Straight from the Specialists
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Reuters)
In India, the government continues to both talk a good game and walk a decent game, having apparently learnt its lesson after a prolonged period of policy paralysis, before gaining a fresh lease of life with last summer’s economic reforms.
This year also, the government of Manmohan Singh has been unusually active ahead of the budget, scheduled for Feb. 28. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has just completed a global road show.
In meetings with foreign leaders and institutional investors, Chidambaram spread the gospel that his government is serious about restraining the budget deficit and getting back on track with India’s planned fiscal consolidation. To attack the fiscal deficit, diesel subsidies are being curtailed and passenger ticket prices for trains are being increased.
Chidambaram’s road show may have raised expectations in the investment community with regard to what this year’s budget will contain. The majority of foreign fund managers, however, unlike local residents, normally have fairly low expectations of, and limited interest in, India’s annual budget exercise. With its perennial disappointments in budgetary control, poor implementation record and frequent bias towards populist measures, the Indian budget normally plays very little part in the strategic decisions of foreign fund managers to increase their exposure in India.
(Rajan Ghotgalkar is Managing Director of Principal Pnb Asset Management Company. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)
Manmohan Singh’s “if we have to go down, let’s go down fighting” comment is exactly the spirit which needs to be demonstrated by those in power. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
Put aside Lokpal for a moment, how pervasive is the rot in our system that Vilasrao Deshmukh is the person that the Congress sent to negotiate with Anna Hazare. Leave aside whether Team Anna asked for him, is this the man the Prime Minister felt best to represent him and his government on the important issue of corruption?