Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Crisis of confidence

A Crisis of confidence                                                                            25 Sep 2013
Can India’s backward polity ever provide a pro-growth economic environment?

Less than a decade ago, enthusiastic investment bankers and financial research analysts were tom-toming the India growth story. India, they said, has so much potential, it could be one of the world’s biggest economies in the next couple of decades. For this, they used spreadsheet models, in which they plugged in a growth rate of 8-10% and projected it for the next 30 years. They learnt this in MBA school.
Of course, anything growing at a compound annual rate of 10% will become pretty massive in 30 years (17.4 times, to be precise). Hence, the sharp minds made an earth-shattering prediction: that anything growing very fast will become very big over time. Clients of financial institutions, seduced with such a rosy picture about the land of miracles, bought into the idea.
Boring economies of Europe, growing at 1-2%, just didn’t carry the spiciness of India.
In all this, a few uncomfortable questions were never asked. For instance, is the government committed to providing a pro-business, pro-growth economic environment? Is the Indian polity ready to accept this new capitalist system? Are we socialist or are we market driven? Can we actually grow so fast every year, considering each power plant or new road or mining approval takes years?
Are we efficient manufacturers for the world? Are our taxation and regulations in line with fast growth requirements? Do we have an educated or skilled workforce to grow average incomes 17 times in the next 30 years? Is our infrastructure in place?
We are, whether the government like to say it or not, in the middle of an economic crisis. In the next two years, we will see many companies go bust, large layoffs, massive inflation and high unemployment. There is no getting away from it. The government could take some steps to soothe the situation, but instead it is interested in tokenism-closing petrol pumps, immaterial austerity drives and controls on consumption.
Forget growing 17 times in 30 years, we will find it difficult to sustain even modest growth.
Extract of an article TOI 7 Sept 2013 Chetan Bhagat

Undoubtedly we are in the middle of economic crisis; in the next two year we will see many companies go burst, large layoffs, massive inflation and high unemployment. Though some “Macro Economic” policies and directions could be contributory factors. The main cause is “Exploding population” not being addressed correctly. A large no. of youth who are short of quality education, enhanced lack of opportunities, gives rise to increasing indiscipline, are all causes of anxiety. A chaotic unsocial and indisciplined environment exists, where do we get investments and development.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Narendra Modi- PM Candidate

Narendra Modi- PM Candidate                                                                                      20 Sept 2013

13 Sept was ‘D’ day for BJP to have chosen to declare Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, candidate, for 2014 elections. 13th  was chosen considering very auspicious because Atal Behari Vajpayee’s 1st Govt lasted 13 days 2nd for 13 months and finally from 1999-2004. The jubilation in some selected major cities (Delhi, Patna, Lucknow and many smaller cities) reflected as BJP has mustered a support of 273 MP’s and the parliamentary Party has elected the PM.

Let us have a look “How” “The follow UPLikely outcome” and final picture.

“How Narendra Modi” ?- He has been thought-out as a party leader by the hierarchy of RSS. Atal Behari Vajpayee & Lal Krishna Advani never allowed direct interference of RSS in political functioning of the BJP. This direct political dominance started with the dictated appointment of Nitin Gadkari as the president of the BJP, more than 3 years back. If RSS was really keen to see Modi as a national leader of the BJP, they should have appointed him the president of the BJP and not “Rajnath Singh”. But their designs were clear they wanted somebody else’s shoulder to carry the baggage of the RSS hence Rajnath Singh.

The follow UP and the likely fallout

RSS will set the agenda, Hinduttva &Ram Mandir, Polarization of caste oriented politics. The riots in Kishtwar in J & K and recent riots in Muzafar Nagar are quite an indication of things to come.  Modi is yet to be accepted as a PM candidate within the BJP. LK/MM/Sushma/Anant and many others (Yashwant Sinha/Jaswant Singh/ Shatrughan Sinha) are not in line with the RSS dictated methodology. They all are politically finished or would be wasted out drenched out, and many others would beheaded ruthlessly. .

