On Niti Aayog’s Three Year Action Agenda

WITH the replacement of the Planning Commission by the Niti Aayog, the Fifteen Year Vision, Seven Year Strategy and Three Year Action Agenda process is to come in place of the original Five Year Planning one. While the first two are still being developed, the NITI Aayog released some time back the final version of Three Year Action Agenda (TYAA) for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20, the remaining part of the Fourteenth Finance Commission period. The document claims that it “charts an ambitious, transformational yet achievable Action Agenda for the government during 2017-18 to 2019-20”.

The Truth about Demonetisation

AFTER months of dilly-dallying, the Reserve Bank of India has finally come out with the figure that nearly 99 per cent of the currency notes demonetised in November 2016, came back to the banking system. The total value of demonetised currency, in the form of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, was Rs 15.44 lakh crores, of which Rs 15.28 lakh crores came back to the banking system, which is 98.96 per cent.

Concealing the No Jobs, No Growth Record of the Modi Government

THE post-liberalisation period is widely perceived to have been a period of jobless growth. Between 1999-2000 and 2011-12, proportion of men in the age-group 15 to 59 years who were gainfully employed declined from 84 per cent to 81 per cent. During the same period, proportion of women aged 15 to 59 years who were gainfully employed for at least some part of the year fell from 41 per cent to only 32 per cent.

Economy Plunging Headlong into Recession

VOLUME II of the Economic Survey which was brought out by the ministry of finance a few days ago paints an extremely grim picture of the Indian economy. The growth rate of real Gross Value Added (GVA which is the appropriate thing to look at, since the GDP measure includes net indirect taxes and hence does not truly reflect output trends), was 6.6 per cent for 2016-17 as a whole, compared to 7.9 per cent for 2015-16.

On Economic Implications of Restrictions on Cow Slaughter

INDIA’S livestock economy is among the biggest in the world. A ban on cow slaughter would either result in more and more unproductive animals being killed in most unscientific and cruel ways or would entail such a high cost for maintaining unproductive animals that cattle rearing would cease to be a profitable enterprise for farm households. Restrictions being imposed on cow slaughter and the actions of the cow vigilantes would deal a serious blow to the agrarian economy and in particular to the livelihoods of the poor and middle peasants in rural India.

The ‘Magic’ of GST

MUCH hype has surrounded the transition to the Goods and Service Tax (GST regime) which has tended to be elevated to the status of being the magical solution to all of India’s economic problems. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Quite independent of the intrinsic merits or demerits of GST compared with the structure of taxes it has replaced, the changeover does not address the fundamental challenges of the Indian economy even in the sphere of taxation.

A Dangerous Analogy

NARENDRA Modi’s attempt to imitate Jawaharlal Nehru by giving a mid-night speech on July 1 at the Central Hall of parliament, while inaugurating the Goods and Services Tax, could perhaps be passed off as a merely laughable idiosyncracy. His equating, or even putting on a parallel footing, a mere tax-reform with the grand historic event of India’s attaining independence, could perhaps be shrugged off as just harmless self-promotion by one who prides himself as the author of the tax-reform.