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Economy
Infrastructure Sector and the Withdrawal of the State By Prabir Purkayastha

(Courtesy: Economic & Political Weekly: Volume XXX.P.2114/34/1995)

The "new" will always be far more evocative than the "old", particularly as the old is visible as the present with all its ugly manifestations, warts and all, while the new has the unwrinkled visage of the future. The Government's current policies clothed as they are in the garb of "new" economic policies, "reforms" and "liberalisation" have an instinctive appeal, never mind that the "new" is only the failed past, refurbished and presented in the Emperor's new clothes.

The remarkable resonance of the Government of India's policy with the Fund Bank prescriptions has been one of the striking features of t ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:20
 
Urban Renewal Mission: Whose Agenda By Raghu

THE UPA government last week announced a Rs 1,00,000 crore National Urban Renewal Mission (NURM) named after Jawaharlal Nehru, directed at substantial improvement in infrastructure and tackling of poverty in over 60 major cities in India. It had been approved by the government and would be launched by the prime minister on December 3, 2005. The announcement has been greeted with much fanfare and considerable applause by media and business circles. The general impression has been that the Mission is being welcomed by all sections since it promises to bring much-needed investment to urban infrastructure and address the pressing but hitherto sadly neglected issue of urban poverty.

An ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:15
 
Going, Going... Boeing! By Raghu

THE Air-India (AI) Board finally announced its long-awaited decision on the procurement of new aircraft to replace its ageing fleet as well as to meet the challenging new environment in international air travel. To the surprise of some, but not to more perceptive observers, Air-India opted to purchase its entire requirement of 50 aircraft from the US aviation giant, Boeing Corporation, at a total cost of around $6-7$ billion (Rs 27000-Rs 32000 crore). Boeing's chief rival, the European consortium Airbus Industrie, reacted sharply, going to the extent of alleging malpractice and formally calling for the entire procurement process to be handed over the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:13
 
US Department Of Justice Succumbs To Microsoft By Prabir Purkayastha

ON November 1 this year, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved of the agreement between the Justice Department and Microsoft on its anti-trust case. This agreement, while admitting that Microsoft was a monopoly and had used it’s monopoly to squeeze out its competitors and fleece the customers, has virtually allowed it to continue its past practices. The plea of some of the states (9 dissenting states) that the agreement did not address vital concerns of either the consumers or competing software companies was rejected, virtually in toto. This brings to an end the attempt to muzzle Microsoft, the most predatory multinational today, and District Judge Jackson’s earlier judgement ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:10
 
Creating Brand Images: Television And Sports By Prabir Purkayastha

THE recent controversy over the ICC and cricket underlies the power of television and money in sports today. Briefly, Rupert Murdoch had reached a 550 million dollars deal with the ICC by which during ICC tournaments (including one month before and after) his company – Global Cricket Corporation -- would hold exclusive rights to the players’ image being used for advertisement. The so-called ambush advertisement clause means that who ever wins the contract with ICC – in this case Murdoch – would have exclusive rights to hawk a Tendulkar or a Dravid to any company which wants to use their image for their ad campaigns. As India provides the largest market in terms of a television au ...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:09
 
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