BUDGET 2018 - 19
Budget 2018-19: No money where the mouth is
Feb 20th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Support for Budget 2018-19 is missing across the income and wealth spectrum. While the Finance Ministers’ big talk backed with small money no longer fools the vulnerable, the governments’ image of being “reformist” has also taken a hit among speculative foreign and domestic investors, as a reaction to the new tax reforms.
The Budget and Education
Feb 20th 2018, Jayati Ghosh

The thrust towards privatization in Budget 2018-19 is evident in the pattern of education spending, which has been brought down to less than 3.5 percent of the government budget, against a promise of 6 percent in the 2014 electoral campaign. So, any real changes are clearly expected to be financed by private participation, implying declining spread, reduced access, and increased inequality.

On the Health Scheme in Budget 2018-19
Feb 13th 2018, Subrata Mukherjee & Subhanil Chowdhury
Neither the union budget nor the National Health Policy 2017 presents any clear and convincing health sector road map. If it is serious about providing health care to even bottom 40% of the population, not only should the government increase its current budgetary allocation substantially but also strengthen the health infrastructure at all levels including a strong regulatory mechanism.
The 2018-19 Union Budget
Feb 3rd 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.

Budget 2018: The Finance Ministry’s Grey Shades of ‘Pink’
Feb 2nd 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.
Where's the Money, Mr Jaitley?
Feb 2nd 2018, Jayati Ghosh
This government is especially good at optics, at managing public perceptions to persuade people that it is working for them, rather than doing so. So it is no surprise that Arun Jaitley's pre-election Budget Speech went on about how much his government cares for the people, the poor, for farmers, for women, for people running small and micro enterprises, and so on.
Did the FM Deliver for Farmers?
Feb 2nd 2018, Jayati Ghosh

For those with short memories, let's remind ourselves that Arun Jaitley has been promising "top priority to farmers" for a while now.

