September 2017
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06:09:46 am

Insight: India's Crisis Within A Crisis; Finance Minister Fights On Two Fronts

Krishna, MD of Grameen Koota; Sohail Hasnie, Principal Energy Specialist, SE Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank; Dr. Liu Thai Ker, former CEO of Housing Development Board Singapore and Advisory Board Chairman of Center for Liveable Cities; Hassan Ahmad, CEO of Mercy Relief; Graham Saunders, Head of Shelter and Settlements at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Dr. Mohamed El Sioufi, Coordinator, Housing and Slum Upgrading, UN-Habitat, Nairobi; Richard Northcote, Head of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability of Bayer MaterialScience; and Efren Penaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year. The Forum, themed 'Housing as a foundation for breaking the poverty cycle', will feature five discussion tracks, focusing on affordable housing finance, disaster resilience and climate change, shared value and corporate social responsibility leadership, housing policy and advocacy, and sustainable housing solutions. Apart from the Wharton-Habitat housing finance course, the event will feature a one-day workshop on the Eco-Town Framework by the Philippine Climate Change Commission and demonstration/discussion workshops by the Asian Development Bank on energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy for all. Entry to all workshops is included in the registration fee and seats are limited on a first come first served basis. The Forum is supported by sponsors and partners including Aditya Birla Group, Asian Development Bank, Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, Bayer MaterialScience, PT Caturkarsa Megatunggal, Cemex Philippines, Citi, Energy Development Corporation, Philippine Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,, and Philippine Climate Change Commission. The media partners of the event are ABS-CBN News Channel, AsianNGO, Channel NewsAsia, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Rappler Inc. Registration for the Forum is at . About Habitat for Humanity International Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by building and improving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

And last month, Chidambaram wanted his colleagues to stick to the original version of the food security bill under which 18 out of 29 states would get less wheat and rice than allotted to them under an existing public distribution system because of a drop in the number of poor there. But other members of the cabinet resisted him, warning that the opposition could block the landmark bill - which guarantees 810 million Indians grain at a fraction of market prices - when it got to parliament. Their argument carried the day, at an additional cost of 50 billion rupees a year. "There is no point fighting it beyond a point," said a finance ministry official, recalling the wrangling over the legislation. "What we have said is that it's fine: you do this because that is First Financial the demand of the constituents, but you will have to cut somewhere." Many in the left-leaning Congress led by Sonia Gandhi believe that the fruits of India's fast growth since it unshackled the economy from the grip of the state in the early 1990s were not shared with the country's millions of poor, and that electoral success lies in more distribution. Critics say the problem is that a new group of aggressive second-rung leaders in the Congress party, pushing for 'inclusive growth', are setting out new principles of economic policymaking, creating further dissonance within government. "Individual ministers and ministries are all running on their own. Nobody is looking at the national interest," said former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, who served with Chidambaram when he was brought in to fix homeland security after the 2008 attack by militants on the city of Mumbai.

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