Arun Maira (for Info only, not official)

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Arun Maira

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    ...We must step out for a moment from debates about the specific issues and consider why it has become difficult to listen to other points of view and what we must do to repair the platforms for deliberation. The progress of the country depends on this. Better dialogues will improve the quality of public policies. They will also strengthen democracy. There is an old saying, “There are always three sides to every story: your side, the other side, and the truth”. Issues vexing the country, such as those mentioned above, are complex and have many angles to them. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 30, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

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    ...Economic growth decelerated to a three-year low of 5.7% in the June quarter of 2017-18. In the same quarter, the current account deficit hit a four-year high of 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP). Industrial production grew by a meagre 1.2% in July 2017 compared to a year earlier. Investment demand growth has declined from 7.4% to 1.6% over the last year. Clearly, the economy is not doing well. What should the government do to cure it? With the patient in pain, the government is moving into high gear to administer relief. With elections less than two years away, the patient must be made to feel better quickly. Several short-term measures for providing income relief at the bottom of the pyramid may be rolled out—a boost to construction activities in low-cost housing and rural roads, more expenditure under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, etc. The drag of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking system may also be eased. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 2, 2017, 1:55 a.m.

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    ...Indranil Bhoumik/Mint The government is preparing a new industrial policy, according to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), “to enable industry to play its role as the engine of growth and to shoulder the responsibility of adding more value and jobs”. This policy will replace the United Progressive Alliance’s national manufacturing policy which was expected to generate 100 million additional jobs by 2022. DIPP will be adopting a consultative approach, the announcement says. The previous plan was also developed consultatively. There were 26 working groups representing all stakeholders, who gathered data, debated issues, and developed strategies to achieve the goals. It would be very worthwhile to understand why the goals could not be reached and incorporate those insights into the new policy. A major problem was with the implementation of the previous plan. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 3, 2017, 11:45 p.m.

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    ...It makes him a great batsman. It is a rule India’s policymakers must follow. Some economists and short-sighted businesspersons are taunting the government to get tough and change labour laws to make it easier for employers to fire their employees. This will not create more dignified and better paying livelihoods around the country, which should be the government’s goal. Hardline labour reformers insist employers need more flexibility or they will not employ more people. Their opponents concede the need for flexibility, but are adamant that workers must be treated fairly. Many forces—economic, societal, and technological—are interacting to cause “jobless” growth in India. It would be wise to step out of the ideological cross-fire and dispassionately consider what policies will stimulate more employment. ...

    Live Mint on Aug. 7, 2017, 1:08 a.m.

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    ...Cries for attention to the rural/agricultural crisis are becoming louder, with suicides of farmers in many parts of the country. It was thought that this was largely a monsoon problem—too little rain or too much—which interfered with the production of crops. However, farmers’ demands for relief have become more loud this year, despite good rains last year and, consequently, higher production. This makes it clear that the problem is in the pattern of the rural economy, not in nature. More From Livemint » The problem of “jobless growth” has begun to receive the attention of policymakers who seemed to be fixated, so far, on higher gross domestic product (GDP) as a panacea for all problems. India’s GDP growth has been quite good for some years, but not enough good jobs and sustainable livelihoods have been generated. Indeed, the agriculture/rural crisis is a consequence. ...

    Live Mint on July 3, 2017, 1:28 a.m.

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    ...Geopolitics is back on the global stage. Globalization is in retreat. Within the victors of the Cold War—the US, Britain and the rest of Europe—the people are rising against the establishments that have ruled them. History has returned. There is war between a liberal order on one side and authoritarianism and populism on the other. As in Leo Tolstoy’s War And Peace, a narrative composed of many stories, many stories are inter-woven into this global narrative of rising tensions. There is the story about the bottom-line struggling for attention from the top-line. The story of gross domestic product (GDP) is about the progress of the top-line. ...

    Live Mint on June 4, 2017, 11:41 p.m.

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    ...“Paradox Of Progress” is the title of a report by the US National Intelligence Council in January 2017. The paradox is that while humanity has experienced the best few decades in history, with billions lifted out of poverty, there is increasing unrest in many nations. While people have more freedom from poverty, and more political freedoms than they have ever had before, they are rising against the liberal-democratic ideology that should be given credit for the remarkable global achievements of the last half-century. There is rarely a single cause for the confusions that disrupt societies. Novelists like Dickens, and historians, provide insights into the forces that have shaped societies. Philosophers, observing the deep forces within societies, often express their concerns for the future. 1984, George Orwell’s grim novel published in 1949, warned that states would use technology for surveillance and control of citizens. ...

    Live Mint on May 1, 2017, 5:03 a.m.

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    ...They are besieged in Russia, Turkey and other countries. Alarms were heard around the world with the unexpected election of Donald Trump as president of the US—though there were many earlier warnings of dissatisfaction with institutions of liberal democracy, with the rise of authoritarian leaders and populist movements on all continents. Like global warming, which has come into collective human awareness lately, the causes of discontent with liberal democracy have been brewing outside the gatherings in which “people like us” from around the world were celebrating globalization’s benefits. They weren’t listening. A democracy or an econocracy? An expanding movement called “Rethinking economics”, of over 40 groups of economics students in 13 countries, is expressing dissatisfaction with the ideas of economics they are being taught. They also point to a root cause of the global discontent with democracies. ...

    Live Mint on April 2, 2017, 11 p.m.