The Budget and the Farmers: The government's dilemma in 2018
Feb 1st 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
Jan 31st 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.
Budget 2017-18: The macroeconomic perspective
Mar 3rd 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
One reason why the government chose fiscal consolidation instead of an expansionary budget in the wake of demonetisation is its erroneous belief that demonetisation in itself would deliver fiscal benefits.
Budget 2017-18: Blinded by neoliberalism
Feb 27th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
All that this government has is its unfounded belief that mere reform in the form of the demonetisation, digitalisation and the GST would deliver growth rather than recession.
In the 2017 Budget, the Government has Compounded its Folly
Feb 6th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Not only has the damage caused by demonetisation remained unaddressed, but even the opportunity provided by demonetisation has remained un-utilised in the 2017 Budget.
Budget 2017-18: Utterly Ordinary
Feb 2nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Coming soon after the drastic demonetisation, there were many expectations riding on this Budget, but none of these expectations has been met in this utterly ordinary budget.
A Disappointingly Ordinary Budget for Extraordinary Times
Feb 2nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Budget 2017 is remarkable in its absence of any of populist measures that are directed towards the welfare of the masses. What is surprising is that it does not address some of the most important macroeconomic concerns today.
Budget 2017 must Support those Worst Hit by Demonetisation
Jan 31st 2017, Jayati Ghosh
To counter the contractionary forces unleashed by demonetisation, Budget 2017 should direct fiscal resources to informal activities that have seen the greatest decline and to poor people who have been hardest hit.
Will We Miss the Budget Opportunity?
Jan 31st 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.
Budget 2016-17: Signs of paralysis
Mar 16th 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The divergence between the rhetoric and the actual allocations in the Budget 2016-17 depicts the ruling party's inability to use the fiscal lever to push for growth and welfare.
Budget 2016-17: Hype is all
Mar 15th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Behind all the hype about a pro-poor budget, the actual provisions of the government for the major social sectors are found to be too paltry to improve the lives of the poor.
Agriculture in Crisis
Apr 1st 2015, Jayati Ghosh
India is on the brink of a major agricultural crisis resulting from natural causes and poor policy of the present government in the field of agriculture and social sector.
The Modi Government's Economic Strategy
Mar 19th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In its pursuit of pushing ahead with the neoliberal agenda, the government is willing to adopt measures which, as evidence suggests, would fail as strategy.
How Not to Treat Agriculture
Mar 19th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Union Budget 2015 indicates that the government is going beyond what could be called benign neglect of agriculture to policy moves that are likely to harm its viability.
Statistical Jugglery, Reverse Redistribution and Corporate Absolutism
Mar 13th 2015, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Statistical jugglery practised by the government in order to please big investors and the bid to privatise important public sector units need to be resisted at all costs.
The Myth of Increased Resources for States
Mar 12th 2015, Sona Mitra
The Government's claim of increased resources to the States is misleading unless the resource pool is substantially increased to cover for cuts in the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
Budget 2015-16: Bonanza for the corporate
Mar 9th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Budget 2015 is a major step towards increasing the class power of capital; it is the true expression of the ideology of a neo-liberal State without any attempt at a human face.
Lost Between Intent and Belief
Mar 3rd 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The budget session is being undermined by the Finance Minister as hypothetical revenue figures make the allocation figures redundant under fiscal conservatism.
Bipan Chandra (1928-2014): A tribute
Nov 5th 2014, Mritiunjoy Mohanty
In his tribute to the great historian of modern India, the author says that Bipan Chandra's analyses were always meticulously argued, insightful and empirically rich.
Banking with a Difference
Aug 12th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Democratic forces in BRICS and other countries have to ensure that the BRICS bank acts differently from existing development banks to be a true alternative as expected.
Budget 2014-15: The continuing neglect of the 'rural'
Aug 4th 2014, Arindam Banerjee
The Budget fails to address the real issues and problems of a crisis-ridden agriculture sector, while expanding expenditure to support farmers and workers is the only way out.
New Macroeconomic Consensus Rules Budget 2014-15
Aug 4th 2014, Rohit
The author critiques the macroeconomic framework that underlies the fiscal consolidation approach of the Union Budget for 2014-15.
Social Spending under the Modi Government
Jul 25th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
A decline in real terms in the budget allocations to the crucial areas of public spending is a sign of the new government's lack of respect for the rights of their citizens.
The Budget and BJP's Economic Policy
Jul 25th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Union Budget for 2014-15 is a deflationary budget in the name of "fiscal consolidation," and chalks out a strategy to make India a labour-intensive manufacturing hub.
How "Buoyant" are Central Government Taxes?
Jul 22nd 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The authors here suggest that the fiscal optimism is misplaced while projecting substantial increases in tax revenues despite many tax sops in the Budget for this year.
Onward March towards Privatisation and Insecurity
Jul 21st 2014, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
The trend towards privatising public assets in order to augment private profits at public cost continues unabated, as is evident from the first budget of the Modi government.
Corporate Karza Maafi at Rs. 36.5 Trillion
Jul 21st 2014, P. Sainath
Since 2005-06 a cumulative amount of Rs. 36.5 trillion has been given away to corporate sector in terms of various sops in corporate income tax, excise duty and customs duty.
Union Budget 2014-15
Jul 15th 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The basic fiscal strategy of the Union Budget 2014-15 is to increase transfers to the rich and the affluent, while reducing the outlays earmarked for the poor.
