Gautam Mukherjee (for Info only, not official)

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Gautam Mukherjee

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    ...The US dollar, global fund flows into America, the US stock market indices, have all strengthened in anticipation. Conversely, the left-liberal democracies of Europe, used to American subsidies and bank credits, are apprehensive. Trump is expected to use his developed business sense to negotiate better deals for the US irrespective of their political correctness. Trump wants to reclaim the low-end manufacturing jobs, outsourced mainly to China, righting a severely askew balance of payments in the process. He might however, given the advance of robotics in assembly lines, end up exporting American robots to increasingly higher wage China instead! He also wants to stop the outflow of trillions of dollars to service military pacts, reversing much of the obsolete Cold War thinking. ...

    ABP on Dec. 6, 2016, midnight

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    ...But if black money is to become history, it will take more than demonetisation, and a stiffened tax on about 1 per cent of the most obvious large deposits that beg a decent explanation. It must take the charm out of the phenomenon once and for all. The only thing that illicit cash can be spent on without obstacle, is petty consumption. It might seem like a lot of things, but comes down to food, drink, restaurants, clothes, jewellery, weddings, holidays, interior décor, the purchase of dollars to spend abroad — that kind of thing. This is, after all the residue, the part not socked away in gold or property, here or elsewhere, veiled sometimes in other people’s names or companies. It is not the portion sent off abroad via hawala, or retained there in the first place, through creative invoicing of exports. Some of the rest of the cash is also here, hiding in plain sight, as lubricant that eases the off-the-books raw material inflow in business. ...

    ABP on Nov. 25, 2016, midnight

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    ...The new RBI governor and the 6 man monetary policy team, equally made up of RBI officials and independent, distinguished academics, have unanimously dethroned the paramount emphasis on inflation-containment. Not that it is being ignored. The CPI inflation target of 5% by March 2017, still looks achievable. Governor Urjit Patel, also announced that the RBI would target domestic real neutral rates in the range of 1.25%-1.5%, instead of 1.5% to 2% earlier. This suggests further repo rate cuts in the near term. Some analysts expect a 180 basis points increase in inflation caused bymassive consumption spends via enhanced 7th Pay Commission gains, and Defence OROP sanctioned. The inflationary projection however, may not prove to be correct, the consumer spending helping instead to revive the economy further, and raise the GDP levels. ...

    ABP on Oct. 9, 2016, midnight

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    ...This is all beneficial, provided military preparednessand strategic deterrence does not tip over into actual war. Our new battle stance is what Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser (NSA) calls “Defensive Offence”. It is short of an all-out shooting war, but not shy of seeking and using opportunities to take the fight to the enemy. Means employed can be overt, covert and political/economic. This new policy could continue to stretch beyond our borders, mostly in the form of training and strategicinfrastructure building. Therefore, more work can be anticipated, for example, in Afghanistan where we could be building a dam on the Kabul river next. And, of course, we will develop facilities at and near the new Iranian port of Chabahar. We will probably also offer ‘material support’ to the insurgencies in PoK /Gilgit-Baltistan, and Balochistan. ...

    ABP on Sept. 29, 2016, midnight

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    ...In the end, Jio won’t take in less in aggregate, but will do so with better lures. Will it appropriate Modi’s Digital India vision? Well, the backbone of it, could well be the smartphone. It’s clever stuff, this battle for the concept definition itself, but is cellulartelecom all there is to it? The notion is fuelled and reinforced by the Mobile App, the medium through which a lot of digital traffic/eCommerce is growing, rather than via the laptop/tablet. Even if mobile telecom isn’t synonymous with Digital India, the internet certainly is; and 3 G, 4G and 5G speeds, will continue to batter down the dimensions of both time and distance. Money, they say, never sleeps, but neither does the eCommercialmarketplace. It is awake for the insomniac, and never takes a day off. ...

    ABP on Sept. 14, 2016, midnight

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    ...The idea is the common man, the masses, the very poor, can continue to use the hundreds of slower trains at no extra charge. That the clamour should fly in the face of a basic Marxist tenet, that the rich should be soaked for the benefit of the poor, is doubly inexplicable. Besides, the Railway Ministry, farmed out to important coalition allies by the UPA, has been criminally neglected in every way imaginable. This, starting with policy paralysis and rampant populism at the expense of deficits to the balance sheet, and ultimately the tax payer. But the cavalier attitude also extended to dilapidated track and signalling equipment, ancient rolling-stock, degradation of all facilities, no growth, neglect of safety, illustrated by frequent accidents and loss of life, no innovation. The Indian Railways was on the absolute brink of collapse, when NDA II took over. ...

    ABP on Sept. 9, 2016, midnight

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    ...This is far cheaper than Indian coal-based power generation. Thermal generation accounts for 54.5% of the total (2013). Installed capacity is 267, 637 MW, generating 1106 billion Kwh. Additionally, there are captive power stations, 47,082 MW worth, generating 166,426 Kwh (2014-15) and 75,000 MW of diesel generating sets. Fortunately, India under Modi has understood where the world is headed, and is adding solar capacity furiously — hopefully, 100,000 MW by 2020. Similarly, hydro, accounting for just 5% generation in 2013, is due to be boosted considerably, as is wind energy, contributing 8.5% already. So, in the medium term, along with nuclear energy, with five reactors under construction, another 18 targeted for 2025, electricity will be plentiful, greener, and much cheaper. India now has an Electricity Act 2003, and a National Electricity Policy 2005, both of which piously seek to emphasise rural electrification, particularly of poor Dalit households. ...

    ABP on Aug. 29, 2016, midnight