-frequency indicators show encouraging news. Government tax collections don’t convey the same optimism.

Azim Premji Download
Let’s Teach Us a Lesson -- 11-Aug-20
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will be truly transformative for Indian education. And since education is one of the most important processes in the development of individuals and society, it will be transformational for India.

Manoj Joshi Download
Make Things, Arms Later -- 11-Aug-20
The defence ministry’s 101 items up for a ban is a puzzle. Why is Astra, a missile designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in it? Or waterjet craft, offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), corvettes, shortrange maritime reconnaissance aircraft that India has been making for some time now? Were these added on account of some numerological significance? Or to bulk up the list?

Vivek Wadhwa Download
Count the Ticking TikToks -- 10-Aug-20
The summer has been eventful for ByteDance, the owner of the rapidly growing social network TikTok. First, GoI banned the application from distribution in the country due to concerns that the Chinese government is accessing user data.

Parag Sharma Download
Going Solar Needs Clear Policy Skies -- 10-Aug-20
GoI's expected announcement of levying up to 40% basic customs duty (BCD) on solar modules has generated significant investor interest among solar module and cell manufacturers in India.

Vineet Toshniwal Download
Welcome the New Cashless Flow -- 10-Aug-20
Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it would enable offline payments in retail on a pilot basis. Offline payments are conducted without any network, using a value card where the money is stored on it.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Download
Fundamental Responsibility -- 10-Aug-20
Your fundamental responsibility is to be blissful. The greatest thing that you can do for yourself and the world around you is to become blissful. Now, you will be capable of making everybody blissful.

Varun Gandhi Download
Talk About Some Education -- 07-Aug-20
A typical school in Bikaner’s outlying villages in Rajasthan often has two classes conducted at the same time in a single room — with children sitting in rows, and one group facing one way, towards a wall with a blackboard, and another the other way.

Arijit Barman Download
Working Home and Away -- 07-Aug-20
For many of us who consider Google’s bold pronouncements as gospel, its latest announcement — extending global voluntary work-from-home (WFH) option through June of 2021 — further reaffirms that offices have become way too dangerous, inefficient and exorbitant due to the pandemic.

Ansuman Pattnaik Download
The Need to Defang eFangs -- 06-Aug-20
Flipkart and Amazon are being investigated under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema), 1999, to ascertain whether they have indulged in exclusionary tactics through exclusive arrangements, deep-discounting and preferential listings on their platforms.