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Crop Insurance: Another dressed up scheme
02 August, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched in 2016 which is supplemented with Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS), have failed to deliver what it had promised. The number of farmers insured under this scheme has fallen and the claims paid to farmers has fallen from 98% to 61%. The scheme seems to be benefitting the insurance companies as there has been rise in gross premiums paid to these companies by government.
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.
Ashok Mitra, the Marxist Economist Who Was a Fierce Critic of the Government
02 May, 2018, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
On the morning of May Day, former finance minister of West Bengal, member of parliament, prolific writer, bureaucrat, economist and Marxist thinker Ashok Mitra passed away in a Kolkata nursing home. He was born in 1928 and had turned 90 on April 10 this year. He was not just an academic, an administrator, a politician and an activist, but also a writer of amazing eloquence and insight in both Bengali and English.
The Real Confusion over MSP
04 April, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government ought to have specified its definition of cost of crop production in the Budget to prevent any confusion in the minds of people on minimum support prices.
Agrarian distress in India
01 March, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
To stabilize crop prices and make them remunerative, the Swaminathan Commission proposed significant improvements in the implementation of MSPs.
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.
The Price of Growth
27 January, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The early signs of a reduction in the rate of inflation have been used as evidence to make a case for lower interest rates. However, there is no reason to believe that within the current policy regime, rate cuts would not aggravate inflationary trends once again.
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 Inflation and Agricultural Swaraj
03 January, 2011, Rahul Goswami
The price of a basket of staple foods has become crippling in rural and urban India. The government's response is to favour agri-commodity markets, greater retail investment and more technology inputs. For food growers and consumers alike, the need for genuine farm swaraj has never been greater.
The Political Economy of the Enabling State
10 March, 2010, Jayati Ghosh
While this year’s Economic Survey identifies the basic goal of economic policy as inclusive growth, this is to be delivered by a change in focus to an enabling government from an actively interventionist one. This vision excludes the possibility that the process of market-driven economic growth itself generates greater material insecurity and impoverishment for a significant section of the population.
Stealing Food from the Poor
10 January, 2006, Jayati Ghosh
Its sounds incredible, but it is not. The government that came to power promising to ''enhance the welfare and well-being of farmers, farm labour and workers, particularly those in the unorganised sector and assure a secure future for their families in every respect'' is now choosing to attack one of the most basic requirements for existence of these groups, access to adequate nutrition.
The Tired Old Subsidies Debate
27 December, 2004, C.P. Chandrasekhar, Jayati Ghosh & Smitha Francis
The National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government promised many things, and on some of the more crucial issues (such as on the Employment Guarantee ACT) the current central government has shown itself to be less than enthusiastic in terms of fulfilling the true spirit of its promise.
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.
Minimum Support Prices and the Food Crisis
04 April, 2002, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The changes in minimum support prices for rabi season crops illustrate the fact that the government is bent on pursuing an infeasible strategy for resolving the ‘food crisis’ it has itself engineered.
Food Policy: Lessons Half-Learnt
14 July, 2001, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Burdened with 65 million tonnes of foodgrain stock and expecting large arrivals at procurement centres when the new harvest comes in, the government has cut the issue price of foodgrains for the above-the-poverty line (APL) population by 30 per cent. This move, it is hoped, would reduce stocks substantially, helping the government find godown space to accommodate newly procured grain.
Economic Survey: 1999-2000
15 March, 2000, Jayati Ghosh
Even more than usual, this year's Economic Survey has become a means for the government to attempt to advertise the "success" of its economic policies and to try and pretend that all is well even when some signs are clearly to the contrary. This is unfortunate, because the Survey was not actually intended to be reduced to an unwieldy publicity handout.

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