The Strange form of "Disinvestment"
Jan 30th, 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar

Under the NDA government disinvestment is increasingly turning out to be a process in which surpluses are wrung out of PSEs or government linked institutions to support the budget, instead of the usual route of sale to private buyers. Apart from adversely affecting the modernization and expansion plans of PSEs, this change in the nature of disinvestment does not enable the government to raise its expenditure to the desired levels in a pre-election year.

The Mistaken Obsession with the Fiscal Deficit
Jan 29th, 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The central government regularly fudges fiscal data, to pretend to meet the FRBM Act targets. This messes up public companies, but does it really matter for the macroeconomy?

Are Global Oil Prices the Culprit for India's Burgeoning Trade Deficit?
Jan 1st, 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

It is generally assumed that India’s trade deficit is determined by the state of global oil prices and their impact on the oil import bill. Is that really the case?

Criticism and Criticism
Dec 28th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik

The Modi government's demonetization move has been universally criticized, but there are significant differences between a neoliberal critique focused on the impact on GDP and the Left's assessment that looks at the impact on people.

The Fall of the Rupee
Sep 25th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Falling rupee requires immediate government action. Awaiting an equilibrium that never comes would not only keep squeezing the working people but would eventually make the government run to the IMF and other financial institutions in panic. Measures like raising interest rates, fiscal compression, and using foreign exchange reserves have their own fallouts. There have to be direct restrictions on inessential imports combined with some controls on capital outflows.
The Indian Economy in A Tailspin
Sep 24th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
A combination of direct import controls on inessential items, reduction of petro-product prices, measures for reducing the consumption of such products, and direct taxation, especially on wealth, is the obvious way of getting out of the tailspin in which the Indian economy is currently caught. There is no alternative to these measures if we are to avoid the fate of countries that eventually run to the IMF and get caught in the vice-like grip of "austerity".
The Larger Crisis that NPAs Signal
Sep 17th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Desperate attempts to prevent liquidation of power sector assets in companies that are defaulters point to a deeper crisis afflicting neoliberal growth. A sector that was plagued by shortages was opened up to private participation, leading to rapid expansion in the expectation of large profits from liberalised prices. Public sector banks were called upon to finance that expansion with the government being complicit. Now, however, firms find themselves trapped between inadequate demand at prevailing prices and rising costs that precipitate default.
Women's work in India
Sep 10th 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The decline in workforce participation by women in India reflects shift from paid to unpaid work. In the absence of basic amenities, a greater proportion of women are engaged in fetching water, collecting fuel for cooking. Once we take into account these unpaid and socially unrecognised activities done by women, it is found that workforce participation of women is greater than men.
The Question of Farm-Loan Waiver
Jun 23rd 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The primary reason why loan-waiver is being demanded at present is not an output fall owing to any natural calamity. It is the price-fall on account of the bumper harvest that underlies this demand. It is the breaking down of an appropriate institutional mechanism that is responsible for the peasants’ distress and periodic demands for loan-waivers.
Finance Capital and the Nature of Capitalism in India Today
Nov 25th 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
This article explains how the growing dependence on foreign finance capital has distorted India’s growth. Due to the accumulated presence of foreign capital in the country since liberalisation, it is turning moribund and losing sovereignty.
Capitalism and the Oppressed Castes
Apr 29th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
The development of capitalism in any society brings about a complete transformation in the way we look at all social questions including the question of caste oppression.
What can Corporate Planning Learn from National Planning
Dec 29th 2015, Pronab Sen
This paper examines the historical development of national planning in India and identifies the lessons that corporate planning can draw from the long and varied experience.
Economics and the Two Concepts of Nationalism
Jun 22nd 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
It is important to differentiate the kind of nationalism that informed the anti-colonial struggle in India from the bourgeois nationalism that had emerged in Europe.
Power Tariff Hike in West Bengal
Jun 16th 2015, Prasenjit Bose
One of the necessary steps towards tackling the problem of power tariff hike in West Bengal is to break the monopoly of the CESC in Kolkata and adjoining areas.
Credit and Capital Formation in Agriculture: A growing disconnect
Nov 21st 2013, Pallavi Chavan
Capital formation in agriculture in recent past suffered due to overemphasis on short-term and indirect credit, but this may prove to be costly for future sectoral growth.
Tripura's Tryst with Literacy
Oct 24th 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury and Gorky Chakraborty
While all kinds of development model are debated furiously, the small state of Tripura is making rapid strides in improving literacy and other development indicators.
Reducing Inequality: Learning lessons for the post-2015 agenda – India case study
Aug 26th 2013, ERF & Save the Children, UK
Economic Research Foundation (ERF) in association with Save the Children, UK undertook this study on the impact of inequality on children in India.
Science, Education and Research: Problems and prospects
Jun 19th 2013, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
Referring to the suboptimal state of science, education and research today, the author asserts India has not learnt to develop the necessary ''first-rate technology'' at home.
What Census 2011 Reveals about Our Growers and their Land
Jun 5th 2013, Rahul Goswami
The change in the number of cultivators and agricultural labourers provided by Census 2011 should help us recognise the growing impacts on food security caused by urbanisation.
Fragile Foundations: Foreign capital and growth after liberalisation
May 14th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The shift from debt-financed public expenditure to debt-financed private expenditure-led growth in India has resulted in increased dependence on foreign capital and vulnerability.
The Business of News in the Age of the Internet
May 7th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In the context of the digital revolution, the author discusses some possible implications of the impact of the internet on the print business and the directions they point to.
Apr 29th 2013, Prasenjit Bose
The measures to attract additional debt inflows into the Indian economy to finance its widening current account deficit will only enhance its external vulnerability.
Mar 11th 2013, Jayati Ghosh

