The government had last year launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide 5 crore poor women with free LPG connections in three years with a view to providing clean cooking fuel
The performance of Narandra Modi as an individual, the functioning of his government and the narrative of his RSS-backed party during the preceding two years calls for a dispassionate analysis that’s done without any fear or favour
I would urge the govt to explore the possibility of either a new privacy legislation, or review and amend the existing IT Act, Section 43 A at the earliest
The government's decision to free ONGC from having to subsidise LPG this year is good, but this decision cannot depend on the vagaries of global oil prices. Deregulation cannot be brought in or abandoned based on convenience
The Jan Dhan Yojana scheme's success depends on how active these accounts become. One sign: the number of zero-balance accounts is falling. The LPG cash transfers may be helping
The NDA government is working on a plan for the gradual phaseout of urea price controls. But an extended phaseout will be politically tougher than a quick one-shot affair. The government should do it quickly.
In the absence of a careful approach, as the RBI highlighted, 7.5 crore zero-balance accounts will become a liability to the system
In a worst-case scenario, the Jan Dhan Yojana could cost banks or the govt upto Rs 13,500 crore annually. But once more subsidies are moved to direct transfers and bank accounts, it will break even
The Aadhaar number is being pushed for passports and LPG even though there are SC orders that say all notifications making it compulsory should be withdrawn. What is Modi govt up to?
The shift to direct cash transfers for LPG cylinders makes it inevitable that the Modi government will decontrol prices and move towards fixed subsidy payments into consumer accounts
The PMO is planning to pay the LPG cash subsidy for only one cylinder upfront: this means the oil companies will bear a part of the UPA's re-election costs
The reach of subsidies on LPG is highly unequal amongst the poor and rich in rural and urban areas.
The PM and the finance minister are now up against a rewound political clock which may tend to block further reforms