Showing posts with label Indira Gandhi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indira Gandhi. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

India And Reforms

When Indira Gandhi nationalized banks across India, she called it reforms. When Ronald Reagan orchestrated large scale privatizations across sectors of the US economy, he called it reforms. I guess you want to be seen reforming.

In Germany, they have this concept of lifelong employment. You go to work for a company early in your life, and you stay with that company for much of your working life. And Germany is a top performing economy. It beats the US economy by a wider margin than does the Chinese economy.

There are people who argue for US-style hire and fire policies in India. They call it labor reform. That hire and fire can work. But in India, for many people, or maybe most, if you get fired, you face a certain financial cliff. You might not be able to go grocery shopping in a week. In such a scenario hire and fire might be a catastrophe.

In Japan also they have this concept of lifelong employment. I am not arguing for it. All I am saying is there is no magic pill. Too many people argue if only India were to put in place easy hire and fire, the economy would rocket past the Chinese economy. Not true. Stop looking for magic pills.

A great Indian example was Indian Railways when Laloo Yadav was Railway Minister. Indian Railways is state owned. It is the largest employer in the world. And rule number one for Laloo was, do not fire anyone as we attempt to increase our revenues and profits. Rule number two was, do not raise railway ticket prices. Because "I am a man of the people." Within those two parameters, Laloo managed to usher bumper profits. He managed to slash prices on railway tickets.

So it is not true state-owned companies are always a bad idea. When Modi was Chief Minister of Gujrat he did not nationalize a single state-owned company in his state. Instead, he granted each of them autonomy. The major thing he did was he brought political interference to a halt. They all became profitable.

State-owned companies can work. Private companies can work. Collect data. Assess data. Engage in evidence-based decision making. Do not blindly follow this or that ideology. The proof has to be in the pudding.

When Laloo took over Indian Railways that was in the red, the number one piece of advice was, fire a bunch of people. If you want to turn a profit, fire a bunch of people. Indian Railways is "bloated," he was told. But Laloo knew better. I can not fire people, Laloo said. "I am a man of the people."

He turned Indian Railways around.

Another buzz phrase is land reform. Basically, the idea is it should be much easier for industrialists to buy land. Maybe the idea does not work in India. You are mostly talking about small farmers. That small piece of land is their entire world. They depend on it for their basic food. It is not that they are against industrialization, but what will they eat the day after?

Land pooling is a better idea. You turn those landowners into shareholders in your proposed company. Why will you not look at alternate ideas like these? Chandrababu Naidu successfully implemented that idea as he started work on his dream city Amaravati. And the farmers who participated are happy. Akhilesh Yadav used something similar as he acquired land for the Delhi Lucknow expressway.

The very phrase land acquisition is problematic. It sounds like robbery. Land pooling is a friendlier phrase.

