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Showing posts from July, 2008

The great oil crisis! Is it strategically planned?

Crude oil has had a long history, and an interesting one. It is probably one single natural resource that has been instrumental in ensuring maximum conflicts and wars across the world. The US and other developed parts of Europe, in their quest of oil, have fought bloody wars in unison, ravaged nations and killed millions of innocents. Not just with oil, but whenever situations have gone against them, they have left no stone unturned to turn things in their favour. With such a track record, it is surprising that in the given environment, wherein oil prices are breaking all records, and has become the biggest cause of concern across the globe, why is it that there is silence from the developed world? It is surprising, more so, when one realises that the number of oil producing nations is only a handful as compared to the number of oil consuming nations. While a proactive action from the mighty and powerful can bring in a huge respite for the world, why is it that they choose to be silent

In India, fiscal deficits should not be a matter of concern

For sometime now, I have been coming across scores of articles by noted economists and recognised columnists, who have been concerned over the fiscal health of the economy. Their concerns are not just restricted to the growing fiscal gap, but more than that, to how the Finance Ministry has been ‘window dressing’ the entire fiscal deficit. In his Budget speech this time, Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram had stated that for the current year, the revenue deficit would be 1.4 per cent of the GDP, against the budgeted estimate of 1.5per cent; and the fiscal deficit would be 3.1per cent of GDP, against the budgeted estimate of 3.3 per cent. He went on to state that for the year 2008/09, the fiscal deficit is estimated to be around only 2.5 per cent of the GDP. He claimed all this amidst roaring applause and also stated that he would not only achieve the targets for the fiscal deficit under the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) Act, but would also be left with some headr

How regional parties can actually save the next Lok Sabha, and even India

Do expect TV channels and newspapers in the next few weeks to be full of speculation about when the next Lok Sabha elections are going to take place. There will also be a lot of boring stuff on caste equations, minority vote banks and alliances that could decide the fate of UPA and NDA. You will find Congress and BJP leaders, the Marxists and spokespersons of myriad regional parties on TV talk shows talking aggressively but saying little. And of course, you will soon start watching and reading opinion polls that will give X and Y number of seats to NDA, UPA and UNPA(if it still exists by the time this magazine is in the stands). But people like you and me who don’t claim to be political pundits can still use our common sense to realise that even the next Lok Sabha will probably be dominated by regional parties when it comes to deciding who will form the government. In fact, after the Marxists withdraw support, it will be regional leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Ajit

The current inflation can turn out to be too dear for UPA

For any country like ours, which houses the maximum number of poor households, any form of price distortion in basic commodities invariably remains a sensitive issue. And probably it is for this very reason it has been observed that citizenry has historically pardoned various elected governments of poor overall governance but has never pardoned any government for general prices mismanagement. And that is all the more reason, it becomes even more intriguing to analyse as to why the current UPA government allow the inflation to go beyond control and that too, at a point in time when the elections are round the corner. On the face of it, it looks like that two reasons, i.e. complacency and miscalculation had been the villain of peace for the ruling UPA. For they could never pre-empt that the crude oil prices would spiral to this extent, and even if they had, then they had blatantly avoided it by thinking that they would be able to tide over the situation riding on the growth plank. This i