February 20, 2020
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Business in bitesizes


The politics of fiscal  federalism

A committee of chief secretaries of various ministries and departments burning the midnight oil to evolve a formula for devolving central funds to states for implementation of around four dozen centrally-sponsored schemes. In the past, the fund allocation depended much on the state’s ability to negotiate and the willingness of the former Planning Commission to comply. Ostensibly doing away with the culture of doling out favours, the Arvind Panagriya-fronted Niti Aayog has set the ball rolling for framing a new dispensation formula. Will it be based on performance, utilisation or eventually become a political tool? We’ll know by the time the Budget is announced.

Burn In India

With many of the country’s premier universities up in arms (yes, there are signs of disquiet in campuses bey­ond the ones making news today), it seems the Modi government has forgotten its core promise to young voters: jobs, jobs, and more jobs. But with the economy in a state of suspended animation, jobs are becoming rare commodities. A survey released this week by AonHewitt indicates that attrition rates—the number of exits by employees annually—are at an all-time low, in fact the worst since 2009. Of course, given fewer jobs in store for millions of graduating students, how does the BJP think it will make friends on campuses?

Hyderabad Marriage Factory

Gayatri Reddy, daughter of the owner of Deccan Chronicle, T. Venkatram Reddy, got married to Aneesh Bhatia, son of AirAsia India co-founder’s son Arun Bhatia (whose family also runs Hindustan Aerosystems). Aneesh Bhatia’s brother Amit is married to steel magnate L.N. Mittal’s daughter Vanisha. It is said that Gayatri and Aneesh met at this wedding and romance blossomed soon afterwards. The wedding is being held in Hyderabad’s Park Hyatt, which is owned by T. Subbarami Reddy, Venka­t­ram Reddy’s uncle. The owner of Deccan Chronicle has been maintaining a low profile ever since his arrest in February last year in the estimated Rs 4,000 crore bank borrowings fraud.

The world’s largest airliner

The Airliner 10 is a mix between a plane, an airship and a ­helicopter. But why is everyone laughing at this grand feat? For a rather obvious answer, check out the photo on the left.

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