Friday, June 26, 2015


What Modi wave? BJP may find it difficult to take on Nitish-Lalu combine in Bihar
Over the last few weeks, politics in election-bound Bihar has taken an interesting turn. One moment, it appears that the BJP is at an advantage, the next as if the party is far from sweeping that state. ..... the issue of leadership remains a major problem for the BJP. The prime worry within the saffron camp is that it does not have a leader to match the stature of Nitish. The lone prominent face with the state BJP is Sushil Kumar Modi, former deputy chief minister but a large section does not support him ....... A dominant section within the BJP wants someone from the Bhumihar community to be projected as the CM candidate. Former minister CP Thakur remains an obvious choice but the problem with the BJP is that if its tries to go with him, the OBC and Dalit voters may turn against the party. ....... the brand value of Nitish who was a no nonsense leader and would discuss only serious matters. ...... Nitish obviously had emerged as the “giant killer” but in the last 2010 polls, he created history when the NDA under him got a massive three-fourth mandate—restricting the opposition to just 37 seats. ...... There is also the possibility of Muslim voters completely dumping the BJP. In the last Lok Sabha polls, some Muslim votes had gone to the BJP but post the alliance between Lalu and Nitish, Muslim voters look more united than ever before. In all likelihood, a strong 16 percent of Muslim votes will go en-bock to the Janata Parivar. But a great relief for the BJP is that the Yadavs, who constitute about 15 percent of the state population, are annoyed with Lalu for accepting Nitish’s leadership and will, in all likelihood, switch over to the saffron camp. Also, a huge chunk of Dalit voters which comprise about 23 percent has now broken ties with the JD-U and will head towards the party where their leader Jitan Ram Manjhi goes.
Bihar: Lalu-Nitish's Janta Parivar may find it difficult to handle Pappu Yadav
Dalits account for some 23 percent of the state’s total population whereas Yadavs’ share is 15 percent. Experts say if Pappu is able to cause a split in the Yadav vote bank, then the Janata Parivar is bound to suffer serious setbacks. ...... Lalu now can’t say with certainty that he commands holds over his fellow caste men. This is underlined from the fact that all the four Yadav candidates fielded by the BJP, such as Ram Kripal Yadav (Paltriputra), Om Prakash Yadav (Siwan), Nityanand Rai (Ujiarpur) and Hukum Deo Marayan Yadav (Madhubani) emerged victorious in the LS polls, defeating none others than the RJD candidates.
Quake rumour triggers panic; half of Patna's residents spend night in the open
The panic was apparently triggered by a WhatsApp message reportedly shared by a former legislator from Narpatganj in Araria which went viral on the social media. The message quoting the meteorological department, Chhatisgarh, said an earthquake of high magnitude with 13.4 on the Richter scale will hit Bihar twice during the night—first between 10.36 pm and 11.47 pm and next between 1.42 am and 2.20 am. It asked the masses to share it with a maximum number of people and take precautionary step...... As all efforts to send them back to their homes failed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar eventually made rounds of various city parks and asked them not to worry saying the government was with them. He even directed the police to keep a constant vigil on the citizens taking shelter in the parks and the open ground and take care of their safety. In fact, Nitish had gone to Delhi to attend a meeting over merger of the six parties but he cancelled all his programmes and returned to Patna on Saturday afternoon after coming to know about the high intensity quake hitting the state.
'Does Modi do yoga?' asks incredulous Vladimir Putin
"He is a good man, and a personal friend," Putin said in reply to questions from visiting wire service reporters from around the world
Believe it or not, Lalit Modi is the best thing to have happened to Indian politics
Lalit Modi has rocked the cozy back-scratching political world by proving that it’s just as dangerous to be Lalit Modi’s best friend as it is to be Lalit Modi’s ex-friend. He is an equal opportunity destroyer. ...... Lalit Modi is the antithesis of Anna Hazare with his Armani suits, his Rambagh Palace suites and jetsetting exile in London and Ibiza and Montenegro. But unlike Anna, he is a consummate insider. And when an insider explodes, the shit hits the fan. ..... that Modi is now being called the BJP’s Robert Vadra proves that Rahul Gandhi is fighting with one hand tied behind his back. ..... The way to mega-success in India is more often than not greased by the same things Lalit Modi accumulated – friends in high places, favours for friends in high places, favours by friends in high places. ..... Lalit Modi, the BCCI alleged that Modi “manipulated due process, handed out favours, ran the IPL for the benefit of a coterie of family and friends ....... Stories abound about how he used his proximity to Vasundhara Raje during her first term as chief minister to great advantage earning himself the title of “Super Chief Minister” operating out of an opulent suite at Rambagh Palace. ....... how Modi would brag “That was P Chidambaram on the phone, begging me to keep the IPL in India. I told him nothing doing.” And then predicted it would cost the Congress 75 seats. ..... As a student at Duke University in the US, Modi had been charged with drug trafficking, kidnapping and assault after a cocaine deal went wrong. But he managed to come back to India in the middle of his probation pleading ill-health. Perhaps that instilled in him an unshakeable conviction that he can fix anything and eventually come out on top. And that gives him the chutzpah now to burn his bridges because he’s sure that in the end it will all work out for him. ....... That might explain why the man who became powerful by name-dropping is now obsessed with name-bombing instead, damning Vasundhara Raje by revealing stories about her kindness to his cancer-stricken wife. That is an Et tu Brute move that requires serious chutzpah. But then this is the man who thinks nothing of summoning India's top journalists to Montenegro where he is on vacation while a political crisis with him at its centre rocks India. ....... Lalit Modi might end up as a red-corner-notice bhagoda today