ECONOMIC NOTES

The Roots of Indian Federalism

THE anti-colonial struggle saw the emergence of a pan-Indian national consciousness that was superimposed upon a pre-existing “nationality” consciousness based on linguistic regions. The pan-Indian national consciousness in other words was superimposed upon a Bengali or Gujarati or Tamil or Odiya consciousness; and the anti-colonial struggle saw the flourishing of both kinds of consciousness.

FDI in the Coal Sector

JOAN Robinson, the well-known economist, had drawn attention to a fundamental difference between foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector and foreign direct investment in a sector that extracted an exhaustible resource, such as a mineral product. This difference can be illustrated with an example.

Article 370 and Kashmir’s Land Reforms

JAMMU and Kashmir was the first state in the country to introduce land reforms. There were two components of J&K’s land reforms. First, the system of absentee landlordism that had prevailed during the Maharaja’s time was completely done away with. The land of the absentee landlords was taken over without any compensation and simply distributed among the tenants; whoever was cultivating whatever amount of land on the absentee landlord’s estate as tenant was simply given ownership of that much of land without having to pay any amount of money for obtaining ownership.

Amit Shah’s Economics

IN justification of the move to end Kashmir’s special status, Amit Shah in his speech in the Rajya Sabha brought in the question of Kashmir’s “development”, arguing that closer integration with the rest of India will bring in much investment into the region. He especially appealed to the youth of Kashmir, promising that they would have larger employment opportunities.

A Striking Contrast

ONE of the immanent tendencies of capital is to commoditise every sphere of life; and under neoliberal capitalism where the immanent tendencies of capital are given full play, we find the sway of commoditisation reaching into new areas. The commoditisation of education which has proceeded apace of late is one instance of this; and now we find commoditisation invading the world of politics as never before.

Some Disquieting Trends in the Budget

IT is clear by now that the figures provided in the 2019-20 budget are palpably unfounded. The budget has concealed the actual receipts and expenditures for 2018-19 even though these were available, because they show huge shortfalls compared to the budget estimates for that year. And all its estimates for 2019-20 are projections based on the revised estimates for 2018-19, which are close to the budget estimates for that year, rather than the much lower actuals. Hence the budget figures for the coming year cannot be taken seriously. An air of mendacity pervades the entire budget.

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