Free Press Journal
  • 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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  • No silver bullet for stopping economy

    Quarterly GDP growth declined for the sixth consecutive quarter, ending June 2017. Starting with the quarter ending March 2016 last year, the growth rates have been 9., 7.9, 7.5, 7.0, 6.1 and now 5.7 for the latest June ending quarter. This is one of the longest continuing declining trend in the recent times. No doubt…

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  • Doubts and debates on demonetisation

    The cost of printing new notes, the unpreparedness of the banking system, the delay in restocking branches and ATMs, the long waiting lines for months, the inability of people to access their own money – all these costs were immediate and significant for the economy and the people. The slowdown in GDP growth for the…

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  • Signals from the Infosys shake-up

    Infosys was born thirty-seven years ago, just when the IBM PC was launched, and shortly before Apple launched the Mac. The birth of Infosys is the stuff of legend, as its seven penniless founders, set out to build a global company in 1981. And indeed by 1999, at the height of the dot-com era, Infosys…

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  • 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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