RaghuBytes

Profiting from the dysfunctionality business

Posted on:19-09-14

A couple of blogs back I had recalled the travails of attempting to bring in new methods for waste treatment, through the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation, which I happened to lead in the past. Though the worth of composting and vermicomposting was beyond question, there were several impediments to promoting garbage segregation and supply of tasty rotting organic material to the millions of hungry earthworms employed by us. What was worse, the Bangalore City Municipal Corporation, a shareholder of the Compost Development Corporation, was not interesting in investing more in the latter’s vermicomposting facility, even though it had a lot to gain. It was not even interested in buying the Corporation’s vermi-compost for its gardens and parks, preferring instead to buy dubious products from private suppliers, which when tested, was found to contain inert, burnt coconut husk. Read more »

The Fifty Second Blog

Posted on:12-09-14

For a notorious procrastinator, this must be some kind of a record. I cannot believe that I have diligently written this blog, every week for a year. It also speaks of the iron hand in an ill-concealed velvet glove, which is firmly in charge of Accountability Initiative. On every Friday, I get those phone calls reminding me of dire consequences in case I do not submit the blog before the clock chimes four in the afternoon. That has prompted me to write blogs in the middle of the night – when traveling in other time zones or otherwise - or often, in Airport lounges. Read more »

Garbage; and my unlikely collaborators

Posted on:05-09-14

I resume my garbage story, after digressing to discuss the future of the Planning Commission. It would be raffish to comment that it was probably not a digression, but let us not be too unkind to the Planning Commission. Garbage is garbage, planning is planning. You can plan for garbage but planning is not garbage. Read more »

A Planning Commission or a Scheming Commission?

Posted on:30-08-14

To say that there is no need for centralized planning because we have a liberalized economy, is about as wrong as one can get. A liberalized economy requires planning too, but of a different kind. Read more »

A Planning Commission or a Scheming Commission?

Posted on:30-08-14

To say that there is no need for centralized planning because we have a liberalized economy, is about as wrong as one can get. A liberalized economy requires planning too, but of a different kind. Read more »

The Planning Commission and Its Future

Posted on:22-08-14

Last week in his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister announced the intention of the government to replace the Planning Commission. Furthermore, he has asked people to give their suggestions on the next steps in replacing the Commission with another suitable institution. Read more »

A Day of Swaraj

Posted on:15-08-14

 

I suppose each one of us has a favourite Independence Day recollection. Yet, funnily enough, my defining Independence-day moment did not happen on the fifteenth of August.

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My days as a garbage collector

Posted on:08-08-14

Eight blogs back, I tossed a coin to decide whether I should write a layperson’s introduction to the power sector or the garbage problem. A coin’s toss favoured the power sector. I hoped that the problem of garbage in my city, Bangalore, would go away, but it has gotten worse. So here goes; let me tell you my garbage story too. Read more »

Despite half-hearted reforms, there is a revolution waiting to happen.

Posted on:01-08-14

So far, the story that I have related in this series of blogs is one of half-hearted reforms. Each of the adventures embarked upon so far - unbundling, privatization and the promotion of energy markets - has not eased the travails of the consumer. It is easy to say that the inability to bite the bullet on power tariffs, and in particular, the fear of charging farmers for the power they consume, has been the bane of the power sector. However, on a closer look, power subsidies to farmers are like any other policy of subsidizing them. It is possible to provide – though it might be difficult to sell the idea to them – a complete basket of subsidies in the form of cash transfers, and then withdraw service wise subsidies, such as in power, or irrigation, or fertilizer.

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A new legislative framework for electricity generation and supply (and why it’s no big deal, yet)

Posted on:27-07-14

From the late nineties onwards, States began to use the concurrent powers bestowed to them under the Constitution to deal with the power sector, to enact laws for power sector reforms. These amendments freed up generation for the private sector, unbundled the monolithic electricity boards into separate entities for power generation, transmission and distribution and constituted electricity Regulatory Commissions, which would set tariffs and standards for generation and distribution. Read more »