Current Issues

One Belt, One Road, One grand design?
10 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
As Trump adopts protectionist measures, President Xi Jingpings’ project “One Belt One Road” is an overwhelmingly ambitious plan to restore faith in globalization. Aiming to perfectly connect 60 countries to China, it is expected to face huge political and financial difficulties. Although it points to a new kind of Chinese imperialism, such a world of competitive superpowers might open new opportunities for the developing nations.
The GDP elephant
06 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely “technocratic” but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark.
Why workers lose
30 May, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The IMF’s push to delink the decline in the share of labour in national income from the rise of finance, neoliberalism and globalisation leads to a set of banal prescriptions on how to deal with a problem that is at the centre of the crisis of capitalism today.
What the data tells us about 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'?
26 May, 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. 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. * This article was originally published in the Wire on May 26, 2017.
A Simple Arithmetic
25 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The advance GDP estimates for 2016-17, however calculated,show a grim picture of the economy. The real per capita income of the agriculture-dependent population, which constitutes half the country's populace, has remained stagnant or even marginally declined during the three years of the Modi government. While the pursuit of neoliberal policies can be held responsible for this, treating the aggregate growth as a “great achievement” for political mileage is unwarranted.
World Capitalist Crisis getting Accentuated
22 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
After a brief illusion of recovery in the U.S., the world economic crisis is getting accentuated. Trump administration would rather increase its fiscal deficit, if at all it does, through tax cuts than state expenditure under the hegemony of finance capital. This might further suppress consumption expenditure, already constricted by falling global wages. Such policies, paired with hostile protectionism, would make correcting over-production and hence overcoming world crisis, almost impossible.
The Illusion of an Economic Spring
17 May, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While policy makers, analysts and observers paint a picture of an ongoing global economic recovery, the numbers seem to drag the optimists down.
Public Bank Privatisation in a Post-truth World
17 May, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Narendra Modi government appears to have decided to privatise public sector banks (PSBs). Preparations are underway with arguments being marshalled that "there is no alternative" to privatisation.
The Ways of the Judiciary
26 April, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
There is a disturbing common pattern underlying the cases of Babri Masjid and the location of liquor shops and bars; and it is that the proverbial blindness of justice appears to be absent in both cases.
Industrial Growth and Demonetization
24 April, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Recent data on the manufacturing sector dispel all the lies that government propaganda has been peddling of late about demonetization having had no recessionary effect.
Communalism and Working Class Struggles
10 April, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Neo-liberalism creates the condition for the growth of majority communalism by making mobilizations along class lines more difficult, despite the squeeze it imposes on the toiling classes.
The Nefarious Money Bills
03 April, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The amendment of the Company Act by the BJP government is a massive assault on democracy and a legitimisation of the fusion of corporate and State power, and a license for big-ticket corruption.
The Persistence of Child Marriage
29 March, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Despite all the talk of modernisation the prevalence of child marriage still continues across most parts of the country.
Narendra Modi on Poverty
20 March, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
When Narendra Modi talks of shifting away from giving doles to the poor, what he has in mind is that the money being currently used for welfare schemes for the poor should be withdrawn from such schemes and handed over to the corporate magnates.
Bad Bank Proposal for India
15 March, 2017, Sabri Oncu
The author’s bad bank proposal for India would be capitalised with zero coupon perpetual bonds the government would issue and would give the country some breathing time so that she can attack and tackle all her other problems.
The Consequences of Legal Impunity
15 March, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The way the state dealt with the two communal massacres and their aftermath in Bihar and Gujarat is a stinging commentary on India’s justice system in an area where it possibly matters the most.
The Rise and Fall of South Korea's Chaebols
15 March, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Even though an alliance between big business and politicians is threatening the survival of democracy in South Korea, a near-unprecedented process of penalising corruption and bribery has begun there because of popular pressure.
The Latest GDP Estimates
13 March, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The article discusses the possible reasons for the latest GDP estimates provided by the CSO not capturing the recessionary impact of demonetization which is an indisputable and established fact.
Interest Rates and the Use of Cash
08 March, 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.
Wicked Loans and Bad Banks
08 March, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
A trail of defaults is ensuring that the NPA ratio is not stabilising, as the RBI expected it would, once assets misclassified as restructured and standard are recognised as non-performing.
Evolution of India as a Nation
06 March, 2017, Sitaram Yechury
This piece is the author's deliberations made in the Opening Session, "The Idea of the Nation" of the day-long Seminar on "Interpreting the World to Change It", held on February 11, 2017, in New Delhi to mark the release of Festschrift for Prabhat Patnaik.
Quarterly GDP Estimates: Curiouser and curiouser
02 March, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
CSO's latest GDP estimates for the third quarter throw up some real surprises as these run counter to all the evidence of depressed demand, of massive drops in sales, of job losses and of a significant hit especially on small scale and informal manufactured goods producers following demonetisation.
