Top Stories​
Commonwealth rights body demands reforms in Maldives or face blanket suspension
Haveeru Online | 25thFebruary
A Commonwealth rights body recommended Wednesday to suspend the Maldives from the 53-member organisation should the island nation fail to bring democratic reforms, warning that the archipelago is sliding towards authoritarianism.
Pakistan fully cooperated with India over Pathankot incident: Foreign Office
The News | 25thFebruary
Pakistan had extended full cooperation to India over investigation into Pathankot airbase attack, foreign office spokesman said. In a weekly briefing here Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, “Pakistan extended full cooperation to India over the Pathankot incident.”

Iran agrees to provide technical support to Sri Lanka
Colombo Gazette| 25th February
Iran has agreed to provide technical support to Sri Lanka, the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said today. Iranian Minister of Energy and Water Hamid Chitchiaian, who attended the talks in Colombo, said that the areas of cooperation discussed between both sides included banking and investment, trading, standards, customs and economic cooperation, oil, energy and water, health, science and culture, and other mutually beneficial areas of two sides.
Pakistan says all Taliban groups approached for direct talks with Afghan Government
Khaama Press| 26th February
The Pakistani Foreign Office said Thursday that all Afghan Taliban groups have been approached to participate in the upcoming direct talks with the Afghan government. NafeesZakaria, spokesman for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, told reports that a consensus exists that the upcoming talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban will be without pre-conditions.
Russia urges Taliban to join reconciliation process
Khaama Press| 25th February
Russia is urging the Taliban to start direct talks with the central government in Afghanistan and hopes that such negotiations will begin soon, according to Reuters, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Wednesday.
Commission Releases Disputed 2014 Afghan Election Results
Daily Outlook Afghanistan| 25th February
Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission publicly confirmed the official results of the disputed 2014 election on Wednesday, more than a year and a half after the vote that elevated former finance minister Ashraf Ghani to the presidency. The 2014 election, touted as the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan, descended to the brink of chaos as Ghani and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, traded accusations of fraud.
PM opens 51 dev projects
The Financial Express | 26th February
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated some 51 development projects in various sectors across the country, reports UNB. The prime minister opened the projects, including train communication on second rail line with signaling system, through videoconferencing with 11 locations concerned from her official residence Gonobhaban. The Power Division, LGRD Ministry, Law Ministry, Railways Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry are the implementation agencies for the projects. 
Bangladesh forex reserves hit a new high, top $28 billion
Bdnews24 |25th February
According to the central bank, the reserves rose to $28.06 billion at the closing of the Thursday transactions from $27.9 billion on Wednesday.
Bangladesh Bank General Manager Kazi Sayedur Rahman attributed the rise to the decline in oil and food prices in the international market and the growth in remittance and export earnings.
Bangladesh urges quick release of climate fund
Dhaka Tribune | 26th February
A high official yesterday complained that the release of global climate fund (GCF) meant for supporting the adaptation projects in vulnerable countries remains slow, hindering the implementation activities.
AIIB membership matters – Editorial
Dhaka Tribune | 25th February
The finance minister has expressed confidence that this month’s placing of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank bill before parliament will smooth the path to authorise membership of AIIB.
Bhutan officially enters Guinness World Record
Kuensel| 25th February
The Guinness World Records based in London, UK, yesterday officially awarded certificate to Bhutan for beating the Guinness world record by planting 49,672 trees in an hour over 25 acres of land on June 2 last year. About 133 certificates were awarded to the government, agriculture and forest ministry, 100 volunteers who planted the saplings, stewards, forestry officials, sponsors of the event and two media partners by Her Majesty GyalyumDorjiWangmoWangchuck in a ceremony held at the TermaLinca Resort.
Biggest mosque in Maldives to be built in Malé City with Saudi aid
Sun Online | 24th February
The government has decided to build the biggest mosque in the country to be built in Malé City which comes as a gift from the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  The six-floor mosque, being built on the occasion of 50 years of Maldivian Independence, can have 6,000 people praying together at a time in a floor area of 41,500 square feet designated for prayer.