Conventionally leader of the parliamentary party is elected by the elected MP’s (LS members) or the name is proposed by the Party hierarchy and endorsed by the elected members. BJP claims themselves to be the most democratic and transparent party. They have put this all by the side, and are being dictated by the RSS. BJP’s top leadership is behaving like timid and obedient sycophants’. There is no reflection of leadership they are only the His Master’s Voice. (HMV)

“Final outcome”

BJP has to score 272 marks. They have a capacity to put up just 300 candidates all over India. Even if BJP does extremely well, may win in 150 seats the best (amounts to 50% success) . They would still need 123 more in nos. Even if their present alliance parties (SAD + SS) give those 30 seats the ‘BJP’ still would need nearly 85 more numbers. Next to impossible.

What is Modi?

Hard core communal. Aggressive-vkØked, abrasive-vi?k’kZd, dictatorial- rkuk”kkgh, revengeful- çfr”kks/k.  If he has allowed a situation, that no communal riots since 2002, he has kept the minorities under pressure and threat. He directed his henchman to eliminate those whom he didn’t like or tolerated.   A minister, Sohrabuddin, Isharatjan and many more were eliminated through encounters by his loyal police officer’s who are languishing in Jail. Anybody who came in his way as a political bottle neck he succeeded in eliminating them politically. The so called top political leadership of BJP at the national level can forget their political ambitions.  LK/MM/Sushma/YS/JS/Vinay Katiyar please find a graveyard or another battle ground. Modi is not a political threat to any other political party; Narendra Modi is a physical & political threat to his own party BJP.

BJP has accepted him as PM candidate, reluctantly, forced on them. How can Nation accept Narendra Modi.

Editorial in HT

Change gears on the road to Delhi                                                              
Naredra Modi and the BJP should now work towards framing inclusive policies

The coronation itself was perhaps not what Mr Modi had hoped for, with the party patriarch LK Advani sulking and staying away/ while the party may be celebrating the fact that it has stolen a march over its rival the Congress, it will now have to transform itself into a government-in-waiting and its newly anointed leader will have to start thinking nationally.
In recent years, the BJP has been little more than a disruptive opposition in Parliament, It has come up with very little by way of policy or solutions to the many problems that India faces. For a start, the people will be looking to Mr. Modi and the party to come up with answers on how to overcome the dreadful economic crisis.

Declaring a prime ministerial candidate in advance makes it incumbent on the BJP to now come up with its blueprint on how to revive the economy and it is no use saying that the Gujarat model can be replicated elsewhere. It cannot be replicated in such a vast and diverse country like India.

The RSS may have pushed Mr Modi through, but its brand of exclusivist politics will not yield results for its protégé. He has to rise above Hindustva to appeal to Indians in general.
Where Mr Modi will face a considerable challenge is winning over the south where the BJP has not got much of a foothold.

He will have to get over his penchant to market himself as the sole savior of the party and win over allies well in advance. Not many of them, as evident, subscribe to Mr Modi’s brand of politics. It has been a long road from Gandhinagar to New Delhi; it will certainly be a rocky one from prime ministerial aspirant to prime minister. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ebb of A Once Hungry Tide

Ebb of A Once Hungry Tide                                                                    05 Sept 2013
India’s political class must celebrate, not bicker over, the unprecedented decline in poverty
Rather than seize the opportunity and claim credit for it-after all, the 8% growth, which was central to the decline in poverty, could not have happened without the sustained reforms by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – the national leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party has chosen to decry the poverty decline itself. It argues that the Planning commission’s estimates are based on an unacceptably low poverty line. Not to be outdone, the Congress leadership recently rushed to reprimand Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood for 9clumsily) trying to defend the poverty line.

The significance of the latest poverty numbers can be best appreciated by recognizing that during the first three decades of Independence, the nation saw no decline whatsoever in poverty at an even lower poverty line than the currently used Tendulkar line. In contrast, in the latest round, thanks to the 8.6% per annum growth, we have cut the proportion of the population living below the Tendulkar poverty line from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 21.9%, three large poor states – Bihar, Rajasthan and Odisha – have each slashed this proportion by 20 percentage points or more.

But our politicians and television journalists uniformly deny these gains on the specious pretext that the Tendulkar poverty line is too low to accurately capture the progress in poverty alleviation. It does not natter that at $1.29 per person per day in purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars, this line is above the $1.25 poverty line that the World Bank uses to measure extreme poverty in more than a hundred developing countries.

