Growth Power

Updated: Mar 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Policymakers are gung-ho over the eight per cent GDP growth in prospect for the economy this fiscal. However, the big question is whether it is sustainable over the long term.

While people may debate endlessly over this, a good indication of what growth rate the government itself assumes for the long term would be reflected in the 17th power survey. These forecasts project the power requirements for the country and every percentage point increase in GDP growth gets reflected as an increase in power requirement.

Eavesdropper learns that the exercise for this survey has already begun and indications are that new tools are being employed for this purpose. The projected power requirements over the next few years made in this survey thus would tell us which trajectory the economy is on. A point to note is that in 1998-99, the government scaled down projections in the 16th power survey when the economy was not looking up.

Banking On Goodwill
Bureaucrats often take to consultancy after retirement. So when a former chairman of the Central Board of Excise & Customs started one such venture soon after demitting office, his well wishers in the corporate world were elated at the thought of getting their problems with the department resolved at the earliest.

In the beginning, it went off very well. Mere phone calls from this powerful former chairman could open doors for them in the department.

But that didnt last long. As time passed by, some senior officials of CBEC started hinting to corporate executives that mere phone calls from their ex-boss would not help in pushing files. Some officials started avoiding him, some passed the buck to their juniors while others even complained how their ex-boss continued to speak to them as if he was still their chairman. Last heard, his consultancy firm is still there but with hardly any assignments to boast of.