No Sign of Change
Jul 11th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The people of India, who have voted for a change, are likely to be disappointed by the NDA government's first budget as it signals no change on the economic policy front.
The Neo-liberal Paralysis
Mar 6th 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury
India's commitment to neo-liberalism and enticement of global finance capital forbid it to undertake any policy aimed at ameliorating the current condition of the economy.
Is this Really a Budget for Women?
Mar 6th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Many of the policies implicit or explicit in the Budget statement have implications that are adverse for most women because they involve cuts in essential public spending.
Bad Economics, But Worse Politics
Mar 6th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
There is nothing in the budget to reverse the stagflation, even as the opportunity to take effective measures aimed at showing concern for the common man has been missed too.
The Dangers of Fiscal Austerity
Mar 4th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Despite fiscal austerity measures proving to be counterproductive in dealing with economic contractions worldwide, the Indian government is poised to implement similar policies.
Niggardly on Essential Spend
Mar 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Given that the Indian electorate would soon see what the real implications of the budget 2013-14 are, it is surprising that his own party let Chidambaram get away with this.
A Recipe for Continuing Stagflation
Mar 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Budget 2013-14 will deliver neither higher growth nor improved conditions of life—instead it is likely to worsen the stagflationary tendencies in the economy.
Budget 2012: The price of reform 
Mar 28th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
By hiking indirect taxes that would be passed through to buyers, and slashing subsidies that would raise the prices of petroleum products and fertilisers, the Finance Minister has exposed a nation already reeling under the effects of a prolonged price rise to another bout of cost push inflation.
An Inequitable Path: The ritualistic exercise in fiscal management 
Mar 23rd 2012, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Ignoring all the evidences of the fact that growth does not trickle down, the Budget 2012-13 has emphasised the target of raising the rate of growth at any cost without bothering about the majority of Indian population. Instead what was needed for managing the economy was a progressive system of taxation, employment creation and universalisation of the public distribution of food grains.
Employment and Social Spending in Budget 2012-13 
Mar 21st 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in both taxation and spending terms, the Budget 2012-13 has managed the remarkable feat of upsetting almost everyone and making no aam aurat and aam aadmi happy. It provides conclusive proof of the UPA government having lost its way as it seems to have forgotten the importance of its own ''flagship schemes''.
The Great Fuel Subsidy Hoax
Mar 20th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In his Budget Speech, the Finance Minister signalled his intent to reduce subsidies, particularly the fuel subsidy, by an estimated Rs 25,000 crore. In this article, the authors consider the retail prices of petrol and diesel in India relative to some other countries, and examine the validity of the claim that the petroleum sector is actually a burden on the exchequer.
The Return to Orthodoxy
Mar 20th 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The 2012-13 budget represents a return with a vengeance to neo-liberal orthodoxy and a snuffing out of the ''Left-inspired'' (UPA-I) and the ''Keynesian'' moments. India will have to bear the impact of the global crisis in an exacerbated manner because of its own ''drive to austerity'' that is being heralded at the expense of the people.
Budget 2012-13
Mar 17th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in terms of taxation, the Budget 2012-13 will obviously lead to rising prices with continuing shortfalls in employment. Hence it emerges that the greatest losers from this budget will be the Indian consumers, particularly the poorer sections.
Mar 10th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Cash transfers cannot and should not replace the public provision of essential goods and services, but rather supplement them. However, the current tendency is to see these as a further excuse for the reduction of publicly provided services. In India, where much of the development project still remains woefully incomplete, the urge to adopt this latest international development fashion involves several risks.
Mar 10th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
This budget is afflicted to a far greater degree than before by a kind of cynicism that leads to policy paralysis. It lacks any focus or strategy whatsoever, and sticks to fiscal conservatism. Thus while paying lip service to ''inclusion'', it delivers little of it, since very few of the incremental expenditure allocations are significant when measured as a ratio to GDP.
Mar 9th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The budget allocations for the education sector are not sufficient for fulfilling the commitments made by the Centre in the sector. In particular, it seems that the financial burden of ensuring the right to education is to be thrust on the state governments, which might find it difficult to raise the required resources.
Mar 7th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget certainly benefits the Indian elite class, but the conditions of the majority of people whose lives continue to languish in dreadful conditions are not going to get better. This is because it has not addressed the two major issues that matter for most people, namely food inflation as well as productive and gainful employment.
Mar 7th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget is remarkable for its effective rejection of the interests of the common people. Instead of focusing on measures that will increase food supply and food distribution, the government has curtailed allocation for food subsidy. In the case of employment, the presumption seems to be that economic growth on its own will deliver more jobs; but this is not likely.
Jul 2nd 2007
The recent high output growth figures in India have not been accompanied by commensurate growth in employment. Making growth inclusive with respect to employment generation is thus one of the most formidable challenges facing the Indian economy today. Against this backdrop, a seminar was organized to clearly bring out that growth per say need not solve the problem of economic development defined broadly in terms of social opportunities.

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