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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.
Agrarian Conditions and Recent Peasant Struggles in Sikar
25 September, 2017, Vikas Rawal
Kisans of Sikar have fought many valiant struggles against oppression and against anti-people state policies. This year’s struggle in Sikar has once again shown that it is only through such mobilisations of working people that anti-people actions of the current government can be checked.
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.
India's Triumph in Rice
26 December, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The argument that the Indian governmentís decision to lift the four-year ban on non-basmati rice exports was a wise move is both inappropriate and premature.
Diluting the Right to Food
02 February, 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In its task of formulating the Food Security Bill, the National Advisory Council has ended up recognizing the supply constraints that could hinder implementation of the bill which guarantees universal access to food through a public distribution system.
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 Councilís 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.
Engineered Inflation
02 August, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar
With prices of essentials already on the rise, the move to hike petroleum product prices threatens to make inflation the countryís principal economic problem. This will have serious future implications with an aggravation of inflationary trends that currently burden the common person, and the success of the July 5 bandh was a reflection of a strong public expression of anger and opposition to the move. But why the government is adopting such policies that transfer most of the burden onto the aam aadmi and aggravate inflation need to be assessed.
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.
Budget 2009-10: Why does it disappoint?
16 July, 2009, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Budget 2009-10 has received a mixed and muted response because of the fact that this budget is not merely incoherent and self-contradictory, but also inadequate to meet its own objective of higher growth with a human face. The details of the budget were so obviously in variance with the rhetoric that preceded and accompanied it that it disappointed most, if not all.
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.
Wheat Inflation and India
12 December, 2007, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Having decided to import wheat in sequential lots to beef up its reserve, the government finds that it is having to pay continuously rising prices for the commodity. According to reports, as compared with the weighted average price of $205 per tonne paid for wheat imported in 2006-07, the average price paid on tenders floated on June 26, August 30 and November 12, 2007 was $326, $389 and $400 per tonne respectively.
Is Contract Farming Really the Solution for Indian Agriculture?
15 May, 2007, Jayati Ghosh
Contract farming is increasingly being presented as a solution for the problems of Indian agriculture, by major international donor agencies, multinational companies and even the government. It is argued that private sector participation will be promoted through contract farming and land leasing arrangements will allow accelerated technology transfer, capital inflow and assured markets for crop production, especially of oilseeds, cotton and horticultural crops.
Speculation Moves Forward
05 September, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Forward trading has a long history in the country, but it has never been a matter of much public concern. Till recently, that is. When the search for explanations for the increase in the prices of food began a few months back, some observers turned their attention to the massive increase in forward and futures trading in commodities. What emerged was revealing.
Exorcising Inflation
29 June, 2006, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The ghost called inflation is back to haunt the government. Inflation was the country's Problem No. 1 for much of India's post-Independence history. But since the mid-1990s the problem seemed to have gone away.
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.
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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