Deepak Nayyar (for Info only, not official)

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Deepak Nayyar

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    ...It has been 11 weeks but no government has been formed so far. Indeed, talks among political parties for the most plausible coalition have collapsed. Obvious questions arise. Which political parties will form the government? How long will this take? Is it possible that no government will emerge? Answers are elusive. It would seem that there is a political impasse in Germany. The elections produced a highly fractured verdict. The percentages of the total votes polled by each of the main political parties were as follows: Christian Democrats (CDU) plus their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU), 33%, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), 20.5%, Alternative for Germany (AfD), 12.6%, Free Democrats (FDP), 10.7%, Die Linke (DL, the Left), 9.2%, the Greens, 8.9%, and others, 5.1%. The number of seats for each of the seven parties in the Bundestag is: CDU/CSU (246), SPD (153), AfD(92), FDP(80), DL(69) and Greens (67). ...

    Live Mint on Dec. 7, 2017, 11:47 p.m.

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    ...For some time, the government was in denial mode. However, amid mounting concerns, the Union ministry of finance seems to have recognized that there is a problem. At a press conference in late October, it announced a package of Rs9 trillion, made up of government investment in roads and recapitalization of public sector banks—the largest so far, even if some of it is old wine in new bottles—to revive economic growth. The essential underlying factor, it should come as no surprise, is politics. There are assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in a 12-month period, followed by the national election, due by April-May 2019. The performance of the economy in the interim will be critical in shaping outcomes. The government has announced a new umbrella road building programme over the next five years with an expenditure of Rs6.92 trillion for 84,000km of roads. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 9, 2017, 11:33 p.m.

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    ...Hemant Mishra/Mint The slowdown in the economy has led to a fierce debate in the public domain. For some time, the government was in denial mode. However, amid mounting concerns, the Union ministry of finance seems to have recognized that there is a problem. At a press conference in late October, it announced a package of Rs9 trillion, made up of government investment in roads and recapitalisation of public sector banks—the largest so far, even if some of it is old wine in new bottles—to revive economic growth. The essential underlying factor, it should come as no surprise, is politics. There are assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in a 12-month period, followed by the national election, due by April-May 2019. The performance of the Indian economy in the interim will be critical in shaping outcomes. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 9, 2017, 11:33 p.m.

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    ...Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) has plummeted by 3.5 percentage points in just six quarters, from 9.2% in January-March 2016 to 5.7% in April-June 2017. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slashed its GDP growth forecast for 2017-18 from 7.3% to 6.8%. So has the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) to 6.7%. Former minister of finance Yashwant Sinha’s article arguing that “the economy...on a downward spiral, is poised for a hard landing” put the cat among the pigeons. There is a slugfest in the media between supporters and critics of the government. But that is not all. Captains of industry, usually silent or docile, are voicing their concerns about the economy, not only on ease of doing business but also on scarcity of jobs. Data for 107 companies in the organized sector, excluding information technology and financial services—part of the BSE 500—show that the number of persons employed by them has declined by more than 2% between end-March 2015 and end-March 2017. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 13, 2017, 2:48 a.m.

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    ...AFP The tense dispute between India and China at Doklam on their tri-border with Bhutan, which began in mid-June, was ultimately resolved last week in late August. This thaw in the Himalayas was partly attributable to mature diplomacy in conflict resolution. But its timing, if not more, was partly attributable to an impending event, as it was followed by the announcement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would participate in the BRICS summit at Xiamen, China, held earlier this week. His absence at the summit would have been embarrassing for Chinese President Xi Jinping as the host. It would also have highlighted the deeper tensions between the two Asian giants as a fault line in the supposed political solidarity among BRICS nations. The acronym BRICS refers to a group of countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—diverse in terms of economics and geography. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 8, 2017, 12:01 a.m.


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    ...As an institution, Parliament is central to the very idea of democracy and was assigned a pivotal role in our Constitution by the founding fathers of the republic. Yet, so many decades later, it has neither evolved nor matured as it could, might or should have. If anything, slowly but surely, it has diminished in stature and significance. Indeed, it is now more a symbol than the substance of a vibrant democracy that has taken deep roots among our people. The time has come for citizens, whom it represents, to evaluate that performance. There are three designated roles for Parliament in a democracy. It is responsible for legislation—laws of the land—by which people govern themselves. It must ensure accountability of governments—on policies or actions—to the people. It should engage in discourse and debate on issues that concern the nation and the citizens. How has it fared in performing these roles? More From Livemint » The process of legislation is slow and lagged. There are times when it extends from one Parliament to the next. ...

    Live Mint on July 14, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...The conference, with 68 participating countries, was attended by 28 heads of government, while the others were represented at ministerial or lower levels. European leaders were missing. The rich countries were largely absent. India stayed away in protest against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a component of Obor, which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, citing its sovereignty over the terrain. Much of the writing on Obor has been project-specific or country-specific, but its whole is different from—indeed greater than—the sum of its parts. There is little analysis or evaluation from a wider perspective. It is time to discuss this elephant in the room. President Xi Jinping announced the Obor initiative in 2013 to create a network of railways, roads, pipelines and grids that would link China to the world. The action plan was approved by the Chinese state council in 2015. ...

    Live Mint on June 9, 2017, 4:37 a.m.