The Crisis in Agriculture
Oct 24th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The dilution of government intervention in the form of minimum support prices, procurement and public distribution is undermining the medium-term viability of agricultural production in India.
Downturn Blues
Sep 20th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The most recent deceleration in growth is the result of the inability of the system to sustain the artificial stimuli that the neoliberal policy environment facilitated. It is a problem that does not lend itself to easy resolution.
Economy Plunging Headlong into Recession
Aug 16th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The few days old Volume II of the Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance shows a GVA growth rate much less than that of the previous year, and that too artificially boosted by seasonal variations in non-core sectors. This deceleration is most likely to continue, with growing NPAs and plunging exports, and interest rate cuts will not help in a demand-constrained economy unless the government starts thinking beyond "fiscal rectitude".
Financing Education
Aug 8th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The central governments' Draft National Education Policy promotes privatization of education to meet its target, which is not only logically absurd but also legitimizes inequality. Solutions like student loans are impractical with educated unemployment, and fee subsidies turn counterproductive. The one efficient way is to extract the private funds through progressive direct tax, but that seems impossible in this neo-liberal era.
The Roots of the Agrarian Distress in India
Jun 29th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The policy shifts of the reform era have not been in favor of agriculture. Trade liberalisation, deregulation and a greater role for market forces have not benefited the farmer, who is trapped in a persisting crisis. It is time for today's policy makers to recognise their own disconnect, and learn from the evidence at hand.
What the data tells us about 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'?
May 26th 2017, Anamitra Roychowdhury
Modi rose to power by promising development for all, but his policies have fallen short in meeting any of the related targets, especially with respect to employment and livelihoods. A minor increase in farm income was met by the lowest-yet wage increase under MGNREGA. Belying the promises of the Skill India programme, Quarterly Employment Surveys show even greater joblessness. Resource allocation to health and education has seen negligible growth in the past three years. And the government narrative has shifted from development to moral policing.
Interest Rates and the Use of Cash
Mar 7th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
It is ironic that under the most advanced form of capitalism today demands are being made which would push us back into the age of gold-money from where mankind had begun its journey into the realm of money.
Budget 2017-18: The macroeconomic perspective
Mar 3rd 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
One reason why the government chose fiscal consolidation instead of an expansionary budget in the wake of demonetisation is its erroneous belief that demonetisation in itself would deliver fiscal benefits.
Before UBI, We must First Get Social Spending Basics Right
Feb 13th 2017, Anjana Thampi and Ishan Anand
Providing a UBI in place of existing schemes will not change the fundamentally unequal income distribution in the country. The way to resolve the crisis is a redistribution from the rich to the poor.
The Budget after Demonetisation
Dec 21st 2016. C.P. Chandrasekhar
If the government adheres to its deficit targets, this could imply a substantial cut in capital expenditures or social expenditures or both which would worsen the contraction set off by demonetisation.
Supreme Court should Frame an Eleventh Question on Demonetisation
Dec 15th 2016. Prasenjit Bose and Zico Dasgupta
Whether the demonetisation scheme declared through the November 8 notification qualifies as a fiscal or economic policy is a vital question that merits the attention of the Supreme Court.
Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Deficit?
Oct 19th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The FRBM Act has generated one of the biggest practical problems of increasing the propensity of the government in many countries to evade it by making various off-budget expenditures through SPVs and other such devices.
Federalism and the Goods and Services Tax
Sep 16th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax as currently visualized amounts to an interference with the "basic structure" of our Constitution of which federalism constitutes a prominent part.
The Flawed Premises of GST
Aug 30th 2016, Chirashree Das Gupta
The author in this article takes a second look at the biggest tax reform in a long time and points out where the rationale for the goods and services tax is flawed.
The Global "New Normal" is Not New- But it is still a real concern
Jun 21st 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Global growth rates of the last five years are similar to those in the past, but now they are accompanied by unprecedented monetary expansion that seems to have little impact.
The Debate on GST
Aug 19th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Transition to a GST regime involves various issues; of which reduction in the powers of the states and the regressive nature of its distributive impact deserve greater attention.
Why the Fight for a GST?
Aug 6th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The claims of the government that the transition to a GST regime would increase revenue mobilisation and raise GDP growth are based on models that are by no means robust.
