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Empty Promises
18 July, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Together with measures like loan write-offs offered by some BJP States and an ostensibly much-improved crop insurance scheme (PMFBY), this hike in MSPs is seen to have confirmed the pro-farmer tilt of the Narendra Modi government. The timing of the Modi government’s MSP hike for kharif crops leads to the question of whether it is backed by the financial allocations needed to deliver on them.
Curbing Child Rape: Are we barking up the wrong tree?
11 May, 2018, Anamitra Roychowdhury
Raising the quantum of punishment in the face of public outrage will not work without fund allocation to improve police-civilian ratio and building judicial infrastructure.
Budget 2018-19: No money where the mouth is
20 February, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Rhetoric and meagre show of financing aimed at the neglected and marginalized sections, to address the pre-election imperative of the Budget have not even been able to fulfil the irrational fiscal deficit targets of the FM, even with massive disinvestment and absence of fund allocation.
The Budget and education
20 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The thrust towards privatization in Budget 2018-19 is evident in the pattern of education spending, which has been brought down to less than 3.5 percent of the government budget, against a promise of 6 percent in the 2014 electoral campaign. So, any real changes are clearly expected to be financed by private participation, implying declining spread, reduced access, and increased inequality.
On the Health Scheme in Budget 2018-19
13 February, 2018, Subrata Mukherjee & Subhanil Chowdhury
Neither the union budget nor the National Health Policy 2017 presents any clear and convincing health sector road map. If it is serious about providing health care to even bottom 40% of the population, not only should the government increase its current budgetary allocation substantially but also strengthen the health infrastructure at all levels including a strong regulatory mechanism.
The 2018-19 Union Budget
03 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The strategy of the current budget seems to be simple: make immense noise about “helping the victimized” but do not give an extra paisa from the budget towards that ends. With the expenditure squeeze being carried out to reduce fiscal deficit, the share of central government spending in GDP is in fact budgeted to fall.
Did the FM deliver for farmers?
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget Speech this year was no different in terms of the grandiose promises made to farmers, without substantial financial backing, and used as substitute for real allocations. Such a clever-by-half attitude towards those who provide food for India and account for at least half the work force may well backfire on the government.
Where's the money, Mr Jaitley?
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Window-dressing as a substitute to actually addressing the problem has become a norm under the Modi regime and the Budget 2018-19 reflects that. The actual increases in financial outlay are shockingly low in relation to the massive promises made. This is deeply worrying, as the Indian economy now desperately requires major measures to ensure a sustainable revival of economic activity.
Budget 2018: The Finance Ministry's Grey Shades of 'Pink'
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Even the vaguely “pink” effort in the Economic Survey is whitewashed in the finance minister’s Budget speech that is heavily based on stereotypical gender roles for women, and even that completely disappears when we get to the actual budget allocations.
Public Banks: Dressing up for the market
22 January, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government’s ambitious plan to recapitalise public sector banks that have recorded losses with resources from the Budget is an attempt to dress them up before taking them to the market.
Making Merry on Bitcoin
22 December, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Bitcoin has left the world of finance gasping. Though the total market value of all of that cryptocurrency in circulation is only a fraction of the value of the world's financial assets, the rapid rise in the value of the currency has made it the most wanted of those assets.
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.
Budget 2017-18: The Macroeconomic Perspective
03 March, 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.
Budget 2017-18: Blinded by neoliberalism
27 February, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
All that this government has is its unfounded belief that mere reform in the form of the demonetisation, digitalisation and the GST would deliver growth rather than recession.
In the 2017 Budget, the Government has Compounded its Folly
06 February, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Not only has the damage caused by demonetisation remained unaddressed, but even the opportunity provided by demonetisation has remained un-utilised in the 2017 Budget.
Budget 2017-18: Utterly ordinary
02 February, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Coming soon after the drastic demonetisation, there were many expectations riding on this Budget, but none of these expectations has been met in this utterly ordinary budget.
Budget 2017 must Support those Worst Hit by Demonetisation
31 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
To counter the contractionary forces unleashed by demonetisation, Budget 2017 should direct fiscal resources to informal activities that have seen the greatest decline and to poor people who have been hardest hit.
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.
Lessons from the Coal Blocks Auction
04 March, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The outcome of coal block auction suggests that the government could have stuck to expanding public sector coal production without handing the mines over to the private sector.
Lost Between Intent and Belief
03 March, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The budget session is being undermined by the Finance Minister as hypothetical revenue figures make the allocation figures redundant under fiscal conservatism.

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