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The Economic Survey 2017-18
04 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Like the person on the proverbial tiger, the Indian economy is currently riding a precarious course. The Government of India’s Economic Survey for 2017-18 recognizes this frankly, but its panacea is to keep one’s fingers crossed and hope that the ride continues.
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.
The Financialization of Finance? Demonetization and the Dubious Push to Cashlessness in India
01 February, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
This Debate contribution describes the promotion of digital rather than cash payments as a form of the financialization of finance, in its role as a payments system, with reference to recent Indian experience. The obsession with digital transactions as a marker of social and material progress is misplaced; it may become yet another means by which finance extracts rentier incomes out of relatively poor
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.
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 Year of Wilful Economic Disaster
08 January, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The uniqueness of 2017 lies in the fact that never before has the country seen a government-caused economic crisis as serious as was witnessed in this year.
The Indian economy in 2017
02 January, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
This was the year that the economy tanked. Not necessarily in terms of official growth figures: according to the CSO, GDP growth decelerated, but not by that much....
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.
Banks And Non-Performing Assets
28 November, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
What exactly constitutes a non-performing asset (NPA) of a bank is not easy to determine. Since banks tend to roll over credit to borrowers, whether the request for such a roll over arises in the normal course of business or owing to a fundamental inability to pay back the loan, is difficult to decide.
The Slide of an Aging Leader
26 October, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The recent acquisition of TTSL by Airtel indicates the deep-seated problems of mismanagement and debt-ridden books of the Tata group, which was once a frontrunner among business conglomerates but is now, only a shadow of its former glorious self.
The Class Content of the Goods and Services Tax
05 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In the discussions about GST, the class content of this new tax regime has been missed. Through an overall increase in the taxation of the informal sector i.e. of the petty producers and the small capitalists, it has unleashed the twin process of centralization of political authority and the centralization of capital, which in turn strengthen one another.
Winner-take-all Political Funding
28 September, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
By introducing the opaque and hugely problematic system of electoral bonds, the BJP-led government at the Centre has indicated that it is not really interested in fighting corruption but only concerned with expanding its hold on power.
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.
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 Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants
07 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of “Universal Basic Income”, today treated as novel, in fact dates back to Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Thomas Mores’ Utopia in the 16th century. Milton Friedman's “negative income tax” also revolved around the same idea, which was rightfully criticized by Minsky for inducing inflationary expansion in place of direct welfare schemes. Considering distributional effects, direct job creation is a more effective way to tackle poverty.
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.
Development for Whom?
22 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Calls for a new development paradigm grow louder each day, especially in rapidly growing countries like India. Award-winning development economist Jayati Ghosh explores prospects for such a new model of equitable and sustainable development with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.
The De-digitisation of India
25 April, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Despite the government’s efforts to digitise the Indian economy forcibly, non-cash forms of payment appear to have declined as more currency has been made available to the public. This points to major flaws in the government’s coercive approach and the underlying rationale for cashlessness.
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.
Demonetisation Decoded: A critique of India's currency experiment
12 April, 2017, Jayati Ghosh, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Prabhat Patnaik
In a surprise move, on November 8, 2016, the Indian government announced that the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination cease to be legal tender from the midnight of that very date. The arguments advanced in support of the move was that this would root out black money and take care of counterfeiting of currencies; however, withdrawing more than 85 per cent of the currency notes in circulation has been a major hit on India’s poor and lower middle classes.

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