Young Burmese Game-Changers Make Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30 Asia’
The Irrawaddy|25th February
Eight Burmese innovators are among Forbes’ first ever “30 Under 30 Asia,” which spotlights inspiring young leaders in various industries across the region. Forbes claims to be the world’s most widely read business site, each year recognizing the accomplishments of people under 30. Such lists have for years recognized young talent in the United States and Europe. But this is the first year to include Asia. According to Forbes, the company worked together with a panel of 30 judges and chose 300 young game-changers—representing entertainment and sport, consumer technology, enterprise technology, the arts, healthcare and science, media, social entrepreneurship, finance, industry and retail—from among thousands of nominees.
International Finance Corporation Pledges US$10 Million to Agri-Business MyanmaAwba
The Irrawaddy|25th February
he International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Tuesday pledged US$10 million to local agri-business MyanmaAwba, according to the IFC website. The additional funds are intended to jump start MyanmaAwba’s $25 million project aimed at setting up a new agro-chemicals formulation plant, as well as enhancing packaging and warehouse capacity, seed production, working capital and microfinance operations.
PM Oli briefs coalition partners on his India trip
The Kathmandu Post | 25th February
In his briefing, PM Oli said that he asked India to maintain direct relations with the government of Nepal. “The issues related to Nepal should be discussed with the government, not with a handful of people,” said Oli. Oli said that access to Bangladesh port for trade is a remarkable achievement of his visit. Saying that he was accorded grand welcome in various places of India, PM Oli hailed the immense support and good-will shown towards Nepal by Indian people.
Nepali garments all set to get duty-free access to US market
The Himalayan Times | 26th February
After braving years of slump in sales that had almost left the garment industry in tatters, manufacturers of Nepali apparels finally have a reason to rejoice, as US President Barack Obama signed the ‘Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Bill’ into law yesterday.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) willing to expand annual lending to Nepal
Himalayan News Service / The Himalayan Times | 26th February
Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao has said ADB is willing to expand annual lending to Nepal by 70 per cent to $500 million per year from the current $300 million to support critical investments and reforms. Nakao said so while meeting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel today to discuss Nepal’s economic recovery and social development after the devastating earthquakes of last year, as per a media release.
Nepal-India agree on joint patrol
Rastriya Samachar Samiti / The Himalayan Times | 26th February
Authorities from Nepal and India have agreed to carry out joint patrol in order to stop the wildlife poaching along the border areas. The agreement was reached at a meeting of the officials representing both the countries held at Laggabagga forest post of India on Thursday. The meeting decided that joint patrolling will be carried out in areas that are regarded sensitive to poaching of wildlife.
National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal (NMEFEN) and Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd (NUBL) sign agreement
Himalayan News Service / The Himalayan Times | 26th February
National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal (NMEFEN) and Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd (NUBL) have signed an agreement to provide access to finance for micro entrepreneurs. According to the MoU, the NUBL will provide collateral free loan of up to Rs 300,000 to the micro entrepreneurs promoted by Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) and Nepal government’s Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA) programme, as per a statement issued on Thursday.

Poor people must have a peaceful life: PM Nawaz Sharif
The News | 26th February
Launching the first phase of the gigantic National Health Programme for Azad Kashmir at the Mirwaiz Shaheed Medical College here, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said he wished to see poor people live a peaceful life.
Pakistanis invest $2.18bn in Dubai properties
Dawn | 26th February
Pakistanis purchased 6,106 properties during 2015 as compared to 5,079 units last year, an increase of 20 per cent, Dubai Land Department (DLD) figures showed on Thursday.
Sri Lanka Chamber welcomes ETCA agreement with India, but urges consultations with private sector
Colombo Page| 25th February
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has lauded the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, but has urged Systematic Consultations with the Private Sector. The Chamber said it reaffirms their fullest support towards an agreement that “widens and deepens our economic engagement with India,” while reiterating the need for systematic stakeholder consultations, clear and coherent communications, and firm commitment to tackling issues faced by businesses.
Nation Lanka Finance announces rights issue to raise Rs. 502 mn
The Island | 25th February
Nation Lanka Finance (NLF) has announced a rights issue to raise Rs. 502 million to support the company’s core capital requirement and ensure its compliance with regulations that have been stipulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The investment to increase core capital will help improve the company’s overall liquidity whilst supporting its continued operational growth and expansion. The proposed Rights Issue will be held on the basis of 02:01 at Rs. 1/- per share, with a total of 502, 326, 522 ordinary shares being offered to existing shareholders of the company.
ADB, LOMC sign $25 mn loan to boost micro credit access
Daily News | 26thFebruary
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and LOMC, one of Sri Lanka’s leading non-bank microfinance institutions, signed a $25 million loan agreement to boost access to credit for individuals and micro enterprises.”Greater financial inclusion is of critical importance for Sri Lanka to increase economic opportunities and job creation,” said Monisha Hermans, Investment Specialist with ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.”This loan will enable LOLC Micro Credit, the fastest-growing microfinance institution in the country, to better target the needs of individuals and micro enterprises that exhibit growth potential.”
India has nine Sri Lankan fishermen and 13 boats in custody
Colombo Page| 25th February
India has nine Sri Lankan fishermen and 13 boats in custody while Sri Lanka has 27 Indian fishermen and 79 boats in custody, Official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of external Affairs Vikas Swarup said. The Official Spokesperson responding to media query on the number of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan prisons said currently there are 27 Indian fishermen and 79 boats in the custody of Sri Lanka. On the number of Sri Lankan fishermen in India’s prisons, the Spokesperson said earlier India had 11 Sri Lankan boats in their custody. However, yesterday Indian Coast Guard has apprehended two Sri Lankan boats along with nine crew members. The Sri Lankan fishermen were found fishing in Indian waters and had 1,500 kg of Tuna on one boat and 1,000 kg on the other, he said. “This means that currently we have 13 Sri Lankan boats and nine Sri Lankan fishermen in our custody.”

