Transferring benefits, but where?
With an eye on the electorate, the UPA government is trying to scale up its Direct Benefits Transfer scheme in a big way, linking it to the
Aadhaar project. But given the low levels of financial inclusion and poor financial literacy among beneficiaries, its effectiveness remains
The Right-Left Divide in Economics
The recent clash between two eminent economists of our times, Amartya Sen and Jagadish Bhagwati, appears to be centred around the Food Security
provides a historical context to show why their contradictions extend to a clash between two schools of economics itself.
'Maha' problems over minor irrigation
An accident in Maharashtra brings into focus long-simmering questions over the quality of
minor irrigation works and the nexus between engineers and contractors.
Caveat from farm debt waiver scheme
Irregularities exposed by the CAG audit of the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme hold
cautionary advice for the government's proposed direct cash transfers.
AMBANI GAS WARS
Natural gas, unnatural realities
Gas Wars, co-authored by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Subir Ghosh delves into the unholy world of crony capitalism
in India, writes
Should bribe-givers be let off?
Researchers conduct experiments to study Kaushik Basu's idea that only bribe-takers should be punished.
CAG finds gaps in Arunachal education
While the infusion of SSA funds has helped the State make considerable progress on many counts, there is still much to be done,
to ensure all the necessary inputs flow to the schools.
Public private prank
It is a sign of trouble when experienced players sit out and fly-by-night-type operators take control. In the case of
public infrastructure, this is exactly what is happening.
Struggling to go beyond the basics
Sikkim leads the nation in per-student expenditure, but bureaucratic hurdles to progress
are to be found here too.
Funding at a snail's pace
All the increased budgets for education in the country may not amount to much, if the States don't move the money fast enough to the
intended uses, which is not happening now.
Oil subsidy is all gas
Far from subsidising the public, governments made the aam admi bear a substantial part of their expenditure on the production
and sale of fuels.
Static in the 3G signal
Private telcos see intra-circle roaming agreements as a way to provide pan-India 3G service. But TRAI, BSNL believe
such deals are illegal.
Back-pedaling the market mantra
The Chawla Committee backs away from recent efforts to create a market for water rights. Still, it doesn't go far enough in recognising
the importance of citizens' involvement.
Cooking the dam books
In theory various rules govern the use of AIBP funds to execute projects. In practice, as the CAG reminds us, money is liberally
diverted, and the States and the Centre both look away.
Cash transfers and food insecurity
With the proposed switch from food rations to direct cash payments to the poor, the government may be trying to
free itself from its commitment to supply each BPL family with a certain quantity of food.
More responsibilities, less funds
The States of India account for about 55 per cent of the combined expenditure of the Union and the States, but the Centre
now collects two-thirds of the combined tax revenues.
CURE WORSE THAN DISEASE
MGNREGA payments: bad to worse?
To check corruption, the Centre is routing funds through banks and POs. But this has resulted in delayed payments and loss of faith in
How to feed your billionaires
Freebies for the IPL - at a time of savage food subsidy cuts for the poor - benefit four men who make the Forbes Billionaire List of 2010 and a few other,
A canal of misery
The 260-km Sharda Sahayak canal took 32 years to complete, and cost almost 20 times the original estimate. It irrigates only half the area it was supposed
to, and has created untold suffering along its path.
Untying the states
States are demanding a higher share of tax revenue from the Centre, citing the need for development funds as well as flexibility in spending
money according to local priorities.
Yet another pro-farmer budget!
Maybe the pro-farmer claim was a typing error.
This is a budget crafted for, and perhaps by, the corporate farmer and agribusiness.
Everybody loves a good flood
Sloppy and biased surveys and paltry compensation have made flood victims in Koppal and
Bellary districts run from pillar to post to get what is
Devastated by floods, drowned by corruption
North Karnataka's flood victims feel that it was easier to run away from raging waters than
deal now with a corrupt bureaucracy.
Bihar's bridges, way to a new work culture
The Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam, which was on the
verge of being liquidated, has built over 330 bridges in three years.
FINANCING POWER PROJECTS
Public risk, private profit
The CERC is mandated with balancing the interests of power generation companies and their consumers. But it appears that its new regulations are
heavily skewed against the latter.
Reckless borrowing, unholy redemption
The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam moved again to redeem its bonds prematurely, despite indictments from the apex auditor and
objections by SEBI.
CAG: Caged tiger, much ado
From wanting CBI-like and CIC-like powers to not being able to
push Ministries to learning lessons and more, India's top auditor
has time and again rung the bells. Who is listening?
SOPS FOR METROS
Give us a break, Mr Sreedharan
The Delhi Metro chief's warning that Hyderabad's model for its Metro could lead to a political scandal
overlooks the subsidies his own organisation has received.
Heed the silent protest
The defence services are unhappy with the sixth Central Pay Commission, and this cannot be in the best interests of the nation.
RECLAIMING HEALTH POLICY
Missing: A 'healthy' debate
If public health systems are failing on account of certain causes, the solution should lie in fixing them. However, the
state seems to be looking for an escape route.
CAG indicts SEZ policy
Auditor finds a key objective of the SEZ policy has not only been defeated,
but the policy had resulted in revenue losses of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Of loan waivers and tax waivers
A majority of Vidharbha's farmers do not gain from the farm loan waiver because they are too 'big.'
But the IPL waiver goes to some of
India's richest millionaires and billionaires.