One of the key economic indicators, the fiscal deficit, of Telangana ballooned to 5.5% of its gross state domestic product in 2016-17, compared with 1.8% in 2014-15. However, in 2017-18, the state managed to trim the fiscal gap to 3.2%, closer to the national average of 3.1% for that year. During 2016-17, the national fiscal deficit was 3.5%.
Among other parameters of performance in election-bound Telangana, the state’s expenditure on education, as a proportion of its total expenditure, has gone down over the last four years, Telangana’s development expenditure has risen to 15.4% in 2017-18 from 9% in 2014-15. The growth has been in line with the national average.
Expenditure on social sector schemes by the state, which was formed in 2014, has increased significantly over the last four years. In 2014-15, the social sector expenditure as a percentage of its gross state domestic product was 4.8, lower than national average of 6.7%. It increased to 9.1% in 2017-18, higher than the national average of 7.9%.
Tip for Reading List: Where US Foreign Policy Erred
A review in The New York Times of The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of US Primacy by Stephen M Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard Kennedy School, begins with a short summary of previous actions by the don: In September 2002, when the general view in America was in favour of the George W Bush administration’s efforts to topple Saddam Hussein, he got an open letter from international relations scholars published as an ad in The NYT that said: “War With Iraq Is Not in the US National Interest”. And in 2006, he co-authored an essay in The London Review of Books called “The Israel Lobby”, and later expanded it into a book.
Now, in his latest, Prof Walt, “a longstanding member of the realist school of foreign policy, which has traditionally subordinated considerations about human rights and morality to a balance of power”, has denounced the US pursuit of a “liberal hegemony”. What is important, though, is that he demonstrates as much contempt for the bellicosity of President Donald Trump as he does for the liberal internationalists he indicts, The NYT review points out.
By focussing on the “enduring role that elite foreign policy institutions play in shaping US strategy and managing America’s relations with the wider world”, the book “seeks to explain why the US spent the past quarter century pursuing an ambitious, unrealistic, and mostly unsuccessful foreign policy”, Walt says in the Preface. “Having won the Cold War, why did US leaders decide to (still) maintain (an enormous) military establishment, …and instead of reducing (the country’s) global burdens, embark on an ill-considered campaign to spread democracy, markets, and other liberal values around the world?”
The reason, Walt writes, is that “the foreign policy community believes spreading liberal values is both essential for US security and easy to do”. To get the public’s support, they “exaggerat(ed) international dangers, overstating the benefits that liberal hegemony would produce, and concealing the true costs. And because members of the foreign policy elite are rarely held to account, they were able to make the same mistake again and again”.