Thailand to face worst drought in 20 years – Thai PBS English News

The Naresh Kumar Sagar Daily
Published by
Naresh Kumar Sagar
26 February 2016
World Business Sports Leisure Politics Art & Entertainment #bangladesh #gopdebate
Today’s headline
Thailand to face worst drought in 20 years – Thai PBS English News
thumbnailenglishnews­.thaipbs­.or­.th– Royal Irrigation Department spokesman and director of the Water Management and Hydrology Office Mr Thongplaew Kongchan said if rain dies not fall, water in the irrigation system will be adequate on…
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Smallrivers SA, Innovation Park EPFL, Building C, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

The Naresh Kumar Sagar Daily
Published by
Naresh Kumar Sagar
26 February 2016
World Business Sports Leisure Politics Art & Entertainment #bangladesh #gopdebate
Today’s headline
Thailand to face worst drought in 20 years – Thai PBS English News
thumbnailenglishnews­.thaipbs­.or­.th– Royal Irrigation Department spokesman and director of the Water Management and Hydrology Office Mr Thongplaew Kongchan said if rain dies not fall, water in the irrigation system will be adequate on…
Advertising is hard
We do it all day. Let us teach you what we’ve learned. Learn how the experts market their startups. Grab the free ebook.
125 contributors – featured today:
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Smallrivers SA, Innovation Park EPFL, Building C, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

CPR is pleased to invite you to a talk on
Climate Change and the Humanities
Tuesday, 1 March  2016, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dr Dipesh Chakrabarty
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Dr Dipesh Chakrabarty is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is also a faculty fellow of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory and an associate faculty of the Department of English. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a consulting editor of Critical Inquiry, a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Public Culture. He was one of the founding editors, with Sheldon Pollock from Columbia University and Sanjay Subrahmanyam from UCLA, of the series, South Asia Across the Disciplines, published by a consortium of three university presses (Chicago, Columbia, and California).
He is currently working on two books, provisionally entitled The Climate of History (Chicago) and History and the Time of the Present (Duke). He is also the co-editor, along with Henning Trueper and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, of Historical Teleologies in the Modern World (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming 2015).
He holds a BSc (physics honors) degree from Presidency College, University of Calcutta, a postgraduate Diploma in management (considered equivalent to MBA) from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a PhD (history) from the Australian National University.

The Sagar Daily
Published by
Naresh Kumar Sagar
26 February 2016
Leisure Science Sports Environment Art & Entertainment World #track #hugomatz
Today’s headline
Auckland and the arts: Technology bridges the gulf between science and arts – Entertainment – NZ Herald News
thumbnailwww­.nzherald­.co­.nz– You couldn’t get further away from an artist’s studio or concert auditorium than the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute. It’s all computers…
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GDP numbers—how reliable?

