Arun Jaitley, Pranab Mukherjee: Spot the difference

With the Modi government having completed a year in office, its economic record is the debate du jour. Turns out that the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) corruption and policy paralysis are now history and all would be well if only the economy would notice and jump to it (will happen by 2016... okay, by 2017 …

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What’s your beef, Mr Naqvi?

The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi seems to have very specific views about Indians who wish to to eat beef. https://twitter.com/redditindia/status/601633825303764992 His boss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, famously criticised the United Progressive Alliance government for facilitating beef exports (which he termed a "pink revolution"), and repeatedly visited this theme during his …

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What are you smoking Mr Gadkari (and can I have some)?

Of all the topics covered in this blog, India's highway construction programme attracts the most yawns from friends and family (and the least interest in social media). But apart from its intrinsic importance and the resonance that highway construction programmes have long had in discourses of modernity -- think the New Deal and Hitler's autobahns -- it …

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Selection bias and land acquisition data

What proportion of industrial projects are being held up by land acquisition challenges? A somewhat abstruse debate entered the mainstream after Rahul Gandhi cited Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data (provided by the Finance Ministry) in a 12 May Lok Sabha speech: https://twitter.com/OfficeOfRG/status/598070175515021312 Although I have argued elsewhere that the 8% figure may be an …

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Modi’s land amendment would do very little for stalled projects

Thanks to a Right to Information request to the Ministry of Finance by Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, we have more detail regarding how many industrial projects are being held up by land acquisition difficulties. The data were collected by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) and analysed in Chapter 4 (PDF) …

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