Is It India's Subprime?
14 February, 2017, Rohit
By presenting a comprehensive picture of the current corporate debt crisis in India, the author cautions that the situation is very similar to the one that led to the US subprime crisis.
Before UBI, We must First Get Social Spending Basics Right
13 February, 2017, Anjana Thampi & 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.
A Quiet Scholar
06 February, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Amitava Bose, as described by the author, was not only the finest macro-economist in the country, but among the best anywhere in the world and a true gentleman.
A Universal Basic Income in India?
03 February, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of basic income that is very much part of the idea of a universal social protection floor, cannot be seen as a substitute for public provision of basic goods and services; rather it must be an addition to it.
Power: The web of debt
03 February, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Caught in a peculiar web of debt, Jharkhand defaults on payments for power making the aim of NDA government’s scheme UDAY, announced with much fanfare, remain unrealised.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India's Nationhood'
30 January, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The era of neo-liberalism has seen a retrogression when it comes to the material pre-requisites for the nation-building project that had been launched with the anti-colonial struggle.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India's Nationhood
30 January, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The era of neo-liberalism has seen a retrogression when it comes to the material pre-requisites for the nation-building project that had been launched with the anti-colonial struggle.
China's Capital Flight Syndrome
30 January, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The sudden collapse in reserves due to an outflow of capital in a country that was considered the favoured destination for FDI points towards the fact that China is now paying the price for the capital account liberalisation measures adopted with its entry into the WTO.
No Digital Base for a Cashless Economy
27 January, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In the absence of a digital base for a cashless economy, India’s road to a near-cashless economy seems fairly long and the journey is likely to be slow and tedious.
The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor
23 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Evidently the problem of inequality has intensified over the last decade or so, and this is largely because of worsening income and asset distribution in the era of globalisation.
The Tenuous Relationship between Make in India and FDI Inflows
29 December, 2016, K.S. Chalapati Rao & Biswajit Dhar
This policy brief looks at the magnitude and nature of FDI inflows into India since the Make in India programme was initiated. In the process it raises serious doubts about the reliability and suitability of the official data.
It's the Private Debt, Stupid!
15 November, 2016, Sabri Oncu
The global debt of the non-financial sector has reached an all-time high in 2015 and two-thirds of this debt, amounting to about $100 trillion, consists of liabilities of the private sector.
Colombia: The search for elusive peace
09 November, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Despite the peace agreement was rejected by the referendum, the peace process in Colombia is not over and there is hope that the agreement can be tweaked and then implemented.
How is India Inc Doing?
28 October, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The scenario of Inida’s manufacturing sector seems to be one where the sector, when considered as a whole, is settling for higher profits even at the expense of lower sales volumes.
Understanding the American Right
26 October, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
One of the reasons for the solid, intense support that Donald Trump commands is his complete disdain for political correctness, which appears exhilarating and liberating to such people who have felt suppressed for so long.
Developing "Infrastructure"
25 October, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
One can intervene in income distribution in an egalitarian direction by restraining the investment in infrastructure that is met at the expense of other socially-pressing needs and rationing the infrastructure in question.
The Growing Resistance against Globalization
21 October, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
All across the world the tide is beginning to turn against globalization through the growing resistance of the working people and remarkably, nowhere it is being led by the Left.
Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Deficit?
19 October, 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.
The Hegemony of Finance
19 October, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Finance has been able to successfully stall reforms that the 2008-09 crisis had established as being urgent and imperative, and the consequences of that are bound to be damaging.
Focus on Inequality
18 October, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
While in its publication tracking progress towards poverty removal and curtailment of inequality, the World Bank expresses optimism over the fact that two-thirds of the countries it examined showed a positive shared prosperity premium, the author here explains why this optimism is misplaced.
Agribusiness: Consolidating against the farmer
04 October, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
American seed major Monsanto’s aggression shows that the mega merger movement in the global agribusiness area is less about cutting costs and more about protecting profits.
Federalism and the Goods and Services Tax
16 September, 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.
Rajan's Exit
15 September, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
The reason for the government’s dithering over an extension of Raghuram Rajan’s term, which led to his decision not to ask for one, cannot be attributed to his stance on interest rates.
Recognising Different Skills and their Uses
14 September, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Definition of skill with reference of economic activities is more complex, involving different kinds of skills that are not always easily recognised, since purely technical skills seem to get all the attention in the discussion about skill formation.
Revving Up the Bond Market
12 September, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The new measures announced by the RBI aim at making the conservative institutional investors more bond-savvy and the bond market an important source for long term capital but in the process household savings would be exposed to increased risk.
An Overburdened Instrument
06 September, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The interest rate that is seen as being the principal instrument for macroeconomic management is proving to be a blunt tool when combatting inflation or promoting growth.