The Spectre of the Thirties
Jul 7th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The world economy today is reminiscent of the 1930s where competitive easing of monetary policy is not boosting aggregate demand and fiscal policy is barred by finance capital.
Fiscal Consolidation through Austerity
May 25th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government's attempt at fiscal consolidation through austerity would not only affect growth adversely, but also has damaging effects on welfare.
Statistical Jugglery, Reverse Redistribution and Corporate Absolutism
Mar 13th 2015, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Statistical jugglery practised by the government in order to please big investors and the bid to privatise important public sector units need to be resisted at all costs.
The Myth of Increased Resources for States
Mar 12th 2015, Sona Mitra
The Government's claim of increased resources to the States is misleading unless the resource pool is substantially increased to cover for cuts in the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
Who's Really Paying for Oil?
Jan 7th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
As the central government raises excise duties on petroleum products yet again, it is the poor that end up paying the price.
Fiscal Correction versus Democracy in India
Dec 12th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The current government's strategy of imposing sweeping cuts to important areas of public spending without any public scrutiny and discussion is deeply anti-democratic.
The Gathering Clouds of Recession
Nov 24th 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The world capitalist economy's slide into a new downturn is likely to be a harbinger of major economic and political changes within the structure of world capitalism.
An Obsession to Sell
Oct 30th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The NDA government's strategy of accelerating the process of privatisation is fiscally irrational and unsustainable that will adversely affect the workers in the public sector.
The Logic of Neoliberal Anti-Populism
Aug 27th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Pursuing fiscal consolidation by providing large transfers to the rich while trimming expenditures that benefit the poor is the best example of the ideology of anti-populism.
Incentivising Risk-taking Abroad
Jul 28th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Tax concession provided on dividends received by Indian firms from their foreign subsidiaries increases the foreign exchange risk exposure of the country.
The Budget and BJP's Economic Policy
Jul 25th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Union Budget for 2014-15 is a deflationary budget in the name of "fiscal consolidation," and chalks out a strategy to make India a labour-intensive manufacturing hub.
How "Buoyant" are Central Government Taxes?
Jul 22nd 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The authors here suggest that the fiscal optimism is misplaced while projecting substantial increases in tax revenues despite many tax sops in the Budget for this year.
Corporate Karza Maafi at Rs. 36.5 Trillion
Jul 21st 2014, P. Sainath
Since 2005-06 a cumulative amount of Rs. 36.5 trillion has been given away to corporate sector in terms of various sops in corporate income tax, excise duty and customs duty.
The Way Forward for the Economy
Jul 7th 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The Indian economy cannot be revived by the neo liberal policies of austerity and incentives as only fiscal intervention can break the deadlock of stagflationary tendencies.
The Offensive against Transfers to the Poor
May 22nd 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The demand by corporate magnates to roll back the relief measures for the poor is nothing but an expression of the class animosity of corporate capital towards the working poor.
Is There a Case for Fiscal Stringency in India Now?
Dec 11th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The authors examine the evidence on central government's receipts and expenditure thus far and consider the validity of the case for fiscal stringency at this point.
Is Fiscal Profligacy the Cause of the Crisis?
Sep 10th 2013, Prabhat Patnaik
Current account deficit is a major reason behind lack of demand and slowdown. Government spending on food security can boost demand for domestic goods and chance of a revival.
The Cost of Reliance on Gas
Jun 28th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The new proposed policy of pricing natural gas is another example of the State acting on behalf of private capital at the expense of social welfare.
The Corruption System
May 29th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The greater corruption witnessed under liberalisation reflects an aggravation of the systemic tendency towards primitive accumulation of capital characteristic of capitalism.
Economic Crises and Women’s Work: Exploring progressive strategies in a rapidly changing environment
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.

The Neo-liberal Paralysis
Mar 6th 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury
India's commitment to neo-liberalism and enticement of global finance capital forbid it to undertake any policy aimed at ameliorating the current condition of the economy.
Is this Really a Budget for Women?
Mar 6th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Many of the policies implicit or explicit in the Budget statement have implications that are adverse for most women because they involve cuts in essential public spending.
