Education

Of economy and household budgets

D. Murali | Updated on: Aug 12, 2011

BL13BLINDICUS

By 2019-20, Indians will earn about double of what they do now and this extra income will also reflect in a changed household budget, foresee Laveesh Bhandari and Swati Gupta in The Indicus Handbook 2011: Indian economy, markets and consumers ( www.pearsoned.co.in ).

The authors expect household budget to be about two times higher than it is now, in real terms, with household expenditure growing by more than 8 per cent per annum in the next decade. “The percentage share of food and related products in total household consumption would fall from 40 per cent now to 34 per cent in 2019-20. Transport, education, health, and recreation would all be among the most rapidly growing items of consumer expenditures.”

The authors highlight what they call ‘the next tipping point.' What is that? Cooking at home will continue, and we will not do away with kitchens as in Thailand, but processed foods and eating out will emerge as the most rapidly growing component of household budgets, they forecast.

An interesting insight in the book is that many households that can afford to buy different types of durables do not. Why so? Because of lack of consistent and quality power, water, or gas, coming in the way of making full use of durables. What the authors hope is that as infrastructure improves in both rural and urban areas and utilities become more efficient, there will be a greater demand for durables.

Recommended reference for the quick presentation of facts on a variety of facets of the economy.

Balance of power in energy equations

The US-India civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement is about much more than mere nuclear technicalities, writes Harsh V. Pant in The US-India Nuclear Pact: Policy, process and great power politics ( www.oup.com ). It is about the emergence of a new configuration in global balance of power, thereby highlighting how strategic considerations drive the non-proliferation priorities of great powers, he notes.

The unspoken context of the deal, in the author's view, was the US concern about China's rapid ascendance in the Asia-Pacific.

“Both India and the US realised that, to prevent China from dominating the Asia-Pacific, a close partnership between the world's two largest democracies was essential. The nuclear deal became the most potent symbol of the US-India rapprochement.”

Observing that Japanese nuclear companies are eager for a share of the Indian market, Pant adds that, given the involvement of Japanese firms such as Toshiba Corp, Hitachi Ltd, and Mitsubishi in the US and French nuclear industries, an Indo-Japanese pact is essential for the US and French civilian nuclear cooperation with India. He hastens to mention, however, that post nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant recently, it will be some time before Japan and India will be able to come to some sort of an understanding on this.

Essays of significance on an unfolding energy horizon.

>BookPeek.blogspot.com

Published on August 13, 2011
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