Building on hope

The real estate industry has high expectations from the upcoming budget. The already disturbed sector has been shaken up even more by the recent demonetisation of higher currency notes and by the passage of Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act. The major expectations are as follows:

Money matters, and how

There is considerable anticipation about how the government will articulate the Union budget for FY18. This time the Union budget will be markedly distinctive from the earlier budgets mostly because of the three major changes that it will imbibe — merging the railway budget with the Union budget, discarding the traditional expenditure-reporting format under the broad categories of plan and non-plan expenditure and preponing the budget date.

The politics of election

Elections in five states have been announced by the election commission. The polling schedule will be completed in the next one month. All major political parties are busy announcing their manifestos for the concerned state and finalising a list of candidates who will fight the election. The electioneering process has once again thrown up several issues that have wider significance for our democracy. All these need a resolution which will strengthen our democratic polity.

In a state of tax

I do verily believe that a single consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Cut & Thrust:The mother of all battles

Gassed out after the interminable interplay of the Yadavs in their own version of the epic serial Game of Thrones, the fog of war has finally cleared with Tipuji emerging as the Samajwadi Sultan. Having been awarded the cycle symbol, he has readied a tie up with a struggling Congress. It is believed that the Ghulam Nabi Azad fashioned alliance has seen the younger elements in RLD, Congress and SP — Jayant Chaudhary, Rahul Gandhi and Akilesh Yadav respectively — form a gathbandhan to stop the marauding BJP.

Let’s go digital, please

It does not surprise anyone when non-professional columnists throw unfounded charges against demonetisation move as it is vogue for them to write columns with no rigorous analysis of data. But, when the so-called professors and economists write articles with no logic and with no scrutiny of data, it becomes extremely unprofessional. I summarise some of the vague accusations put forth by some economists on demonetisation and analyse how far they are far from logic and scrutiny of data.

No women, no Cry

EDM, as you would know if you are young, (and are behaving young anywhere in the world), is a happening thing. However, if you are young in Bangalore or in Mumbai, you would know that EDM is not happening. Not happening at all. That’s because the authorities, whose job is to authorise, decided that they should do exactly the opposite, which is to not authorise, which is why David Guetta’s EDM concerts in both cities were cancelled.

A distant drum roll

For a party that does a remarkable job of attracting opposition to almost everything it does, the Aam Aadmi Party does an equally remarkable job of staying in the race in the political contests that it chooses to take part in. The latest is Punjab, where it has been suggested for a while that it has gone beyond being a mere spoiler in the upcoming elections to actually being in the race to form the government. Manish Sisodia, AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal’s trusted lieutenant, appears to have bought into this thinking, suggesting that to vote for AAP will be to vote for Kejriwal.

Taiwan, Trump & future

In two years’ time China will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic. After a protracted and very bloody civil war Mao Zedong could finally declare victory. The Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek had been defeated and forced to quit the mainland and establish their last redoubt on the island of Taiwan. At first many believed that it would only be a question of time before the mighty People’s Liberation Army would occupy the island and reunite the whole of China. But history took a different turn.

The curse of burrowing deep

Donald Trump prepares to take over as the the 45th president of US on January 20 and with him will come around 4,000 new appointees in the civil service. Of these, 1,000 odd key positions will be filled with Senate approval. Meanwhile the outgoing President Obama will try and keep as many of his appointees in the government and move them into career federal service positions. Once these political appointees are moved to the career civil services jobs, much like in India, they are difficult to fire.