February 26, 2016 · by Prof R. Vaidyanathan
India’s economic growth for the financial year 2016 has been estimated at 7.6 per cent as compared with the revised estimate of 7.2 per cent in the previous year, aided mostly by growth in the manufacturing sector. However, the GDP growth for the third quarter of this financial year slowed to a four-quarter low at 7.3 per cent. In the second quarter, it had grown by 7.7 per cent.
The optimism is at odd with weak exports, railway freight, cement production, investment and flat order books that pointed to weakness in the economy. In nominal terms, however, GDP would grow just 8.6 per cent in the current financial year, which would make the fiscal consolidation exercise of the government a great challenge.
Also the surprise is about the spurt in manufacturing both in the 3rd quarter as well as 2015-16 which is not reflected in the index of Industrial production –IIP which grew only 3.9% in April –November—Somewhere something is amissJ
More important is the increasing scepticism about GDP numbers. Even RBI Governor has voiced his concern and of course like a good bureaucrat– later he retracted.
The important point is about the GDP numbers based on new base year of 2011-12 and its reliability. Also CSO has given up the earlier system of organised and unorganised sector. Instead they have household and Non-profit institutions serving households [NPISH] following G-7 style.
The major differences between old series with base year as 2004-05 and new series as 2011-12 are
1. GDP at factor cost is now passé and will not even be mentioned by the government in future statements. GDP at market prices was recorded in the past as well even though it was not counted while calculating economic growth.
In place of GDP at factor cost, gross value added (GVA) at basic prices will be used now.

