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The Crisis in Agriculture
24 October, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & 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.
The Roots of the Agrarian Distress In India
29 June, 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.
Crop prices and farmers' unrest
20 June, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Distressed farmers are demanding loan waivers, but that should not deflect attention from what needs to be done and undone to address the roots of the agrarian crisis.
The Pulses Conundrum
29 September, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
As inflation in the prices of pulses gives way to a price decline, a misplaced argument that the government should not regulate the private trade to curb speculation and stabilise prices is being expressed.
Food Inflation and Agricultural Swaraj
03 January, 2011, Rahul Goswami
The price of a basket of staple foods has become crippling in rural and urban India. The government's response is to favour agri-commodity markets, greater retail investment and more technology inputs. For food growers and consumers alike, the need for genuine farm swaraj has never been greater.
Food Security sans PDS: Universalization through targeting?
08 November, 2010, Smita Gupta
The obvious strategy to tackle hunger and malnutrition is to universalize and strengthen the Public Distribution System (PDS) by making adequate food available at affordable prices. The argument is more compelling for India where endemic hunger continues to badly affect a large section of people. It is therefore time that the NAC and the Government stop putting forward specious arguments against a universal bill, and instead use the current food stocks and the forthcoming rabi crop as an opportunity for full-fledged food security.
Managing the Food Economy
07 August, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The National Advisory Council’s proposal for a system of targeted universalisation will simply limit the impact of the PDS. The proposal is based on the grounds of constrained supply whereas in reality there seems to be excess stockholding by the government which can be utilised to ensure access to food as well as widen and deepen the productive base in the agricultural sector.
Shrinking Cereals, Growing Food Parks
04 May, 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.
Inflation: How Much and Why
17 April, 2008, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Inflation is emerging as India's primary economic problem now. The problem is that it looks set to rise very fast with retail prices moving much faster than the rest. The major concern still is that this is occurring in a period when global inflation is on the rise and policies of trade liberalisation and domestic deregulation have reduced the degree to which Indian prices are insulated from international prices.
Equitable Equity: India Introduces Securities Transaction Tax
19 July, 2004, Kavaljit Singh
In the budget for 2004-05, India's Finance Minister has proposed the introduction of Securities Transaction Tax (STT). While supporting the need to impose STT in the Indian markets, this article examines the benefits of STT in the light of international experiences with similar taxes. It debunks several apprehensions expressed by the opponents of the proposed tax.
Poverty and Inequality in India : Getting closer to the truth
07 May, 2004, Abhijit Sen and Himanshu
In this revised paper examining the comparability and consistency of the National Sample Survey data from the 55th round with the earlier rounds on consumption expenditure in India, Abhijit Sen and Himanshu establish that economic inequality increased sharply during the 1990s in all its aspects and, as a result, poverty reduction deteriorated markedly despite higher growth. This has implications for policy, and lessons for future survey design.
Informalisation and Women's Workforce Participation : A Consideration of Recent Trends in Asia
28 April, 2004, Jayati Ghosh
The process of feminisation of export employment that has occurred in developing Asia since the early 1980s and which peaked in the early 1990s, has since begun to recede. External competitive pressures are creating tendencies for more exploitative and volatile use of all labour, including women's labour. This paper argues that these trends have to be counteracted with pro-active countercyclical government spending policies.
The Republic of Hunger
21 April, 2004,
India has seen a steep and unprecedented fall in per capita foodgrains absorption in the course of the last five years (1998 to 2003). This has lead to a sharp increase in the numbers of people in hunger, particularly in rural areas. Meanwhile, a worsening situation is being interpreted as betterment because, as this paper argues, the diagnosis of the problem of hunger itself is incorrect. Thus, no remedial measures can be expected of the policy advisers and the rulers of this country which was once a developing economy, but which has been turned into the Republic of Hunger.
Minimum Support Prices and the Food Crisis
04 April, 2002, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The changes in minimum support prices for rabi season crops illustrate the fact that the government is bent on pursuing an infeasible strategy for resolving the ‘food crisis’ it has itself engineered.
Public Food Stocks : The Mess and the Wasted Opportunity
08 August, 2000, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The paradox of poverty amidst plenty, which has been so characteristic of the Indian economy over the 1990s, seems especially marked with respect to the foodgrain sector at the moment. Last year had witnessed record foodgrain production, especially of wheat and rice.

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