Bad Economics, But Worse Politics
Mar 6th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
There is nothing in the budget to reverse the stagflation, even as the opportunity to take effective measures aimed at showing concern for the common man has been missed too.
Tax Concessions to Companies
Mar 5th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Revenue foregone due to direct tax concessions to the corporate sector has become a huge element in the Budget, and one that is increasingly coming under public scrutiny.
The Dangers of Fiscal Austerity
Mar 4th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Despite fiscal austerity measures proving to be counterproductive in dealing with economic contractions worldwide, the Indian government is poised to implement similar policies.
Niggardly on Essential Spend
Mar 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Given that the Indian electorate would soon see what the real implications of the budget 2013-14 are, it is surprising that his own party let Chidambaram get away with this.
A Recipe for Continuing Stagflation
Mar 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Budget 2013-14 will deliver neither higher growth nor improved conditions of life—instead it is likely to worsen the stagflationary tendencies in the economy.
A Plan for Corporate India
Jan 9th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Even though talk of planning is a travesty, the Twelfth Five Year Plan document is still a shocker, because of its unashamed advocacy of measures that favour private capital.
Hawking the Deficit
Jan 8th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
While the government proclaims the need to reduce fiscal deficit, its actual performance in recent years has been well below projections, especially due to lower receipts.
Polishing the Nation's Silver
Jan 3rd 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Avoiding taxation route and relying more on non-debt capital receipts has led to the failure of the government on the fiscal front in terms of its deficit reduction target.
On Deregulation in the Petroleum Sector in India
Oct 17th 2012, Surajit Das
The policy of oil price deregulation in the face of rising international price of oil would have direct detrimental effects on growth, inflation and 'macroeconomic stability'.
Foreign Finance and India's Development
Sep 25th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The principal objective of the current government seems to be that of winning and sustaining the whimsical 'confidence' of foreign capital at all costs. This is the new and defining feature of economic policy of present day India.
The Parthasarathi Shome Committee Report
Sep 10th 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The Shome Committee Report has recommended that the introduction of GAAR should be kept in abeyance until April 1, 2016 and that the capital gains tax be done away with altogether. These are all a reflection of the Manmohan Singh government's keenness to legitimise its efforts to start another stock market ''bubble'', which it thinks will stimulate growth by attracting more speculative finance capital into the country.
The Allocation of Coal Blocks
Sep 3rd 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The allocation of captive coal blocks to private parties raises a number of issues, which includes the fact even the auction route does not recoup the entire loss to the exchequer on account of the handing over of exhaustible resources to the private sector. Further, by handing over coal blocks that constitute stocks, the government is not just assuring the private players of flows, it is actually promoting monopoly. This is the larger loss to the nation.
Inequality in South Asia
Jul 25th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The increase in income and consumption inequalities in the South Asian countries during their period of globalisation compared with other highly globally integrated countries such as those in Latin America suggest that South Asian governments have much to learn from the proactive policies for equity elsewhere in the world.
The Blame Game around Oil
Jun 13th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
It is not that the UPA government is running out of alternatives to tackle the woes caused by the oil and currency shocks. The absence of decisive policies and lack of inner consensus have trapped the government in a debate on who would bear the burden and how the burden should be shared. A combination of subsidies and tax reforms can address the issue. But it calls for easing the grip of neoliberal thinking over the UPA.
Time to End the Madness
May 16th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Irrational insistence on fiscal conservatism has led to widespread growth slowdown not only in the European countries, but also in emerging economies like China and India. The political backlash in major eurozone economies rekindles hope that governments embracing growth stunting fiscal tightening would soon switch back to sound economic policy-making.
Is a Universal Pension Scheme Feasible in India?
May 16th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
In an economy like ours, a universal pension scheme must be part of a broader development strategy that focuses on public investment in physical and social infrastructure, which will ensure supply of necessary goods and services while increasing demand from the population in a stable and inclusive way.
Growing Differences in State Per Capita Incomes 
May 15th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The period of economic liberalisation has been marked by growing differences in per capita incomes across states, although the trend has varied across decades. In this article, the authors examine the evidence on per capita Net Domestic Product at the state level since 1980, and consider some possible explanations for the observed trends.
