Editorial

Editorial

Cut & Thrust: AND ALL FALL DOWN

Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was a German Luftwaffe Field Marshal who architected the Blitzkrieg attack assault strategy. It was this same strategic imperative which was tested in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War leading to widespread annihilation and grief. Replicated later in Poland where sortie after sortie was flown to inflict incalculable damage as part of the lightning war strike. It was predicated on quick closure of battle using offensive weaponry where the air forces played an integral role.

Life is a cacophony

Jana Chaudhuri is an unusual name, suggesting one of two options: A. Bengali parents, enamoured of Prague, or all things Czech, named their daughter by a prominent name of that country. Option B: Jana, a Czech, married a Chaudhuri, and dutifully took his name. In the case of the pianist Jana Chaudhuri, it’s Option B — she is married to Debashish Chaudhuri, a conductor of Indian origin, now based in Czech Republic. Of them you can say without fear of contradiction, that they make music together.

An ode to change

Industrialisation brings with it its own squalor and yet, the desires of the modern world are such that we increasingly want faster cars, faster aeroplanes, newer computers and smarter cities. The result is the death of the country side, and the imminent wars that are waged, when a rural proletariat rises. Those who govern, accept the potential turmoil as something that needs to be controlled and they do this with cannon ball and gunfire. An impoverished peasantry, consisting of landless labour and restricted to it’s own radius of small town and village represents the poorest of the poor.

Affordable is the new buzz, making aam aadmi happy

Undoubtedly a historic and landmark Union budget presentation by the Jaitley. I believe this was the least volatile budget with little impact on the market indices that remained fairly flat without any movement for about two hours. A first also with the affordable housing sector gaining infrastructure status.

Holistic, indeed

Budget 2017 is a progressive budget which aims at a holistic development of the economy with a 25.4 per cent higher capital expenditure slated for FY 2017-18. The infrastructure sector will get an investment of Rs 3,96,135 crore, including roads, railways, ports, airports and construction as well as affordable housing which will now get an infrastructure status. The 3,500-km railway lines, 1 crore houses for poor by 2019, improved connectivity between cities, affordable house building schemes will all translate to robust economic development.

Realistic, but many broken promises

From a macro point of view, the budget presented by the finance minister is a growth-oriented one with special focus on rural, agriculture and infra sectors. Demonatisation resulted in a general downturn in the economy, but rural sector in particular bore the brunt. Allocation of Rs 10 lakh crore, along with a major push to the rural sector with 25 per cent rise in MGNREGA allocation, with special focus on improving roads and electrification, will not only ease the pain in this sector, but give it a fillip.

A tightrope walk

Finance minister Jaitley has come out swinging from a tight corner created by the demons of demonisation on the one hand and the headwinds of protectionisms and uncertainty from the United States — which has left the core employment machine of India — IT companies in shock.

Cut & Thrust:Time to give back

In the byzantine dark alleyways of India’s secretive public finances replete with imponderables and variables, there is only one constant. More so when the Union budget comes along, as one cuts through the clutter of budget hype and hoopla, what emerges is something I read the other day. It is embedded indelibly for its simplicity: GDP is equal to C+I +G + Ex/Im which is inelastic. To decode the cipher is easy in the Indian context.

For a healthy economy

ISRO created a record of sort by successfully launching PSLV-C35 with eight satellite passengers on board! Of these, five were international passenger satellites with three satellites belonging to Algeria, one to Canada and one to — this should come as a real surprise to many —USA. Yes, the USA and the satellite was Pathfinder 1. With this launch, India has the rare distinction of launching more international passenger satellites into the orbit than our own. To be precise 79 for others and 42 for ourselves!

Only words... and far away

A local newspaper in Jaipur interviewed some of the bright young things thronging the packed central square at the event venue. “Festival dressing is the in thing,” exclaims Juhi, a final year B.Com student at a city college. “Everyone wants to look cool and fashionable and so do I. After all, here are people from across the globe...”

Pages