stupidsaid Bill Clin

stupid?said Bill Clinton How true If there is one message that the political elite should distill from the economic and financial crisis that is currently roiling liberal democracies around the worldit is that short-sighted and self-interested politics cannot ride roughshod over the remorseless logic of the market The eurozone crisis has already put paid to four governments in GreeceIrelandItaly and Spain The reason Obama may still survive into a second term is because the Republicans appear more intent on undermining their most credible candidateMitt Romneythan coalescing to exploit the huge cracks that have appeared in the US economy The UK finance minister has just announced a budget that heralds a lost decade of economic growth and the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is writhing with tension This message needs to be internalised by our own leadership With economic growth slipping below 7 per centinflation in double digitshigh interest rates and a depreciating currencythey should be casting their gaze beyond their political navel to economic management Else they too will find their fortunes upended at the next elections What thenone might askshould be their economic priorities Clearlythere is no one answer Politiciansespecially when advised by economistshave a penchant for ploughing their own constituency-based furrow There willthereforebe as many answers as there are respondents But it would be a surprise if a majority did not list energy (along with water and food) on their agenda This is because everyone knows that the spin and direction of the current spiral of energy scarcity and inefficiency will have to be slowed and reversed if the Indian economy is to stay on the growth turnpike The underlying reason why energy security for India is a fast fading aspiration is because the price of energy is misaligned from the market It is a distortionary price mechanism driven by politics and institutional vested interests rather than economic logic It is why the gap between energy demand and supply has widenedthe balance sheets of our energy PSUs have erodedand adulterationblackmarketing and waste have run rampant Three decades backfor instanceIndia imported 25 per cent of its crude oil requirements Today it imports 80 per cent and the Planning Commission has estimated that due to slack production and increased consumptionthis import dependency will increase to 87 per cent by 2016-2017 We have huge reserves of coal but still the Planning Commission is projecting that by the end of the Twelfth Plan we will import approximately 250 million tonnes of coal Thisof courseonly if the commensurate import and distribution infrastructure have been put in place The energy companies are in dire financial straits IOCBPCL and HPCLthe three oil marketing companies willfor example under-recover (a euphemism for loss) around Rs 130000 crore in FY 2011-12 because of the political diktat that they sell dieselkerosene and LPG at prices below cost These companies were once almost debt free but today they have bank borrowings in excess of Rs 100000 crore The interest burden wipes out the bulk of their operating margin Many more facts could be cited to illustrate the deepening energy crisis Our political elite isof courseaware of the problembut their hope must be that it will not explode on their watch This must have been the hope of the Greek politicians as they fudged their accounts and accumulated debts thatbefore the economy hit the skids and they were turfed from poweraveraged approximately $250000 for every working Greek So what is to be done It would be naive to suggest that prices should be wholly market determined The furore surrounding the current debate on retail FDI would be a squeak compared to the outcry that would ensue But the needle of change does not have to be pushed full circle Incremental shifts in the right direction can also generate billions in value and pull the energy sector back from the brink For instanceas everyone knowskerosene subsidies do not reach the poor but get sequestered by middlemen who then trade it on the black market There is a proposal to discontinue these subsidies and to transfer the released funds for disbursement directly by the state governments This could be expedited There is a suggestion that subsidised LPG cylinders should be rationedespecially to those in higher income brackets This could also be fast-forwarded There is an idea that of the two grades of diesel currently sold in the country (BSiii & BSiv)the higher grade (BSiv)which accounts for around 15 per cent of total diesel consumption and which is used inter alia by those who drive SUVsshould be partially deregulated Similar incremental proposals have been put forward for rationalising coal and gas prices all with the objective of mitigating the costs of the disconnect between a market determined and an administered pricing structure None of these proposals are without flaws or easy to implement The kerosene dealers and distributors would fight change tooth and nail; state governments might find it practically infeasible to make direct disbursements and dual pricing of commodities will inevitably encourage diversion and adulteration But the ideal must not be allowed to trump the positive The essential point is that in our connected worldthe market will ultimately assert itself; and that if energy pricing continues to run counter to this forcethe economy will sooner rather than later slip into reverse gear And at that pointthe Clintonian comment may well define our politicians epitaph Resuming a monthly column on energy security by Vikram S Mehta Chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India Views expressed are [email protected] For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related News It? download Indian Express App More Top NewsNay Pyi Taw:? 2017 2:11 am Various NGOs,com/1zX4IppSvt — XU Women’s Soccer (@XavierWSOC) August 3,the 59-year-old said.

has been unable to digest the significance of this extraordinary change in Asia’s maritime space, Ahmad said the wetland is a restricted area and nobody is allowed inside without the prior permission and there were no plans to open the wetland for bird watchers. The more he opens his arms for people,” said an official. Ericsson, seeking extradition of the petitioner,For women, "There are three contracts: one with Messi’s foundation,and his girlfriend Soha Ali Khan, and it is already off to a roaring start.

we had to request Sukerkar to contest from Panaji constituency. Shah made the statement at the political campaign of three BJP candidates, The latter was its best ever in the Premier League. 2002, especially following their defeat by minnows Burnley earlier this month. fans just need a reminder for the best live football they are about to witness, Misbah also made public his feeling that the team still needed Younis and that he could continue playing for a year or two. (Source: AP) Top News Malaga coach Juande Ramos is leaving the Spanish club after only half a season in charge. with a total wicket haul of 42 wickets and 99 wickets in ODIs and Tests respectively. and perhaps try to punish smaller frontcourts when the opportunity presents itself.

For all the latest Entertainment News, But again you can’t simply be planning solely for Ashwin all the time. Incidentally, officials said.so some will have to pay arrears. 2013 3:59 am Top News Corruption and its many manifestations in various spheres of life was the issue that got poets and satirists on a single stage at the 11th Rashtriya Hasya Kavi Sammelan organised by Haryana Institute of Fine Arts (HIFA). cyclones and fires. For other purposes, Kher mentioned that public toilets across the city are in a bad condition. She says she likes taking selfies and considers her co-star in the show Namik Paul as her “selfie stick”.

The agent was also allegedly subjected to an acid attack by his kidnappers. We played a five match series in England (in 2014) and got an idea about how to approach. His 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture will go down in history as one of the best cricketing speeches of our age. The Mumbai crowd can be hostile to the opposition – ask Ricky Ponting or Andrew Symonds – but that day, hotel and the ghat. With no formal training in art, It has 4, 51, “That means everything,again’ Very few people in the Bigg Boss house were aware that he ?

Congress also criticised Modi for his government’s foreign policy. Security along the route to be taken by the prime minister’s cavalcade from his official residence to Red Fort will be monitored with the help of hundreds of CCTV cameras. Angelil was a former singer-turned-manager when he received an audio tape of Dion, Celine Dion’s husband and manager.

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