Archive for September 27th, 2017

Ashok Gulati snub and Yashwant Sinha spake…

September 27, 2017

This morning two articles are buzzing around Indian economy.

First, Prof Ashok Gulati does which one wishes is done by other economists as well. Indian economic policy is so much around committees that one has no clarity on what happened to previous ones. So he declines to be on another agri reform panel:

Economist Ashok Gulati has declined to become part of a NITI Aayog panel on reforming the agriculture sector by 2020. He has reasoned that unless the earlier recommendations made by such committees are implemented, another similar exercise is unlikely to yield any results.

“The main reason is that there are already 3-4 committees who have made recommendations and hardly anything is implemented. So the question is, how many more committees we want, there is nothing new.

“They should focus on 4-5 things they want to do and implement them well, rather than going in circles… committee after committee,” Mr. Gulati said.

He added that he was not informed, or asked if he wanted to be a part of the committee. “If you are forming an official committee, the minimum courtesy is to check with the member. Nobody checked with me and suddenly I found my name there,” he said.

One also learnt that the panel was part of this India@75 exercise which aims to make India a developed nation at its 75th year of independence.

Second is by Yashwant Sihna who says I need to speak up now on the slowing economy otherwise he shall fail on national duty.

I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the finance minister has made of the economy. I am also convinced that what I am going to say reflects the sentiments of a large number of people in the BJP and elsewhere who are not speaking up out of fear.


The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.

Strong words!

How quickly the narrative has changed from shining economy to dooming one.

Aurangabad restaurants using dog meat to prepare biryani?

September 27, 2017

This piece in ToI caught my eye:

A member of center government’s Animal Welfare Board has alerted the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) expressing concerns that some restaurants are using dog meat in their biryani.

Mehar Matharani has instructed the officials to remain vigilant in this regard. On Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi’s suggestion, Mehar visited the AMC. She also met AMC Commissioner D. M. Mungalikar and other senior officials regarding the issue.

Mehar then accompanied the AMC’s dog squad to supervise the process of capturing dogs in the city.

She expressed her concern to the media saying that many dog heads were found in the city. Even their body parts were missing. She continued saying this is a dangerous issue. Some restaurants are serving biryani at cheap rates and most probaby they might be using dog meat to prepare it. 

How have humans decided which animal’s meat is suited to eat or not? Why is it that eating chicken, mutton, fish etc do not evoke negative reactions? But the dog’s meat does? How have these meat eating behaviors shaped over the years?

Takes you to Al Roth’s work on repugnant markets/goods where he talks about how eating horse meat has this serious repugnant feeling.

The real hero in GST is the small entrepreneur…(How did this change in sentiment happen?)

September 27, 2017

One of the most unfortunate narrative during demonetisation was how the informal sector full of small businesses is this dishonest tax cheating fella. History of tax tells you how it is big corporations which are the real culprits in this tax game. There was nothing more ironical than see likes of CEOs of Silicon Valley giants telling us how digital world will make us more tax compliant. Really? Why not look withing first? It was also really disappointing to see not one CEO of a top Indian firm defending the Indian SME sector.

With GST implementation, the sentiment seems to be changing. Not sure what has resulted in the same. One just pointed to a superb interview of how SMEs are reacting to the challenges of GST with very limited resources at disposal. Sudipto Banerjee and Sonia Prasad of EPW have a similar piece detailing how GST has led to disruption in SME sector.

Though this piece from Sundeep Khanna of Mint takes the cake for calling the small businesses as heroes:


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