Back to a coalition government in 2019?

The whispers have started: “If not Narendra Modi, then who?” Columnists have started warning us that if we fail to elect Narendra Modi back to power with an absolute majority, we could be in for a spell of “unsettled politics”. Should this alarm us? Not quite. On the contrary, if the Narendra Modi government is …

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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 …

Supporting the economy of Cox’s Bazar should be the urgent priority

Bangladesh is discharging its duty and reaffirming its commitment to universal human rights, but close to a million Rohingya refugees have imposed a massive burden on its economy. The worst effects are being felt in Cox’s Bazar, where the influx of refugees has overwhelmed the local population of 2.6 million. The pressure on land and …

Promoting a constructive dialogue on ‘green growth’

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress over the past two decades, lifting millions out of poverty and sustaining expanding levels of economic growth. It has achieved this in spite of major internal and external challenges - global economic downturns, natural disasters, and periods of political uncertainty that have tested the resolve of the Bangladesh economy. In …

2018 will be the year to fight harder

This column first appeared on The Wire *** Recent events, precipitated almost entirely by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have revived a debate over the fundamental characteristics of India. The fault-lines in society grew deeper in 2017. The national flag, the cow, a temple, historical fiction, and ‘love-jihad’ – …

Sustainable development must be financed from domestic resources

  Bangladesh faces a significant challenge in its attempt to achieve and sustain high growth while ensuring environmental degradation is kept to a minimum. As global climate negotiations attempt to elicit commitments from rich countries towards the climate finance pots, countries such as Bangladesh must not forget that the key to long-term environmental sustainability rests …