ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Madhav GodboleSubscribe to Madhav Godbole

Power Sector Back to Minus Square One

Madhav Godbole AS the saying goes, a new broom sweeps cleaner. But this is obviously not true in the case of the powe r sector in India. The cobwebs of warped thinking on crucial economic issues among various political parties coupled with their past political baggage of dubious merit have made it impossible for the new power minister to sweep at alI, leave aside sweeping clean. Otherwise, the announcement by the new union power minister, R Kumara- mangalam, made with a great deal of bravado, about promulgation of an ordinance for setting up of regulatory authorities at the centre and the states would not have met with such resistance in some states.

Criminalisation of Politics-Empowerment of Voter

Rather than rushing through such reforms and simply duplicating the OER Act in other states, what is needed is a radical but cautious approach. The important step in this direction would be to install a sabotage-proof regulatory structure and to test to see whether it can achieve our aim of bringing in rational- decision-making in the functioning of the power sector by eliminating government interference and influence of vested interests. A blind rush to privatisation and unbundling, with a naive belief that this is the time to remove the government and we can sort out all other problems later will only further aggravate the current crisis. We would end up with a sell-off of public assets worth thousands of crores of rupees to private parties and with disastrous long-term, irreversible contracts with private utilities to honour. The cost of such eventualities will be far higher than the costs due to the delays involved in a cautious or 'test and improve' approach.

Elections and State-Level Economic Reforms

Economic Reforms Madhav Godbole NOW that the elections to the Lok Sabha and some state legislatures are over, a question needs to be asked whether there are any lessons to be drawn insofar as state level economic reforms are concerned. It will be useful to analyse a few cases.

Credit Rating of States Need for a Fresh Look

Credit Rating of States: Need for a Fresh Look Madhav Godbole Against the background of the financial position of the states, the methodology followed for arriving at credit rating of state governments and their public sector and statutory corporations needs to be examined carefully to ensure that investors and the public at large are not misled by the credit rating agencies' glowing certificates.

Private Sector Power Generation-Unresolved Issues

Unresolved Issues Madhav Godbole TIME and again a point is made that the state electricity boards (SEBs) need to be corporatised to bring in greater competition, But there is hardly any forward movement on this score. The state governments have also been slow in taking steps to set up regulatory and tariff commissions. It was therefore refreshing to read in the newspapers that the government of Uttar Pradesh proposed to set up such a commission shortly and set in motion the process of restructuring the UPSEB.

Higher Education and Subsidy Culture

communist authoritarianism and rehabilitated the western bourgeoisie's democratic credentials. It is worth recalling that among those who did attempt to explore the roots of totalitarianism (Arendt, Sartre) there were none, it would seem, whose work could surpass his fame and appeal. The reasons for that outcome, I suggest, go beyond his false optimism about human freedom. More fundamentally, his anti-utopianism, his critique of determinism, prepared the ground for what we must face in the post-modern era when political ideologies are malleable. The general relevance, therefore, is the challenging nature of his insistence that liberty is not to be contested with other social goals; a message which is not going to go down sympathetically with those trying to eradicate injustices grounded in differences of race or sex and those engaged in building a better green world.

Islanding of Reform of State Electricity Boards

seven in the bench that heard the Bommai case. By its selective interpretation of the Bommai ruling, the UP has now surrendered this political advantage. If the secular foundations of Indian democracy provide the main inspiration for the 14-party UF alliance which rules at the centre, then they are clearly under obligation not to treat enshrined principles of constitutional governance as matters of convenience.

Regional Imbalance and Tribal Areas in Maharashtra

freedom fighters with such zeal that the BJP appeared more nationalistic than the secular' BSP, Post September 21, the BSP is girding up its loins to slay in the limelight as the official opposition. Picking on the pro- backward caste, anti-dalit stance of Kalyan Singh. Mayavati is leaving no opportunity to attack him, more so in cases of unabated Dalit atrocities and Kalyan Singh's transfers of officials in a sweeping anti-corruption drive. Mayavati is quick to react, Kalyan Singh stays quiet. Rhetoric notwithstanding, a deal between BSP and the BJP is in operation wherein Kalyan Singh will remain quiet on the 'transfer scam' of Mayavati's time in which crores of rupees were allegedly garnered. Not only were big officials taxed but fixed rates for the chairmanship of the electricity board were negotiated, reportedly from the chief minister's office.

Pay Revision High Cost of Total Surrender

state of Mysore was also not far behind in this matter: it allowed the operations of number of Muslim associations [Singh 1995], gave separate representations in municipalities, local boards, provided reservations in educational institutions, etc. This historical political expediency is retained even during the post colonial period This is one of the reasons why Karnataka Muslims never felt alienated from the political structures, unlike in the northern parts of India including at the central level.

Unbearable Burden of Subsidies-Case of Maharashtra and J and K

blooming and Narasimha Rao presided over it. It was a democratisation of corruption. Everyone could bite into the cake and corruption, like Narasimha Rao, spoke several languages.

Future of State Electricity Boards-Tunnel Vision

Parasuraman 1995] suggests that development does not necessarily lead to betterment of the majority of the native population. Thirdly, individualism was brought into operation in social sphere without creating appropriate support systems for the vulnerable and poor. Since jobs provided were not shareable, other members of the household were left unemployed.

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