Cities are engines of growth. Although, just over 30 per cent Indians live in cities, they contribute more than 60 per cent to the country's GDP and 80 per cent of tax revenue. But city dwellers face many challenges from poor supply of water, power to other infrastructure related problems, writes M Ramachandran
The idea of encouraging and enabling separate ministries to open their minds and doors to the activities of other ministries that offer synergy has long been overdue. It needed an"outsider", as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes himself, to recognise this and push ministries into cooperating rather than creating competing or contentious fiefdoms.
The Prime Minister's clarion call to make the Indian textiles the biggest employer in the manufacturing sector and the second largest employer in the country after agriculture is all set to streamline the prospects of social and economic inclusion.
The post of Chief Economic Adviser is often mired with controversy - some look it as just a finance minister's aide while others perceive it as the government's chief economic trouble-shooter. Whichever way you look at it, the new CEA Arvind Subramanian's task will not be that cushy considering his own predictions about the Indian economy soon after the Lehman crisis of 2008.
Inheriting a legacy of jobless growth is not a very happy situation for any new government. But Narendra Modi took up this daunting challenge as an opportunity to unleash some of the radical labour reforms - one that not only would please labourers but also meet the needs of India Inc, steps that remove irritants in doing business and help in reducing compliance time and cost.
While there has been little doubt that inflation-hawk Raghuram Rajan has been unmindful of the growth imperatives, the question now is whether the RBI ignores even the low inflation numbers.
After the latest data showed consumer price index-based retail inflation at 6-year low of 6.5 per cent for September, the wholesale price index-based headline inflation at 5-year low of 2.38 percent.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been hawkish on policy rates for the past four years to contain inflation. The central bank has maintained tight monetary policy despite reservations from the elected representatives and the government. What's worse, the hawkish stance had little perceptible impact on the price rise, as the inflation remained stubbornly high.
The Indian banking is undergoing through some unusual structural changes and naturally the news has been making round about one of those, which is 'differentiated banks'. As widely reported and circulated, the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is a firm believer in the ideas behind it, and thus the central bank's guidelines come so hands-on this, it leaves no chance unturned to make the keen watcher believe, these new institutions will end all ill in existing system at place.