Analysis of women's employment and decent work in the context of the global economic crisis shows that gender sensitive policy responses are more likely to be successful.

Of False Premises, Faulty Reportage and Declining Hunger: Unraveling the enigma
Jan 30th 2013, M Kumaran and Biraj Swain

The official assessment about India making progress in addressing hunger, nutrition and poverty over last two decades, do not match the ground realities.

Sep 12th 2012, Praveen Jha and Amit Chakraborty

With cheap labour and a strong supply base, India's automobile sector has emerged successful in integrating itself into the global production networks. Using case studies from the National Capital Region, this paper seeks to study the nature of changes in the organisation of production and work in the automobile sector - both intra-firm and inter-firm - and their impact on the changing labour processes and issues of managerial control, skill or working conditions. The anatomy of the recent waves of labour unrest there has been studied to investigate its relation with changing labour processes, and to understand the new regime of accumulation from a political economy perspective in terms of the dynamic interaction of capital's strategy, technology and the agency of labour.

Sep 1st 2012, Chirashree Das Gupta

This discussion note is an attempt to situate the development of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) as a legal tax entity recognised by tax law, separate and distinct from individuals and corporate entities. Over the years this tool has been used by the family-owned business groups for evading tax. In fact in the era of neoliberal globalisation, the laws of the land have been altered suitably to facilitate the transformation of family-owned business groups into multinationals without an increase in their total corporate liability.

Labour Market Regulations and Economic Outcomes: Some capital lessons and minor messages

Aug 8th 2012. Praveen Jha, Sakti Golder and Swayamsiddha Panda
This paper provides a survey of the empirical evidence on the relationship between labour market institutions and economic outcomes. Survey of major cross-country empirical constructs that examine linkages between labour regulations and different aspects of economic performance such as employment, growth, etc., shows that the empirical basis for the advocacy of blanket labour market flexibility is rather weak. The paper also highlights some key empirical findings from the organised manufacturing sector in India and postulates some capital lessons and minor messages that emerge from such an exercise.

Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India

Feb 28th 2012
This report is an update of Food Insecurity Atlas of Urban India that was developed by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in October 2002 and a companion exercise to the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India of 2001. Reviewing the relative position of the major states with respect to food security, the Report reveals an alarming situation of a permanent food and nutrition emergency in urban India. Hence in order to promote food and nutrition security for all, the Report offers certain policy recommendations emphasizing that urban food security is impacted by the macroeconomic policies and therefore, economic reforms needs to be re-formed to provide inclusive urban development.

India's New High Growth Trajectory: Implications for demand, technology and employment

Oct 12th 2011. C.P. Chandrasekhar
Evidence on trends in surplus generation and utilisation suggests that India's recent transition to a high-growth trajectory has been accompanied by and partly based on tendencies towards profit inflation and increased inequality. This paper offers an explanation as to why the net implications for employment and conditions of work of this growth trajectory have been adverse.

