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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 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
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.
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.
The Golden "Diwali Gift"
26 October, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
In the light of rescinding, at the behest of the clout of jewellery traders, the notification requiring KYC details for purchase of gold, the government will find it difficult to maintain its ‘pro-poor’ and ‘anti-corruption’ image as its moves seem to be, more for optics and hype than substantive change.
The de-digitisation of India
12 October, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The failure of digitisation is the result of the Central government’s cart-before-horse attitude to policy, which does not take into account the wider context and the supportive and enabling conditions that must be met for any policy measure to succeed.
Strangulating the Informal Economy
12 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current slowdown in the economy, aggravated by the persistent world economic crisis, has much to do with the twin coercive instruments of demonetisation and GST wielded by the state to strangulate the informal economy in a bid to formalise it.
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.
Mixed signals from the external sector
28 September, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Large capital inflows have boosted foreign exchange reserves and resulted in the rupee strengthening. Although exports have not done badly, the widening trade deficit owing to a rise in the import bill can worsen the current account position and create a vicious circle.
A Bull in a China Shop
26 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, through demonetization and GST, coupled with the world economic situation, it is causing a rare co-occurrence of three phenomena: a stagnation of the countrys’ economy, a revival of inflation, and a yawning current account deficit on the balance of payments. As the era of cheap money in the U.S. and elsewhere come to an end, Indian assets might pass into foreign hands.
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.
What is really happening in Indian manufacturing?
16 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Data on organised manufacturing production do not really capture the impact of demonetisation and its effects on demand, but looking at some sub-sectors of consumer non-durable goods provides more insight.
The Economy under Modi
20 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
As per official data, half of the country’s population witnessed no improvement in real per capita income over the three Modi years. Other indicators like the demand from net exports, Central Government expenditure (as a proportion of nominal GDP) and number of new jobs created in the organized sector, all reflect a gloomy picture of the Indian economy. The government has been keen on keeping finance capital happy while compromising on these matters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Will We Miss the Budget Opportunity?
31 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The economic slowdown, induced almost entirely by demonetisation, necessarily requires significantly enhanced public spending; but it doesn’t appear to be forthcoming.

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