Free Press Journal
  • policy rate cut

    Depositors worried of further rate cuts

    Last week’s decision of the Monetary Policy Committee was keenly awaited. Would they cut the Reserve Bank of India’s policy rate by 25 or 50 basis points? (One basis point is one hundredth of one percent). This is called the repo rate, at which banks borrow emergency funds from the RBI against some collateral. It…

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  • Economic conclave: Data is the New Oil

    The title of this column is the title of a presentation made by Nandan Nilekani at the Delhi Economics Conclave last week. The conclave is an annual conference hosted by the Ministry of Finance, and brings together economists, academics, policy makers, researchers and regulators. It’s a tradition started by the Ministry in recent years, and…

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  • Reforms still ignore farmers’ plight in country

    India’s celebrated economic reforms of 1991 did lead to a substantial increase in economic growth, per-capita incomes, trade openness, stock of foreign exchange and deepening of the financial sector. The twin spectre of food and forex shortage no longer haunted India, although food self-sufficiency had been obtained much earlier due to the Green Revolution. There…

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  • Let’s Not Forget About Direct Tax Reform

    The nationwide rollout of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a historic occasion, however imperfect its beginning. It is the biggest reform in indirect taxes. It arose as a grand bargain reached by consensus between twenty-nine States of India and the Centre. It represents the true spirit of cooperative federalism, a term popularised…

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  • Charting monetary policy with mixed signals

    Setting of interest rates is a key component of monetary policy. This responsibility is now with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The MPC has six members, including the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and each member has one vote. In case of a tie, the Governor has an additional vote. Note that the…

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  • Unemployment

    Not a job, give me some work!

    In our development agenda for creating employment, we need to change the discourse in at least three different ways. The first is captured in the Hindi phrase “mujhe naukri nahin, kaam chahiye”.  Give me some work, if not a job. We can no longer promise the youth of India, secure, nine-to-five, full time permanent jobs….

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  • Financial Inclusion: How far to go?

    As Narendra Modi completes three years in office, a lot of report cards will be out soon. In corporate lingo, these can be called performance assessment. Unlike in the corporate world, the assessment won’t be followed by a bonus or a promotion. The reward will come in the 2019 elections. So for now, as with…

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  • Fiscal responsibility of the unborn

    IT’S interesting to note that while India gravitates to a debt ratio of 60 percent, most countries in Europe already have a debt ratio well above 100 per cent. Japan’s debt to GDP ratio is the highest in the world, close to 300 percent. Despite these very high levels of debt, the developed world has…

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  • New bids show promise of solar power in India

    THE world already has an installed base of about 300 GW, led by USA, China and Germany. But it is appropriate that India, most of it endowed with more than 300 days of sunshine, takes a leadership role in solar power. Solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy are major components of meeting the…

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