The Challenge of Ensuring Full Employment in the Twenty-first Century

Oct 12th 2011. Jayati Ghosh
The recent economic growth process in India and other parts of the developing world exhibits the inability of even high rates of output growth to generate sufficient opportunities for 'decent work' to meet the needs of the growing labour force. Therefore, there is a clear case for a shift towards wage-led and domestic demand-led growth, particularly in the economies that are large enough to sustain this shift.

India's Role in the New Global Farmland Grab

Aug 23rd 2011. Rick Rowden
This report explores the role of Indian agricultural companies that have been involved in the recent trend in large-scale overseas acquisitions of farmland. In addition to examining the various factors driving the ''outsourcing'' of domestic food production, the report also explores the negative consequences of such a trend. It looks at why critics have called the trend ''land grabbing'' and reviews the impacts on local peoples on the ground, who are often displaced in the process.

Food Prices, Health and Nutrition: Red-flag indicators for the 12th Plan

Aug 17th 2011. Rahul Goswami
The long-term impacts of food inflation on the rural and urban poor are yielding worrying indicators in India's nutrition and health sectors. Analysing new data from the NSSO's 66th Round and recent trends in retail food prices, the author establishes that households in the lower deciles of consumption in both rural and urban areas have been hurt the most by the steep rise in the real retail prices of cereals during 2003 to 2009-10.

Industrialising India's Food Flows: An analysis of the food waste argument

May 23rd 2011. Rahul Goswami
From the mid-term appraisal of the Eleventh Five Year plan onwards, central government ministries have been telling us that post-harvest losses in India are high, particularly for fruits and vegetables. The amount of waste often quoted is up to 40% for vegetables and fruits, and has been held up as the most compelling reason to permit a flood of investment in the new sector of agricultural logistics, to allow the creation of huge food processing zones, and to link all these to retail food structures in urban markets. The urban orientation of such an approach ignores the integrated and organic farming approach, as it does the evidence that sophistication in food processing has not in the West prevented food loss or waste.

Hunger: The true growth story in India

Dec 21st 2010. Aniruddha Bonnerjee and Gabriele Koehler
Although many of the policies needed for ensuring genuine food security of the people of India are in place, they require more public resources and genuinely inclusive and empowering approach. The specter of hunger in India, the authors contend, will drive some of the more painful policy changes and the associated processes and can help the different policy areas cohere to ensure universal food and nutrition.

Shrinking Cereals, Growing Food Parks

May 4th 2010. Rahul Goswami
Although controlling food inflation and ensuring food security to the population are two major concerns of the government at present, data and reports of various studies show very little improvement on both fronts. On the contrary, the increasing corporatisation of food production, procurement, movement and distribution is contributing to household food insecurity, particularly amongst the rural and urban poor.

The Public and the Private

Sep 4th 2009. Prabhat Patnaik
The fact that the agrarian crisis or the current raging inflation in India has not evoked major spontaneous struggles is linked to the country's transition from a dirigiste to a neo-liberal economic regime. As Indian capital becomes increasingly integrated with global financial capital, and the State increasingly represents the exclusive interests of the bourgeoisie, the interests of the people are sacrificed for the sake of the ''nation's'' emergence as an economic power. Further, the capacity for resistance in our society is also closely linked to the balance between the public and private sectors, which too undergoes a fundamental shift under neo-liberalism.

Indian Labour Market Report 2008

May 11th 2009.
The paradoxical feature of a positive GDP growth rate along with unfavourable employment trends have been one of the most pressing contemporary concerns related to the opening up of the Indian economy. This first bi-annual report published by the Adecco-TISS Labour Market Research Initiatives seeks to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation of the Indian labour market in terms of its composition across different segments, sectors, regions and gender. It includes detailed analysis of unemployed and underemployed labour force and even those who are not in the labour force. The industry perspective on issues of employment is also captured through a primary survey of select industries in the manufacturing and emerging sectors.

