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Showing posts from October, 2015

Should we have a Planning Commission?

Kh Asif with his caustic remark “if here had been a Planning commission then, Taj Mahal would not be built!’ I am glad that started a debate on this important issue and many people have written good articles on this subject. But first, let us tell Kh Asif that he is exactly right. Taj Mahal, an aging emperor’s whim should not have been built. Planning Commission was built to keep such whims in check. Recall Ayub Khan never interfered in Planning.    Go back to first principles. Democracy and our modern form of government believes in checks and balances in government. This means a) due diligence—research and evidence collection—for presentation to a decision-making forum and b) clear lines of responsibility between ministries to jealously look after their roles. If one ministry accumulates all power and decision-making then we go back to the days of an arbitrary Shah Jehan. Remember the world fought divine right of kings for centuries to develop democracy. The cabinet is a decision-making…

The New Auto Policy

Tim Cook CEO of Apple said on Monday this week “It would seem like there will be massive change in that (car) industry, massive change.” Most of the world is reflecting on this statement because of the importance of Apple as the world’s largest company as well as the technology leader. This statement has large ramifications for us too and we would all do well to think upon it. We are told that our policymakers are considering a new auto policy. Newspapers report that it is likely to be business as usual, rewarding our automakers with the large protection that they have received now for more than 40 years. For 40 long years we have struggled to create an auto industry giving our local assemblers a market where imports are made prohibitively expensive forcing consumers to buy what they produce. We all know about not only the kinds of cars we get but how they are sometimes bought at the infamous premium of the ‘on’ where you pay full cash in advance for delivery months later. In some yea…