Free Press Journal
  • Modi-Xi informal meeting: Equidistant from two super powers

    Just over a month ago Prime Minister Modi went to Wuhan for an informal bilateral two-day meeting with President Xi Jinping. This was supposedly at the invitation of the Chinese President. In fact Xi said to Modi that in his five years, he had moved out of the capital to meet a foreign leader only…

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  • Bracing for adverse macro indicators

    The re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran might mean lesser global supply causing oil prices to remain high. Much of the oil producers may side with the US on the Iran issue, so that an easy resolution seems unlikely. India’s import of oil may go up by 50 billion dollars more than last year, and…

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  • Delicate balance between the Union and the States

    The constitution of India laid out clearly in its seventh schedule which legislative and policy areas would be with the Centre and which would be with the States. There are three lists in the seventh schedule, called the Union list, the States list and the concurrent list. This demarcates not only the responsibilities but also…

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  • More women are needed in the workforce

    India’s female labour force participation rate (LFPR) has fallen steeply in the past thirteen years. This is the ratio of females who are doing paid work as a proportion of the total women of working age.  The decline is actually a longer term phenomenon. As per a report from the International Labour Organization, the LFPR…

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  • Reorienting India’s export strategy

    The global headlines these days are dominated by the unfolding trade spat between the United States and China. It seems to be following a tit-for-tat sequence. First, the US imposed higher tariffs on import of aluminium and steel, mainly from China. To which, China responded by imposing tariffs on goods worth $3 billion imported from…

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  • US-China trade war will have no winners

    One of the significant global trends these days is the rise of protectionism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had identified this as one of three major global challenges in his speech at Davos earlier this year. The rise of protectionism is closely identified with the trade policies articulated, and now implemented, by President Donald Trump. His…

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  • Maharashtra Kisan March: Lessons from the farmers’ silent march

    On March 6, more than 10,000 farmers set off on a silent march from Nashik to Mumbai. This march was called by the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, the farmers’ organisation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Their main demand was transfer of land to farmers as promised under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of…

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  • insurance-fraud-investigations

    Banking frauds and eroding public trust

    On top of disgust with outright fraud is also the feeling of injustice and unfairness. Small borrowers and farmers are hounded for repayment while the big fish get away. So the need to restore trust is not only for reasons of efficiency but also to remove the perception that the system is unfairly tilted to…

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  • 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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