The Impact of Macroeconomic Change on Employment in the Retail Sector in India: Policy Implications for Growth, Sectoral Change and Employment

May 15th 2008, Jayati Ghosh, Amitayu Sengupta & Anamitra Roychoudhury
This study is concerned with the employment situation in India's retail sector. High economic growth in India has not produced satisfactory outcomes of job growth, both in terms of quantity and quality. Concern has arisen that many of the working poor engaged in small-scale retailing and street vending are crowded by entries of large-scale domestic as well as foreign retailers. Share of workers' income in manufacturing has also seen a decline, despite labour productivity growth, during the last decade. This paper argues that economic policy in India needs to be made more inclusive and equitable. The only sure way of doing so would be making it more pro-job and pro-poor, through examining employment implications of macro policies that accompany economic liberalization.
Farmers' Suicides in India: Magnitudes, Trends and Spatial Patterns
Mar 3rd 2008, K. Nagaraj

Given the very large number of suicides by farmers in various parts of India over the last decade, there is a need to probe the issue by utilizing a data source which would provide a comprehensive, nation-wide picture. This paper is a modest attempt to fill that gap. Its basic objective is to put together, and carry out a preliminary analysis on, the secondary data that are available on farmers' suicides in the country. The paper studies, first, the magnitude and trends in farmers' suicides in India over 1997-2006; and second, the regional patterns, if any, in the incidence and trends in these suicides.

Private Equity: A New Role for Finance?
May 22nd 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar

Given that a substantial proportion of companies in Asian developing countries are either unlisted or have a small proportion of free-floating shares, the surge in investments by private equity firms suggests that foreign acquisitions could increase in the region sharply. With foreign investors controlling a rising share of total assets, the ability of domestic forces and the domestic State to influence the pattern and pace of growth of domestic economic activity would be substantially eroded.

Indian Economy in the Era of Contemporary Globalisation: Some Core Elements of the Balance Sheet
May 17th 2007, Praveen Jha & Mario Negre

In recent years, the 'official' India has been patting itself on account of accelerated economic growth rates and the presumed progress in poverty reduction. However, as this paper argues, the recent economic growth has been extremely lopsided; more than ever before. Further, large sections of the country's population continue to suffer, very acutely, with reference to a whole range of development deficits. This paper is an attempt to sketch a snapshot of India's economic growth performance, along with some of the major development deficits it is facing.

The Progress of "Reform" and the Retrogression of Agriculture
Apr 25th 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar

The consequence of recent structural shifts is that the Indian economy can record the observed creditable rates of non-inflationary growth of aggregate GDP even when its agricultural sector languishes. It appears that a feature of the growth process in a more open and liberalised environment is that the peasantry has a much smaller a role in sustaining economic growth and can thus be partially excluded from development. What is disconcerting is that the self-correcting mechanism that existed in the earlier period to restore a semblance of balance between agricultural and non-agricultural growth are no more operative.

A Model of Growth of the Contemporary Indian Economy
Apr 10th 2007, Prabhat Patnaik

This paper provides a simple model of the current pattern of India's economic growth process, to reckon with the fact that even an accelerating growth rate may leave the unemployment problem completely unresolved, or even accentuated, as labour productivity rises at a faster rate than investment. An obvious conclusion that emerges is that the widely-held perception that higher and higher growth rates would eventually eradicate unemployment in the country, is untenable.

Recent Employment Trends in India and China: An Unfortunate Convergence?
Apr 5th 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh

This paper argues that both China and India, despite the similarity of the current international hype about their future economic prospects and also despite their obvious differences, face rather similar economic problems at present with respect to the labour market. In both countries, the strategy of development is delivering relatively high growth without commensurate increases in employment, especially in the organised sector; and the bulk of new employment is in lower productivity activities under uncertain and often oppressive conditions. It is argued that this paradox may be a common result of the similar strategy of economic expansion currently being followed in both countries.

Some Aspects of the Well-Being of India's Agricultural Labour in the Context of Contemporary Agrarian Crisis
Feb 22nd 2007, Praveen Jha

The tremendous economic pressure that the Indian countryside has come under in the recent years is bound to impact the well-being of the masses in the rural economy. This paper is an attempt to examine the key elements of the contemporary agrarian crisis and its possible consequences for agricultural labourers. It appears that their economic conditions, in any case quite fragile and vulnerable even in 'better' times, have taken quite a battering in the recent years.

Poverty and Neo-liberalism in India
Jan 6th 2007, Utsa Patnaik

This paper explores why the official poverty estimates show low levels as well as decline in poverty in India over the 1990s, whereas all other economic and social indicators suggest that absolute poverty is high. The former do not capture the true picture because the official method involves the 'fallacy of equivocation'. It is also argued that when actual rural poverty is as high as nearly four-fifths of the population and poverty depth is increasing with a higher proportion of people being pushed down into lower nutritional status, there is an urgent need to revert to a demand-driven universal public distribution system.

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