Policy Issues

Digital Economy: Who Benefits?

FIFTY days, that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked of the people, were completed but with no signs of abatement of hardships. These fifty days have brought to light umpteen stories of hardships that the people had to suffer in order to access their hard earned money. These fifty days also witnessed the goalposts of demonetisation shifting continuously. First it started as a measure to combat black money and terrorism. Later it was championed as a necessary step for transition towards a 'cashless society', which yet again was subtly modified to a 'less cash society'.

Fifty Days of Demonetisation And the Unorganised Sector

PRIME Minister Modi’s fifty days of ‘pain’ are getting over on December 30, 2016. But the reports and studies on the impact of demonetisation show that the ‘short term pain’ will lead to no ‘long term gain’. Rather its impact on employment and production may hit the majority of the workforce in the country. This is particularly true of people in informal employment or labour relations, both in the organised and unorganised sectors.

The Deadlock in GST

WITH the passage of the constitutional amendment, it was taken for granted that there would be no further hurdles to the smooth introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) from the beginning of the next financial year.  The Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) bills were to be introduced as money bills and passed in Lok Sabha during the winter session of the parliament.  Thereafter the states are to pass the State GST (SGST) bills in their respective legislatures during their budget sessions.  And that would have cleared the deck for GST in the country from April 1.  However, the pa

Women Home-based Workers and Demonetisation

IN recent times, the prime minister of India has repeatedly termed the critics of demonetisation as backers of black money who work against the nation. The argument implies that all those who have cash income, even though legally acquired, are offenders who would have escaped had the government given more time to them to ‘prepare’. This aggressive campaign of the government has one fundamental flaw: it assumes that the only losers from the demonetization are the money hoarders not the mass of the labouring poor whose entire survival depends on wages paid in cash.

Central Offensive against Credit Cooperatives

THE frenzy unleashed by the demonetisation of 1000 and 500 rupee currency notes has entered the third week. The Indian economy is still decelerating and in a sense imploding. The first assessment of the likely impact of the currency debacle on GDP growth has come from AMBIT, who has revised the GDP growth rate for 2016-17 from 6.8 to 3.5 percent. They estimate the growth in the current quarter to be in the negative. I find it difficult to reconcile with such a precipitous fall but, the Indian growth story has been tripped.

General Insurance Employees’ Association (South Zone) Conference Held

THE 16th triennial conference of General Insurance Employees’ Association (South Zone), affiliated to All India Insurance Employee’s Association (AIIEA), was held in Mysore in Karnataka on June 6-8. In a resolution unanimously adopted at the conference, the Association demanded the government not to disinvest shares of public sector general insurance companies -- The New India Assurance Co. Ltd., United India Insurance Co. Ltd., National Insurance Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.

The Role of Long-Term Policy Measures In Rural Drought Distress

THERE has been quite widespread media coverage of the serious drought afflicting large swathes of India – particularly in Maharashtra, Telangana, Rajasthan, Bundelkhand and even Punjab. Many areas have seen two consecutive years of problems arising not only from rainfall deficiency but also serious crop loss owing to unseasonal rain. With nothing to eat for humans or livestock, distress migration from many areas is a very visible phenomenon.

GenNext in Search of an Alternative

RECENTLY, the government had to retract its proposal to tax withdrawal on provident fund deposits. Apart from sharp criticism and opposition from labour unions, there was also an overwhelming opposition from the employed sections, both government and private, who were not organised, to this proposal. A petition opposing taxing of EPF went viral and social media platforms were abuzz with witty criticisms against the government on the above two issues.

TRAI Bars Facebook's Data Colonialism

ON Monday, February 8, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued its regulations barring differential pricing of data based on content. This has been welcomed widely as a step forward in keeping the internet free from capture by an emerging alliances of global internet monopolies and telcos. Indeed, TRAI's decision goes beyond what Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in the US had decided on net neutrality. Currently, the FCC is enmeshed in a variety of what are called zero rating cases, and hearing them on a case to case basis.


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