Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Overview - Topics & Articles

 

 Latest Article:

On-Time Payments Can Drive Higher Growth

Lacklustre trend growth calls for attention to the economy, with less distractions, diversions, and disruptions. Government can lead with payment on time.

Shyam Ponappa   |   September 1, 2022



Shyam Ponappa on ResearchGate

Comprehensive, Integrated Strategy & Execution
India has been coasting along on a post-feudal-colonial mélange of currents and tides, with the brigandage of opportunistic politics fed by our (the voters’) greed for short-term benefits. The result is grotesque populism and corruption, in lieu of the deferred gratification of pleasing cities and countryside with the appurtenances of proper governance: sidewalks and drains, toilets, transport, administration and order, hospitals and schools.

We have to organize and manage ourselves, “engineer” our way ahead, taking steps to build and develop our solutions, building systems and processes, and not just wait for things to happen. We need a comprehensive and integrated, systemic, silo-busting, problem-solving approach.

This applies across the board in the broadest “spatial planning” sense that integrates housing and land use at all levels with commercial, industrial, cultural, scientific and educational activity, transportation, and all governance and infrastructure: water, sewerage, energy, communications, basic health and education. Infrastructure being the first level of enablement is
 the essential starting point.


Previously, India’s leaders acknowledged that infrastructure is India’s great need. Yet, they took no steps [exception: NTP-2011 in October, 2011] to marshal forces to draw up a credible strategy and execution plan. This is what needed and needs doing. Only good intentions and/or money won’t do, because delivery systems and processes have to be developed, i.e., planned, and built from scratch.

It looks like the NDA II will seriously address the development of enabling infrastructure.  A beginning on a long way ahead.  The next few months will demonstrate the resolve of the NDA II to really break the mould and get the job done.

- July 2014

And it got worse for Digital India with another spectrum auction [March 2015] and the attendant deprivation of network rollout and service delivery. 

...And worse: another auction with Rs. 109,000 crore (~$17.6 billion). - April 2015

... And yet worse, as another auction reduced investment by over Rs. 65,000  crore  (~$10 billion). - October 2016

... And annual auctions threatened from 2017! - March 2017

Lack of integrated systems and controls led to the worst bank fraud in India - PNB $2 billion - February 2018  And IL&FS - September 2018

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 is only an aspirational statement - October 4, 2018

Big bang for Wi-Fi!  5 GHz regulations similar to the US FCC. - October 2018

As the sector stalls, government talks 5G spectrum auction, wanting more cash while the industry drowns in debt. - January 2021  

The Supreme Court reverses previous rulings in favour of telecom operators on retroactive charges for spectrum based on an all-inclusive definition of Adjusted Gross Revenues continues...

Another ill-advised auction - March 2021.  And another monumental failure, neither serving the government's cash needs (too much left on the table), nor the consumers (too much spectrum left untouched).

A reversal (FINALLY!) of the retroactive tax amendment affecting Vodafone, Cairn, and others - August 5, 2021.

Spectrum Usage Charge zeroed; past due demands being reconsidered? - October 7, 2021

5G Spectrum Auction July 2022 nets Rs. 1.5 lakh crore (about $19 billion), making that amount of capital unavailable for investment in networks.  Allocation of an even larger amount to reviving BSNL and MTNL increases uncertainty of outcomes.