The difference between GDP at factor cost and GVA at basic prices is that production taxes are included and production subsidies excluded from the latter.
Production taxes and subsidies are different from product taxes and subsidies.
These (production taxes) are imposed even if the products are not produced, such as property tax. However, excise duty, value added tax etc. are all product taxes. Similarly, product subsidies would not include interest subsidies, which will form part of production subsidies. Now, GDP at market prices would come by adding product taxes and deducting product subsidies from GVA at basic prices.
GVA at factor cost rose 4.9 per cent in 2012-13 and 6.6 per cent in 2013-14. The net result was that GDP at market prices rose 5.1 per cent in 2012-13 and 6.9 per cent in 2013-14.
Within GDP as well, composition of various sectors have changed.  For instance, the share of manufacturing rose from 12.9 per cent in the old base to 18 per cent in the new series for 2013-14. The government wants to increase the share from 18 per cent to 25 per cent in a decade.  This was because certain services that go into after product moves out of factory are included in the manufacturing.
Two kinds of approaches — establishment and enterprises — are used in calculating manufacturing production. Till now, only establishment approach was used which means calculating production plant by plant.  On the other hand, in enterprises approach the activities at headquarters are taken into account. For instance, after an item is produced, various marketing and sales promotion efforts go at headquarters level. In accounting parlance it is looking at operating surplus [only from manufacturing] and surplus after taking into account head office expenses and sales and marketing expenses.
In the new GDP data, establishment approach is used for small companies as they have a few plants or sometimes a single plant. But, for large corporate, enterprises approach is used.
2. The category of organised and unorganised is discontinued. There is no statement 76.1—which contained the separate share of organised and unorganised sector in NAS 2015 as was the case in NAS 2014.
This is a major change and requires substantial explanation. In the earlier situation the share of unorganised sector was
Most of Agriculture-95%; nearly 30% in manufacturing; 78 % in Trade/hotels and restaurants and 80% in Non-Railway transport –
All at 2012-13Gross value added or GDP at factor cost at current prices.
Now Central Statistical organisation has “abolished” unorganised sector in their statistics not in real economy.
This “unorganised sector” is now included in Household sector and NPISH [Non-Profit institutions serving households}
More fascinating is the inclusion of unincorporated enterprises –maintaining accounts is included under private non-financial corporate sector.
How unincorporated can be part of Corporate is CSO mystery .More than that “unorganised Financial enterprises” is also included under private financial corporations.[ p7; changes in Methodology and Data sources in The New series of National accounts –Base year 2011-12 –CSO;MOSPI]
Does it imply money lenders near my market are included as part of private corporate?
Due to all these— Estimates of GVA at current prices 2011-12 [at factor cost for old series and base prices for new series] varies significantly [of course a caveat is given that they are not strictly comparable]
In manufacturing it shows a 20% positive difference from RS 12 lakh crore to Rs 15 lakh crore; in trade/hotels and restaurants a reduction of 40% from Rs 15 Lakh to Rs 9 lakh crore and in other services a reduction of 20 % from Rs. 7 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs crore.
Statement 9 in the press release of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), dated 30.1.2015 or Statement 1.14 in NAS 2015 (both are available on the website of MoSPI) presents institutional sector-wise GVA in the economy. From this statement it is possible to work out share of organized and unorganized sector with limitation that estimates of quasi-corporates not being available separately in the new series for 2011-12 to 2013-14. The share of unorganised sector which is household and NPISHs in 2011-12 series for the year 2011-12 at current price is 44.9%. The share of unorganised which included household and unorganised enterprises for the year 2011-12 in 2004-05 series was 56.1%.This difference is due to inclusion of quasi corporates in the corporate sector and also due to use of latest data from NSS 67th round on unincorporated sector.
 In short massive amount of unorganised is shifted as “corporate” under quasi corporate definition.
This whole idea of quasi-corporate is not clear since an enterprise is corporate –under the corporate laws or partnership/proprietorship under 1932 partnership act or under income tax Act. Quasi-corporates are like partly pregnant.
We have given below in tables the relevant comparisons.
From table-2 we can infer that suddenly the role of households have come down mostly from tertiary sector where household only have 36% share compared to “corporates” who have 64 %. Earlier “unorganised” sector—which is the proxy for the present household sector– had nearly 70 to75% share in Tertiary sectors
Table 1:
Organised and unorganised share at current prices
Source: CSO:NAS
Table 2:
Share of Corporate and Households on GVA
Source: CSO:NAS
Looking at table 3 and 4 we find that share of tertiary sector has come down and that of manufacturing has gone up—due to statistical changes only.
Table 3:
Gross Domestic product & growth at 2004-05 Base prices
Primary sector (Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing)
Secondary Sector (Mining. Manufacturing, electricity & construction)
Tertiary sector (Trade, hotel & restaurants, transport, storage & communication, financing, insurance, real estate & business servies, community, social & personal services and services etc.,)
Source: CSO:NAS
Table 4 :
Gross Domestic product & growth at 2011-12 Base prices
Primary Sector (Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing)
Secondary sector (Mining. Manufacturing, electricity & construction)
Tertiary sector (Trade, hotel & restaurants, transport, storage & communication, financing, insurance, real estate & business services, community, social & personal services and services etc.,)
Source: CSO:NAS
More importantly the changes are due to extensive usage of Ministry of Corporate affair data on corporate and other quasi corporate using estimates.
Within Manufacturing itself if we compare the GVA of organised manufacturing[excluding quasi corporations of the unincorporated enterprises] of new series with GVA of registered manufacturing of old series for 2011-12 we find it was Rs 94 lakhs crore which has increased due to changes in mechanics to Rs 127 lakhs crore –an increase of 35%
[ see table 20 in page 47 of changes in Methodology and Data sources in The New series of National accounts –Base year 2011-12 –CSO;MOSPI]
 We find it difficult to understand that GVA of registered [namely organised] manufacturing for the year 2011/12 at factor cost for 2004/05 series and at basic prices for 2011/12 series can make a difference of 35% even if all changes are accommodated unless the role of corporate are very large in later series.
In the case of unorganised manufacturing the situation is reverse with the GVA coming down from Rs 35 lakh crore to Rs 28 lakh crore a fall of nearly 20%
 This whole things makes it appear that our economy is suddenly more corporate than before –which it is not.
 The Gross value added by household sector for the year 2011-12at factor cost for old series and basic prices for new series has fallen from Rs 47 lakh crore to Rs 37 lakh crore a fall of more than 21%.
The fall is severe in manufacturing at 49%; trade 59%; hotels and restaurant 42%; non-Railway transport 45% and other services by 54%
 One reason given is the usage of company data more extensively in the new series compared to old series. Nearly 5 .25 Lakhs companies are used now. Whether it is pro-rate boosting of GVA– based on share capital or detailed analysis is not clear. The GVA of non-financial private corporate sector in 2011-12 series compared to using earlier series at 2004-05 has increased by 9.8%; most of the increase has come about in manufacturing 29%; non-Railway transport 70%. Interestingly in trade it has come down by 63% which is puzzling unless we assume quasi corporations have played large role to boost it.
We cannot say with confidence that the GDP estimate of 7.6 % suggested is reliable in the absence of details regarding converting “unorganized sector” in to “organized” and creating a “quasi organized”. It is as if someone in MoSPI was told to put India’s data into bins that follow the G-7 model. This is really unfortunate because there is no need to do this window dressing as India can sustain itself well on the strength of its savings rates. Inclusion of unincorporated as corporate is puzzling more so inclusion of “unorganized financial enterprises” as belonging to Quasi corporations and hence “corporate sector”. Hence the growth rate could be much higher or lower and our “guesstimate” is it is lower towards 7%.
The methodology adopted by CSO in using the details of companies numbering more than 5 lakhs needs to be explicitly stated. Most of the companies are shell or dummy companies.
CSO should bring out a USER FRIENDLY—“Sources and Methods “guidebook. But readability and simplicity should be the norm. The earlier versions are simply not user friendly and more confusing. In this CSO can look at and imitate US statistical service.
Many other economists Like R.Nagaraj of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research –Mumbai]; C.R John Member Planning Board –Kerala; SurjitBhalla [Delhi based Economist] etc.   have also raised concerns about Corporate inclusion and need to share raw data sources.
We have produced world renowned statisticians like Mahalonobis/CR Rao/R C Bose etc. but our data base and explanations do not justify these experts.
The Ministry of statistics and Programme Implementation is considered as “punishment” posting for ministers and allotted to those who are neither knowledgeable about statistics nor understand the need for good data base.
It is required that Government constitute a commission –independent of the current “experts” involved—to look into this whole issue of drastic revision and need for transparency.
In appointing such a commission Government need to recognize that all experts in economics/Statistics are not available only in Delhi and all those in Delhi are not necessarily experts.
  1. AninditaSinharay, Ashish Kumar & T C A Anant: Decoding the GVA growth rate –
  1. Why 7.6% growth is hard to square – [ Prof R Nagaraj of IGDIR]
  1. Let People Know Methods of GDP Growth Calculation – [ C.P John Member _Kerala state Planning Board]
  2. India’s GDP growth seen accelerating to 7.6% in FY16 – [ Asit Rajan Mishra ]
  3. No Proof Required: Believe it, GDP data is right – [Surjit Bhalla]
The author is Professor of Finance at IIM Bangalore. The views are personal

