Free Press Journal
  • Grapple with the rupee & oil but don’t panic

    The big news this week was on two key prices. One is the price of the almighty dollar, and the other is the price of petrol (or diesel). These two are the most important price signals in the economy.  And both are of imported items. India has a huge shortage of oil since domestic supplies…

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  • Sustaining the growth pace will be challenging

    The government releases official data on quarterly growth of national income, with a time gap of exactly two months. On August 31, it reported that India’s GDP growth rate for the April to June quarter was a solid 8.2 per cent, well past the psychological level of 8. This was the highest growth rate recorded…

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  • The meaning of the falling Rupee at 70

    When the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indian rupee crossed 70, the headlines screamed “the rupee hits an all time low”. There is melodrama in such headlines, mostly fuelled by the rhetoric of political parties. It is implied that when the rupee “weakens” against the dollar, it is a loss of national…

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  • Too many deficits to bridge in modern era

    It is received wisdom that prior to the era of liberalisation, the Indian economy was a story of chronic shortages. This was the fate of most newly free post-colonial nations of the mid twentieth century. The shortages in a macroeconomic sense were of three kinds. Firstly, and most importantly, were food shortages. This was because…

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  • Heeding IMF and RBI voices of caution

    Two important bodies have sent out voices of caution on the Indian economy in recent days.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its growth estimate downward for India, for this year as well as the next. The revision is small for 2018, from 7.4 to 7.3 per cent. But for next year, the revised…

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  • ajit ranade, the great indian poverty debate, indian poverty, poverty condition, debate

    The Great Indian Poverty Debate is ending

    A recent report from the globally renowned Brookings Institution shows a dramatic reduction of poverty in India. As of May 2018, India has 73 million people living in extreme poverty, as against 87 million in Nigeria. For the first time, India does not house the maximum number of extremely poor people, despite its high population…

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  • Swiss referendum is canary of debt problem

    The list of top ten countries with the highest debt to GDP ratio as compiled by the International Monetary Fund has three European nations (Greece, Italy and Portugal), and the number one slot belongs to Japan, whose ratio is nearly 240 per cent. Contrary to conventional expectations, these highly indebted countries are not among the…

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  • 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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