For a Universal Old-age Pension Scheme
May 10th 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The basic argument behind the demand for a universal, non-means-related, non-contributory pension scheme is derivable from the rights-based approach and stands unimpaired. For raising the resources necessary for such a publicly-funded pension scheme, tax proposals similar to those in international discussions can be worked out for India as well.
In the Middle of a Muddle
Apr 21st 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While the RBI is being advised to cautiously stimulate demand and growth, at the same time keeping a close watch on inflation, the Finance Ministry is being cajoled into stoking inflation by hiking a range of prices.
Budget 2012: The price of reform 
Mar 28th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
By hiking indirect taxes that would be passed through to buyers, and slashing subsidies that would raise the prices of petroleum products and fertilisers, the Finance Minister has exposed a nation already reeling under the effects of a prolonged price rise to another bout of cost push inflation.
An Inequitable Path: The ritualistic exercise in fiscal management 
Mar 23rd 2012, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Ignoring all the evidences of the fact that growth does not trickle down, the Budget 2012-13 has emphasised the target of raising the rate of growth at any cost without bothering about the majority of Indian population. Instead what was needed for managing the economy was a progressive system of taxation, employment creation and universalisation of the public distribution of food grains.
Employment and Social Spending in Budget 2012-13 
Mar 21st 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in both taxation and spending terms, the Budget 2012-13 has managed the remarkable feat of upsetting almost everyone and making no aam aurat and aam aadmi happy. It provides conclusive proof of the UPA government having lost its way as it seems to have forgotten the importance of its own ''flagship schemes''.
The Great Fuel Subsidy Hoax
Mar 20th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In his Budget Speech, the Finance Minister signalled his intent to reduce subsidies, particularly the fuel subsidy, by an estimated Rs 25,000 crore. In this article, the authors consider the retail prices of petrol and diesel in India relative to some other countries, and examine the validity of the claim that the petroleum sector is actually a burden on the exchequer.
The Return to Orthodoxy
Mar 20th 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The 2012-13 budget represents a return with a vengeance to neo-liberal orthodoxy and a snuffing out of the ''Left-inspired'' (UPA-I) and the ''Keynesian'' moments. India will have to bear the impact of the global crisis in an exacerbated manner because of its own ''drive to austerity'' that is being heralded at the expense of the people.
Budget 2012-13
Mar 17th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in terms of taxation, the Budget 2012-13 will obviously lead to rising prices with continuing shortfalls in employment. Hence it emerges that the greatest losers from this budget will be the Indian consumers, particularly the poorer sections.
Taking American Business Back Home 
Mar 6th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Evidence suggests that Barack Obama's ploy to justify tax concessions to corporations in a country where they are effectively undertaxed may help to ensure the return home of American business.
Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati on the Gujarat Economy 
Feb 6th 2012, Indira Hirway
This article refutes the argument made by Professor Bhagwati that the Gujarat economy is doing very well, not only in terms of economic growth but also in social sectors. The author contends that the growth model in the state seems to have discouraged inclusion of the excluded, both in the growth process as well as in the redistribution process.
''Planning'' for Whom?
Oct 12th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
There are some fundamental changes in the Planning Commission's current perspective relative to the earlier periods. In the post-Independence years, pursuit of profit was not seen as being in the social interest and this was reflected in the nature of development planning. But now, profit is the sole motive and the role of the state is to merely facilitate this by incentivising corporate activity.
Afterword on a Movement
Sep 7th 2011, Prabhat Patnaik
Any undermining of parliamentary democracy represents a huge social retrogression. But a positive fall-out from the Hazare movement hopefully is self-rectification by the ''democratic State'' in the face of this challenge. However, the Hazare group's assault on parliamentary institutions and exclusive emphasis on corruption within the state machinery, to the exclusion of the corporate sector and civil society groups, could turn out to be a part of an agenda of converting Indian democracy into a ''corporatocracy''.
Public Spending on Education in India
Jun 29th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The failure of the government to provide universal access to quality schooling and to ensure equal access to higher education among all socio-economic groups as well as across gender and region has significant implications for equitable socio-economic advancement. Ensuring a reasonable quality of education to all children will necessarily require a significant expansion of the public resources to be provided.
