Political skulduggery cannot bury failures forever

In February 2015, early on in his term as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi claimed that he brought good fortune to the Indian economy in the form of favourable oil prices. Just over a year later, he had changed his mind. In March 2016, the Prime Minister claimed that it was not good fortune, but good …

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Because English is a very phunny language

Today, I speak and think in English quite comfortably - but this has not always been the case. A not-so-brief timeline: Kerala (1983 - 2000) Growing up in a Bengali family in Kerala, I often ended up in peer groups where a good amount of the conversations would take place in English. Until I was …

It’s time to improve the ‘Value for Money’ toolkit, and not junk it

The ‘results agenda’ of donor agencies have inspired several heated debates. Value for money is one of the main tools that helps further this agenda. There is significant pressure on donor development agencies to ‘demonstrate’ what they have achieved (results), and further, examine whether these results have been achieved in a cost-effective manner ('value for …

Green finance in Bangladesh needs a long-term perspective

Over the last decade, Bangladesh has sustained an impressive growth trajectory. Notably, this growth has kept pace in spite of significant challenges – scarce natural resources, environmental degradation, population pressure, widening economic inequality, climate-related vulnerabilities, to name a few. This has, in turn, put pressure on policymakers to rethink growth strategies to ensure that growth …

Budget 2018 is a clear indication of the road to 2019

It is almost a truism that governments over-promise and under-deliver. Political expediency demands they do so. After all, voters, the stock markets and rating agencies are all swayed by ‘sentiments’ and ‘perceptions’. They often discount performance at the altar of rhetoric. For instance, the Union Budget 2017 proposed that they would complete one crore houses …