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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.
Budget 2018-19: No money where the mouth is
02 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.
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.
The Budget and the farmers: The government's dilemma in 2018
01 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Budget 2018 is expected to be famer-oriented, with persistent agricultural distress and near-stagnant farmer income contrary to the promises made by the government. But, even as the election come near, the scale of increased spending that is required for all of this is unlikely to be met, given the self-imposed constraints of “fiscal responsibility”.
Window Dressing Budgetary Figures
31 January, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Budget 2018-19 will feature a window dressed Revised Estimate to ensure that the fiscal deficit is on target. The government’s decision to sell its stake in HPCL to ONGC is only one more step in that direction.
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.
Arun Jaitley on Electoral Bonds
15 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Arun Jaitley had outlined a scheme of electoral bonds in his budget speech on February 2, 2017. Now, exactly 11 months later, the notification of the scheme and some details of it have finally been announced in a Press Information Bureau release on January 2, 2018……..
A Dangerous Bill on Banks
22 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, it appears, cannot remain content without inflicting irreparable damage on the institutions of the Indian economy. Its latest move in this direction is the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill which was introduced in parliament on the last day of the winter session and is now with a Select Committee.
Moody's Upgrade
20 November, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The slight upgrade of India’s credit worthiness by Moody, that equates finance with nation, is being celebrated by the media as a mark of Modi’s success, but the criteria it has used to judge are in actuality open assaults by the government on the working population. To transcend such neo-liberal capitalism, the wrongness of this criteria must be understood first.
The Growing Income Inequality
05 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The conclusion drawn by Piketty and Chancel in their recent paper shows a greater income inequality in India than it has ever been in the past century. But what stands out is that the trend perfectly synchronizes with transition to neo-liberalism, a stage of capitalism wherein international finance has gained hegemony, and no longer remains a policy choice.
Downturn Blues
18 September, 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.
Sanitation workers in India
08 September, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The deeply entrenched casteist approach to manual scavenging is part of public policy and explains why the practice continues unabated and why the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in effect relies on it.
America's Turn Towards Fascism and Its Contradictions
04 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
While the turn of the U.S. towards fascism is unmistakable, the contradictions associated with this turn, and the complexity of the process of formation of the partnership between big business and fascist upstarts within the framework of a non-fascist bourgeois State to start with, are also clearly visible.
The Truth About Demonetization
01 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The recent RBI report that shows that 99% of the demonetized currency notes have been returned proves false the governments’ claim that the scheme, that shook the whole economy, would cripple the black economy, an argument whose success lay in the demonetized currency not coming back to the system. Moreover, with re-monetization complete, there has been no “flushing out” of black money whatsoever.
The Economy: 70 years after Independence
30 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Indias' reliance on fortuitous and volatile stimuli to drive growth has resulted in inadequate job creation and widened inequalities while failing to address social deprivation.
Financing Education
08 August, 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 Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit
03 July, 2017, Sir Richard Jolly & Gabriele Kohler
Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the number of children in poverty, in rich countries has increased as a result of austerity policies. An average of one in five children in 41 high income countries lives in poverty. Children and their rights do not even seem to feature in the G20 manifesto, even as it stresses the ending of austerity policies and encouraging public budgets that promote development and poverty eradication.
The Question Of Farm - Loan Waiver
23 June, 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.

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