The Flawed Premises of GST
30 August, 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 Business of Wilful Default
03 August, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Adventurous lending followed by wilful default that has become more common in recent years, is linked to the change in banking practices and the pursuit of quick profits after liberalization.
Managing the Corporate-Communal Alliance
02 August, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
To keep the corporate-communal alliance going, the recalcitrant elements on both sides have to be managed carefully and the alliance must deliver to the partners who constitute it.
The Post-1991 Growth Story
29 July, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Economic growth post liberalization has been riding on a credit bubble. Neither has it made the manufacturing or exports sector robust, nor has delivered any benefits to those steeped in poverty and deprivation.
Globalization and the World’s Working People
11 July, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Contrary to the impression that Globalization would benefit all, it has actually worsened the conditions of the broad mass of the working people in both parts of the world.
Broken Promises to India's Youth
13 June, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Quite contrary to its original promise, job creation no longer seems to be a major policy priority of the Modi government, which has shown itself to be remarkably anti-youth.
India's Collapsing Exports
26 May, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The downturn in India's export performance, that is much worse than other comparable countries, is a reflection of deeper structural weaknesses in the composition of its exports.
Two Tales of Contrast
26 May, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Among the terrible legacies of the Modi government's first two years, are its double standards, as evidenced by the recent experiences, which will have negative repercussions.
Societal Involution in the North
16 May, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Recent social and political trends in the US and in parts of Europe point to the regressive tendencies that seek to recreate a past that seems less complicated, but manages to intensify unhappiness.
Against the Assault on Thought: A lesson for the Left
28 April, 2016, Rohit
When the state cannot hide behind a façade of national performance, the government looks for an alternative category of us versus them which is used to divide the people and rule.
A Singular Person
27 April, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The new collection of Ashok Mitra’s essays gives a sharp analysis of contemporary India and a sentimental journey that provides an evocative and memorable tour of some aspects of its making.
No Clue to the Future
27 April, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The failure of the G20 countries to agree to an action plan not just to ensure recovery but prevent a second slump, may lead to countries adopting beggar-thy-neighbour policies.
The Phenomenon of Negative Interest Rates
21 April, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Even the unconventional measure of charging negative interest rates, as the author says, is unlikely to end the recession because capitalism today is in a deep structural crisis.
Another Setback for the Tatas
13 April, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Tata Steel’s decision of closing its steel operations in the UK reflects the pitfalls of Indian companies seeking success abroad rather than fixing problems at home. Tata Steel's decision of closing its steel operations in the UK reflects the pitfalls of Indian companies seeking success abroad rather than fixing problems at home.
The State of the Economy
08 April, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
There is a remarkable constriction of the size of the domestic market and stagnation of industrial sector in India due to inadequate purchasing power in the hands of the people.
Tata Tried to Turn the Tables on Britain. It Failed
31 March, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
A sense of reversal of colonial roles might have played a role in Tata Steel's acquisition of the British steel giant, but the Indian conglomerate seems to have overreached itself.
Banks and the New Asian Tigers
30 March, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Substantial accumulation of bad debt in the domestic banking systems of India and China seems to be proving too heavy a burden to bear when the good times are disappearing.
Exclusion from Public Service, Indian Style
30 March, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Even with a limited focus on three essential public goods the India Exclusion Report 2015 brings out the comprehensive and overlapping character of exclusion in Indian society.
Anti-national Economics
16 March, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The author here argues that the policies that go against the interests of the people are anti-national and NDA's economic policies are profoundly anti-national in that sense.
Why do we have Unemployment?
14 March, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Under neoliberal capitalism, where the level of activity requires bubbles to sustain itself, the existence of unemployment must be attributed to the paucity of aggregate demand.
A Sinister Pattern Underway
07 March, 2016, Aruna Roy & Nikhil Dey
The ruling party is doing its best to establish that being critical of its government is tantamount to being anti-national. It is time for us to realise that the freedom won so hard, is under threat unless we collectively protect our constitutional rights.
The IMF in Pakistan
18 February, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While presenting a positive picture of the Pakistan economy the IMF conceals the fact that Pakistan's role as an on-and-off strategic partner of the US has undermined its ability to find an independently funded growth strategy.
The Battle to Defend the Employment Guarantee Scheme!
12 February, 2016, Smita Gupta
In the face of the strong opposition from various sections of the society, ensuring the proper implementation of MGNREGA is one struggle that has to be constantly fought.
Technology and the Future of Work
04 February, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
We need to take a new look at technological change because the kind of technological change that is more disruptive rather than productive is neither inevitable nor that desirable.
A Different Oil Shock
04 February, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Given the magnitude of the oil price fall, the world economy seems set for a deflationary crisis rather than expansionary deflation.
Privatization: Any method in this madness?