Public Forum: Enacting policy reform and building political capital
Tuesday, 1 March 2016, 5:00 p.m., Lecture Hall II (Annexe), India International Centre, No 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi
Registrations from 4:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
The Modi Government is embarking on an ambitious economic and social policy reform agenda, including the planned introduction of a GST, a move towards cash transfers and a roll out of bank accounts to improve the social welfare system, a ‘rethink’ of federal-state relations, and the improvement of public sanitation and major waterways.
This Public Forum will bring together a number of key policy practitioners and experts from India and Australia to share and exchange views on these policy conversations, as well as ways to manage the policy environment, assess and analyse government and non-government stakeholders, and effect good policy. Australia’s own reforms are associated with the country having been one of the better performing OECD economies, although it can also be said that its reform process has stalled and requires revitalisation. The discussion will draw on both Australia’s and India’s reform experiences, and will aim to highlight how key policy challenges can be more effectively addressed in both countries. Designing and implementing effective policy reform in multi-tiered complex democracies is difficult and challenging, especially where there are vocal and entrenched interests and stakeholders involved.
The Forum will be opened by Ms Harinder Sidhu, Australia’s High Commissioner-designate to India
Dr Bibek Debroy, Member of NITI Aayog, the think tank of the Government of India. He has worked in Presidency College, Kolkata (1979-83), Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune (1983-87); Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi (1987-93); as the Director of a Ministry of Finance/UNDP project on legal reforms (1993-98); Department of Economic Affairs (1994-95); National Council of Applied Economic Research (1995-96); as Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (1997-2005); as Secretary-General of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2005-06); and Centre for Policy Research (2007-2015). He has authored/edited several books, papers and popular articles and has also been a Consulting/Contributing Editor with several newspapers.
Professor John Hewson AM, Chair of the ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute and former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia (1990-1994). He is an economic and financial expert with experience in academia, business, government, media and the financial system, and has previously worked as an economist for the Australian Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the International Monetary Fund and as an advisor to two Federal Treasurers and the Prime Minister.
Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President and Chief Executive of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). He is a political scientist who has taught at Harvard University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the New York University School of Law. His areas of research include political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy, and international affairs. He has served on many central government committees, including India’s National Security Advisory Board, the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, and a Supreme Court-appointed committee on elections in Indian universities. (Chair)
Professor Andrew Podger AO, Professor of Public Policy at the ANU. He is a former senior public servant, having worked as Public Service Commissioner (2002-04), Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care (1996-2002), Secretary of the Department of Housing and Regional Development (1994-96) and Secretary of the Department of Administrative Services (1993-94).
Professor Glenn Withers AO, President of Australia’s Academy of Social Sciences and former Founding CEO of Universities Australia. He previously worked as a Professor of Public Policy at the ANU and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), and helped establish some pivotal policy institutions and agencies in Australia including the Productivity Commission, Crawford School, ANZSOG, and Universities Australia. He headed the Economic Planning Advisory Commission and the National Population Council.


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