Prabhat Patnaik, Courtesy:People's Democracy, October 3,2013
Yashwant Sinha, Finance Minister under the NDA government, was emphatic on television that the current economic crisis of the country, marked above all by a falling rupee, was because of the excessively large fiscal deficits that the government had run in the wake of the collapse of the housing bubble in the U.S. This explanation is shared by many, including the present Finance Minister and the officials in his ministry, since it conforms to the standard neo - liberal perspective, which holds that if a countr y has a yawning current account deficit on its balance of payments, and hence a declining currency, then the fault cannot lie either with the global capitalist system to which it is yoked, or with the mode of functioning of the markets; it must lie with th e State of the country in question. This strengthens the neo - liberal argument, that discretionary State intervention that goes against the conventional wisdom of financial markets must always be avoided. Let us examine this “fiscal profligacy” argument.
D. Raghunandan, August 16, 2013
Among the slew of liberalized norms for FDI announced by the government a fortnight ago was a much anticipated relaxation in norms for FDI in defence industries. The prevailing cap on FDI stood at 26% as per a 2001 policy. In this round, trial balloons were floated for raising this to 49% or even 74% under the automatic route, moves aggressively pushed by the Commerce Minister and supported by the Finance Ministry. However, after considerable negative reaction from opposition parties, commentators and reportedly even from the Defence Ministry, the final announcement put the FDI cap under the automatic route at 26% as already prevailing as per the Defence Procurement Policy of 2006, but this has now been brought under the FDI policy, according to government spokespersons, for “greater confidence and clarity” in the minds of foreign investors. More importantly, higher FDI has been allowed although on a case-by-case basis where “state-of-the-art” technologies are involved and with special approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). (Hitherto the only case of more than 26% foreign participation is the JV for the Brahmos cruise missile involving state–owned enterprises from Russia and India with the former holding 49.5%.)
Newsclick Production, August 8, 2013
The UPA government has recently declared that anyone earning over Rs 27 in rural India and Rs 33 in urban India is to be considered as living above the poverty line. The Congress party leaders have taken a step further and commented that one could easily get a meal for Rs 5, Rs 12 etc. Newsclick discusses these figures and their economic implications with Dr. Smitha Gupta, Economist at the Institute of Human Development.
Prabir Purkayastha, July 25, 2013
IT is ironical that along with the government announcing that the telecom companies are the first line of defence in cyber security, it has also announced 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom.
Seema Mustafa, Newsclick, May 12, 2012
Seema Mustafa, Newsclick, Dec. 16, 2011
D. Raghunandan, Newsclick, Dec. 12, 2011