03 February, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government signals towards winding down the public sector allowing the private sector to occupy the spaces it has, for long, avoided. But this predatory exercise involves large developmental costs.
MNREGA under the Modi Regime
21 January, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The continuous cutting down of the financial outlays for the programmes like MNREGA clearly indicates the central government's appalling disregard for its legal obligations.
Growth through Redistribution
21 January, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Contrary to the portrayal by the neoliberal spokesmen, the Left position does not accept the growth versus redistribution dichotomy, rather asserts that growth can occur in a sustained manner through redistributive measures.
The Abolition of the NDC
11 January, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
The abolition of the NDC adds a final touch to the Modi government’s project of centralizing powers and resources, which is an essential element of the neo-liberal strategy.
The Heavy Price of Economic Policy Failures
07 January, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
While the citizenry pay a heavy price for economic policy failures, those responsible for the implementation of this are never blamed and they continue to impose their power and expertise on economic policies and on governing institutions.
A Candid Assessment?
06 January, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Finance Ministry's mid-year review talks of positives, that are more in the nature of disappearing negatives, but it cannot conceal the fact that there has been little advance on the development front.
IDBI Bank: The door to denationalisation
04 January, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The decision to privatise IDBI Bank is the beginning of a larger process of denationalisation of banking in India that would lead to exclusionary banking structure most unsuited to India's development needs.
Imperialism's New Trade-Negotiating Strategy
28 December, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The Nairobi ministerial meet marks a shift in the strategy of imperialism from multilateral trade agreements to regional trade agreements and from seeking grand agreements to negotiating only specific issues.
Financial Services under WTO: Disciplining governments and freeing business
22 December, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Services trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization may fail at the Doha Round, only because there has been no progress in agriculture and industrial goods trade.
The Seventh Pay Commission Report
14 December, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
A drastic squeeze on salary increases and a widening of disparities within the real emoluments of the central government employees imposed by the 7th Pay Commission typically characterizes a neo-liberal regime that must be resisted.
Of Polls, Politics and Punditry
30 November, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
Bihar election results have proved to be an outstanding example of the limits of the English speaking national media, both in terms of predictions and analysis.
The Stench of Counter-Revolution
13 November, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Today we witness an attempt to change the nature of the Indian State to a Hindu Rashtra, which is a hallmark of the counter-revolution and needs to be resisted with all strength.
The Slogan of "Make in India"
10 November, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Although apparently the "Make in India" campaign appears innocuous, it is actually a dangerous one since the potential thrust of the campaign is in the direction of constricting democracy and squeezing the working people.
The Nobel Committee for Economics Makes Amends, at Least for Now
16 October, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The choice of Angus Deaton as winner of the 2015 Economics Nobel comes at a time when there is increasing global concern about rising inequality.
The Question of Learning
15 October, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The abysmal state of school education in Rajasthan is symptomatic of a deep and cynical neglect of public education that is likely to have devastating consequences for the future of our society.
Interesting Turn Around
14 October, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The recent rate cut by the RBI reflects a shift in its policy stance and signals that it has accepted that the biggest threat in India today is not inflation, but deflation.
Cutting off Aid to India is more about Selfishness than Sense
12 October, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The cessation of foreign aid to India symbolises Britain’s lack of empathy for the less fortunate and the absence of any sense of accountability for its own past actions.
The State as Fiefdom
06 October, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Using the State machinery for settling personal scores must qualify as corruption and must be opposed.
The Retail Investor as Anchor
06 October, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
A pullout by FIIs underlies the market decline is broadly agreed upon, but that the decline would have been much greater but for a contrary entry of retail investors is less commented on.
No Case for Complacence
05 October, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The yuan depreciation can trigger a chain of events that would convert the creeping world recession into another full-fledged crisis and India cannot be immune from contagion.
Europe's Refugee "Crisis"
30 September, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
Asylum seekers do not have an easy time anywhere, but the richer countries have without question been meaner, more oppressive and more restrictive in their dealings with them.
The Retreat of the Emerging Markets
16 September, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The process of export-led growth strategy that led to declining wage share and increasing inequalities and environmental problems has ultimately proved to be unsustainable.
Giving Water Workers their Due
11 September, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The workers who ensure the treatment, delivery and conservation of water across societies are the vast majority who are informal workers, often unpaid and largely unrecognised.
The Devaluation of the Yuan
08 September, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
With the depreciation in the Chinese yuan, the world economy in all probability is going to face a deflation and a "debt-deflation" syndrome.
"De-Linking" and Domestic Reaction
07 September, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The author here highlights the fact that it is not de-linking from globalization but globalization itself that conduces to a strengthening of reactionary forces.
Educational Matters
04 September, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The general absence of any intensity of intellectual engagement in the Indian institutions of higher education today makes the overall situation extremely and indubitably bleak.


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