Free Press Journal
  • Higher MSP and inflation worries

    There are many positive features of the Union Budget presented on February 1. First, there is great expenditure restraint. The total spending is budgeted to be up by 10 per cent even as national nominal income is estimated to rise by more than 11 per cent.  The second positive is a reform in the way farmers…

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  • Budget 2018: Budget poll-oriented, gives little to middle class, people disappointed on tax front

    Ajit Ranade, an economist and Senior Fellow, Takshashila Institution, analyses the  Union Budget  for FPJ. The Economic Survey had indicated that this year’s Union Budget was to be seen as a pre-election budget. This meant that there would be expenditure compulsions to cater to certain voter constituencies. That is why we see that there is…

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  • Five priorities for Budget 2018-19

    As we await the Finance Minister make his most-watched Budget speech this week, here is a preview of the economy, and what it might portend in terms of tax and spend proposals. India faces two worrying macroeconomic headwinds from foreign shores. Crude oil prices have crossed 70 dollars per barrel, up nearly 60 per cent from…

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  • Twenty five years of Panchayati Raj

    THE country has more than three million elected representatives across all local bodies, of which more than a million are women. More than half of these are heading the local body as sarpanch or chairperson of the district body. This year marks the twenty fifth anniversary of the historic 73rd and 74th amendments to the…

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  • Arun Jaitley

    Fiscal deficit: Avoiding fundamentalism

    At the macro level, an economy has four drivers of growth. Think of these as a four-wheel drive. If all are in sync and revved up properly then we get good speed i.e. growth of the economy. These four drivers are the sources of demand, or spending on goods and services. These are private consumption…

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  • The unfinished business of tax reform

    India’s modern tax reform agenda was defined by the reports of two celebrated task forces, both chaired by Vijay Kelkar. This was during the previous NDA regime of Prime Minister Vajpayee. Those two reports, on direct and indirect taxes, are still refreshingly relevant. The main thrust of the reforms was to have low tax rates,…

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  • Philanthropy, inequality and taxes

    India celebrates 26 November as Constitution Day. On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly adopted the final draft of the constitution, which was formally adopted two months later, on 26 January 1950.  The Assembly was formed in 1946 with 389 elected members (later reduced to 299 in 1947), and deliberated for almost three years,…

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  • Bank recap needs further reforms

    The ratio of non-performing loans to total credit for all of India’s banking, has been steadily deteriorating for at least six years. There are many reasons, and not all of them are blameworthy. For instance, when banks were asked to provide large scale credit for infrastructure projects, it was partly due to pressure from national…

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  • Too much inequality hurts growth

    President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform is supposed to be the largest tax cut in history. It reduces the highest marginal income tax rate as also the corporate tax rate. It eliminates estate taxes. However, the benefits will flow disproportionately more to the rich. The Tax Policy Centre of America estimates that the tax cuts…

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  • economic growth

    Fiscal recipe to revive economic growth

    The most important thing is to acknowledge the economic slowdown. For the past six quarters, the growth rate has steadily gone down from 9.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Investment as a share of GDP, the kind that creates new businesses and factories, has been declining for five years. Job creation may not be…

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