Analysis

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Some out-of-the-box ideas for a fiscal stimulus

The pandemic and lockdown have deeply hurt the economy. This year the world’s economy will shrink by 3 percent, something that we have not witnessed in our lifetimes. India too may shrink as much if not more, since our lockdown has been more stringent than other nations. During April more...

What are China’s weak points?

What is common to PayTM, Ola, BigBasket, Swiggy and OYO? Yes, they are all made in India startup success stories. Some of them have achieved global success too. Did you know Ola taxi service was launched in London in February? And OYO rooms are available in almost a dozen countries...

Not vultures but watchdogs

The Supreme Court of India finally took up the issue of the plight of migrant workers and their families. It took up this issue suo moto. Meaning it was not in response to any public interest litigation. But surely it was affected by the extensive media coverage. And also by...

Lockdown Is Choking The Economy

When the national lockdown was imposed, with four hours notice, the country had less than 200 positive cases and a two percent fatality rate. The world marvelled at India’s determination in imposing such a strict control on a billion people.  Two months later, the number of virus positive cases is...

Cities, both paradise and hell for migrants

Till the end of March, the world was marvelling at the success of Singapore for having controlled the spread of the pandemic. Its lockdown was not as severe as India, and yet with a combination of sanitising, social distancing, movement restrictions, testing and tracing protocols, it had managed to keep...

Grain Mountain Amidst Food Insecurity

The official stock of food-grain with the Food Corporation of India stood at 77.7 million tonnes as of March 1. This includes 27.5 million tonnes of wheat and 50.2 million tonnes of rice. The rice estimate includes a significant quantity of unmilled paddy. This mountain of grain is among the...

Lockdown Stopped Two Thirds Of World Economy

Despite bitter political bickering, the United States passed its highest ever relief package to support the economy. It is valued at 2.2 trillion dollars, and another one trillion is coming, if not more. That would make it nearly 15 percent of the US GDP, as against 0.8 percent announced by...

The prospect of an oil stimulus in the time of Covid-19

Three major players in a market are trapped in a brutal price war. Investors stand to lose billions of dollars unless a price floor is fixed, and there is fear of bankruptcy. Authorities are hoping that a price floor cartel succeeds. Does this ring a (telecom) bell? Well, it’s not...

Economic reforms are best done brick by boring brick

The accepted conventional wisdom is that economic reforms in India happen only in a crisis or by stealth. The big example of the former are the 1991 reforms, when the country faced a huge foreign exchange crisis, resulting partly from the fiscal profligacy of the previous decade. Another example is...

A tale of two global rankings

Two global rankings were announced recently. One was the 2019 “Doing Business” report published by the World Bank, which was earlier called the “Ease of Doing Business” (EODB) India jumped to 63 from 77 last year. The improvement is dramatic, and in just five years India has improved its global...
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