For the sake of argument, however, suppose we so raise the poverty line 50% above the Tendulkar line. This amounts to Rs. 7,500 per month per urban house hold of five at 2011-12 prices. In PPP dollars, it equals $1.94 per person per day a hair’s breadth below the $2 line that the World Bank reserves for measuring poverty in the middle-income countries.

The implication of this exercise is stark: if we wish to track the destitute, the prudent course will be to leave the Tendulkar line alone. If a higher line is still needed to give comfort to our politicians and television journalists, let us introduce a second line. It is time that the politicians and television journalists recognize the obvious: by denying the unprecedented poverty decline that has happened, they run down growth and harm the poor in the process.

Extract of an article in TOI dated 24 Aug 2013 Arvind Panagariya


Undoubtedly, poverty levels have come down. When I remember my days of 50’s or even 60’s, washer man, milkman, mochi used to be in tattered clothes, and broken and dilapidated cycles. Today such working class people are better dressed and move on motorcycles. Purchasing power is better and working class people are aspiring for even better and why not.

The percentage of the people (BPL) is on the increase. Because we are in the phase of “EXPLODING POPULATION”. This number (BPL) would continue to grow larger till we bring in some stricter norms as a “Population Policy”. Food Security Bill is an excellent approach to provide essentials to the majority of the (67% people of Population). Food Security Bill is in the real sense is JEEVAN SURAKSHA BILL. 

Not sharp or symbolic

Not sharp or symbolic                                                                              11 Sept 2013
Obama’s handling of Syria is a case study in how not to do foreign policy
The president started out with an understanding that the Syrian conflict is a messy sectarian struggle that cannot be influenced easily by American military intervention. He was disciplined in resisting calls to jump into a cauldron. But from the start he confused and undermined this policy with loose rhetoric, perhaps egged on by some of his advisors and critics to “do something”.
In truth, Obama-and many others-miscalculated. They believed that al-Assad’s regime was near the end, misreading both its strength and brutality, but also the level of support it has from several segments of Syria.
But what American national interest is being followed? The administration says it is upholding international law.
The nature of the strike, we are told, will be short and symbolic-shot across the bow. In the midst of a civil war in which both sides are in a high stakes struggle for survival, does anyone think that this will make any difference?
I don’t think that this strike, should it eventually take place, will be as damaging as its critics fear. The Assad regime will likely hunker down, take it, and move on. It will make little difference one way or the other. But the manner, in which the Obama administration has first created and then mismanaged this crisis, will alas, cast a long shadow on America’s role in the world.
Extract of an article in HT dated 04 Sept 2013  Fareed Zakaria

Finally US has found another target in the “Oil Rich” west Asia. This time Obama has defined the time limit, sixty days extendable by another thirty days. Total of ninety days of engagement.
What has happened to the region during last 12-15 years?
IRAQ- First intervention, since Saddam Hussain pounced on Kuwait.  Let us not forget Saddam Hussain was the biggest terrorist within his own country and his immediate neighbours. Nobody could dare Saddam Hussain. Iraq was the most liberal Islamic country, belly dancing bars; women were dressed in modest western style dress. Skirts up to below the knee length. Very rich and happy go lucky people. US pounced on Iraq for more than a decade and left them in a lurch to fend for themselves. Today where is Iraq, more than 30-40 people are killed in ethnic violence and bomb attack.
As a sequel to 9/11 US started bombing Afghanistan from the night of 7 Oct 2001. Nearly twelve years have lapsed. Only victory having nabbed and killed “Osama Bin Laden” in operation “Geronimo” on 2 May 2011.

Now US & NATO have decided to pull out by mid 2014. What will be the fate of Afghanistan? Country will be ruled by “Land Lords” of different classes and the country will be splintered into 3-4 class of land lords. There will be a blood bath on regular basis killing 30-40 people on a daily basis.

Libya & Egypt
Great interference by the US. They remain more destabilized than before. No effective and fruitful solution is visible in the immediate future.

I recall a book written by Arun Sourie, “WORLD OF FATWAS” where he analysis and describes how regimented is the religion. They cannot be served by democratic norms only a dictatorial regime can control them. The deepen fall out of this US policy has been to ferment fundamentalism.  Fundamentalism is on the increase and terrorist groups are growing and making the countries like India more and more threatened. So the “American Citizen” far off can remain safe . The ultimate aim of US policy.