India, creator of US jobs
President Obama comes to India at a time when the
US economy’s inability to create jobs on the scale
required to bring unemployment down has acquired
a sharp political edge, and it showed in the
President’s speeches in Mumbai.
The $10 billion worth of deals signed between Indian
and American firms shortly before the President’s
arrival would create 48,000 jobs in the US, said Mr
For five decades after Independence, Indians
looked up to the rest of the world for aid, technology
and capital. Now, the world looks upon India as a
dynamic creator of jobs and income opportunities,
as a force for global progress and peace. President
Obama’s words reflect the new reality, not the
platitudes of a cultured guest.
8th Nov, 2010
While President Obama did not name China, he
made it very clear that the US values India more.
The US, as the world’s sole superpower — which
has treaties with and bases in key east Asian
countries — is a dominant strategic actor in the
region. Now, the US wants India to become a
key strategic actor in the region as well.
President Obama drew attention to the
bipartisan support in the US for strengthening ties
with India , making it clear that if there are
domestic political objections to the partnership
he is holding out, it would be only from India.
The US seeks partnership with China, too, of
9th Nov, 2010
Gold hit an all-time high of $1400 per ounce as
continued global uncertainty coupled with
abundant liquidity pushed demand for the metal
ever higher in global markets.
In tandem, the price of gold in the domestic market
hovered at close to Rs 20,000 per 10 gm on the spot
market with futures at Rs 20,101, suggesting the price
would go up further. Clearly, this is one commodity
for which Indians have an insatiable appetite and
the high global price has done nothing to curb
Gold, silver and palladium holdings in exchange-
traded funds are at record levels.
10th Nov, 2010
Fascination with gold: A periodic,
but passing, fad
SKS wilts under pressure, wrong
move to cap interest rates
SKS Microfinance , the first publicly-listed microfinance
company, has set a wrong precedent by capping
interest rates on loans to the poor. A cap, 24% in this
case, is a discretionary instrument.
The company has clearly wilted under pressure to lower
interest rates — for the second time in one month —
after the Andhra Pradesh government issued an
Ordinance to check malpractices.
Regulations are needed to check malpractices and
MFIs that use strong arm tactics to recover loans must
A cap is not the answer to lower interest rates. It will only
dampen the supply of microfinance and force the poor
to turn to money lenders.
11th Nov, 2010
Time the PM showed who is Raja
It doesn’t matter whether the Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG) is the right body (perhaps it is not) to
look into possible policy flaws that cost the exchequer
dear in 2G spectrum allocation.
The final report of the CAG nails the communications
and information technology minister A Raja squarely
and in a manner that makes his continuance in the
Union Cabinet untenable. The CAG report is a damning
indictment of the minister’s role in the controversy.
It details how eligibility criteria , the department of
telecom’s (DoT) own guidelines and the concerns of
both the finance ministry and officials in the DoT were
Now is the time the Prime Minister showed who is the
12th Nov, 2010
The reported strike call yet again by the All India Motor
Transport Congress (AIMTC), which represents over six
million truck and lorry owners nationally, is doubly
unfortunate. Its demand that three-axle vehicles be
charged the same road toll as two-axle ones has no
Tolls, after all, are really borne by consignees and,
ultimately , consumers. So, truckers have no basis for
such a complaint; tolls anyway are meant to expand
and maintain the road network, and so, it is very much
in the interest of truck owners.
The system of toll collection expressly needs modernising
on our roads. We need an IT-enabled radio frequency
identification (RFID) technology road-tolling system so
that motorists pay electronically without having to
repeatedly stop at toll booths.
13th Nov, 2010