Mar 10th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Cash transfers cannot and should not replace the public provision of essential goods and services, but rather supplement them. However, the current tendency is to see these as a further excuse for the reduction of publicly provided services. In India, where much of the development project still remains woefully incomplete, the urge to adopt this latest international development fashion involves several risks.
Mar 10th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
This budget is afflicted to a far greater degree than before by a kind of cynicism that leads to policy paralysis. It lacks any focus or strategy whatsoever, and sticks to fiscal conservatism. Thus while paying lip service to ''inclusion'', it delivers little of it, since very few of the incremental expenditure allocations are significant when measured as a ratio to GDP.
Budget 2011-12 and Education
Mar 9th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The budget allocations for the education sector are not sufficient for fulfilling the commitments made by the Centre in the sector. In particular, it seems that the financial burden of ensuring the right to education is to be thrust on the state governments, which might find it difficult to raise the required resources.
The Budget and the Indian Economy
Mar 7th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget certainly benefits the Indian elite class, but the conditions of the majority of people whose lives continue to languish in dreadful conditions are not going to get better. This is because it has not addressed the two major issues that matter for most people, namely food inflation as well as productive and gainful employment.
Budget 2011-12
Mar 7th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget is remarkable for its effective rejection of the interests of the common people. Instead of focusing on measures that will increase food supply and food distribution, the government has curtailed allocation for food subsidy. In the case of employment, the presumption seems to be that economic growth on its own will deliver more jobs; but this is not likely.
Fiscal Policy and Global Growth
Jul 27th 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Across the world governments are debating whether it is time to exit from their fiscal response to the global crisis and return to austerity and fiscal consolidation. This may be premature, since the question whether there was indeed such a generalized and adequate fiscal response that triggered a recovery remains unanswered.
Fiscal Discipline and All That
Jul 27th 2010, Jayati Ghosh
There was a sudden resurgence in Keynesian ideas everywhere when the global financial crisis broke in September 2008. But, equally suddenly, financial markets have once again turned back on state intervention and policy makers are giving in to demands for massive cuts in public expenditure that would require enormous sacrifices from their populations.
The Oil Price Hike
Jun28th 2010, Jayati Ghosh
The most obvious reason behind the government's decision to ''free'' the price of petroleum products - even as inflation has emerged as a major problem - seems to be that it has chosen to favour the private companies in this sector. But, the current strategy puts the entire burden of irrational shifts in the international prices of oil on the consumer, and the burden sharing involved is extremely regressive.
The Political Economy of the Enabling State
Mar 10th 2010, Jayati Ghosh
While this year's Economic Survey identifies the basic goal of economic policy as inclusive growth, this is to be delivered by a change in focus to an enabling government from an actively interventionist one. This vision excludes the possibility that the process of market-driven economic growth itself generates greater material insecurity and impoverishment for a significant section of the population.
Controlling Food Prices
Feb 23rd 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Food price inflation is one of the most critical economic problems in the country today, and the ability to control these prices quickly and effectively is one of the main bases on which people will judge the performance of this government. This article examines the recent pattern of inflation in important food items and considers the possible causes, including the growing distribution margins.
Who Needs these Taxes?
Sep 1st 2009, C.P. Chandrasekhar
If increasing its fiscal manoeuvrability and greater transparency and equity were the objectives that the government was pursuing through a tax reform, then a revamp of the existing tax law to get rid of a wide range of unnecessary exemptions would have been adequate. However, the draft direct tax code is a signal that UPA II plans to continue with the policy of cajoling private capital into investing for growth with concessions that have adverse equity and welfare implications.
Alternative Perspectives on Panchayati Raj
May 8th 2009, Prabhat Patnaik
Panchayati Raj should not be viewed either as a mere ''governance arrangement'' or as an end in itself. It is a means of social transformation that derives its legitimacy exclusively from the perspective of how far it facilitates this process of social transformation. If we miss the transformational role of panchayati raj, then we may end up condoning and even accentuating caste and class oppression in the countryside and also weakening the State structure.
How to Spend the Money
Mar 6th 2009, Jayati Ghosh
One of the significant impact of the financial crisis on the world of ideas is that it has brought to the forefront the recognition of the role of the government expenditure in mitigating recessions, as was advocated by Keynes and Kalecki. This article makes a theoretical case for undertaking Keynesian measures to cope with the recession.
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