Surjit S Bhalla

The writer is contributing editor, 'The Indian Express', and senior India analyst, The Observatory Group, a New York-based macro policy advisory group

No Proof Required: RBI, enough of elevator economics
Sat, Apr 29, 2017

The inflation forecast is the most important aspect of the most crucial economic decision that the RBI makes — it needs to be more in tune with reality.

Cow vigilantism — or minority hunting?
Wed, Apr 12, 2017

PM Modi has nothing to gain and everything to lose by pursuing a divisive social agenda. He has to worry both about the enemy within, and the one outside, his development tent.

No proof required: Case for an inter-meeting rate hike
Sat, Mar 18, 2017

A ‘rate hike in time is just fine’ is a wise RBI saying. With CPI inflation at near-historic lows, this must mean, according to the RBI law of mean reversion, that the future will bring high inflation. Hence, the urgent need for intervention

No proof required: Seeking redemption in UP 2017
Thu, Mar 09, 2017

Many expect the Uttar Pradesh election to go the Bihar way — a big loss for BJP. However, the same math suggests the BJP is likely to win a comfortable majority in the state

No proof required: Jaywalking at the RBI
Sat, Feb 25, 2017

RBI’s obstinate refusal to cut policy rates, and the moving of its policy stance from neutral to accommodative, is not based on economic logic. Both headline and core inflation data argue for a rate cut

No proof required: Not business as usual
Sat, Feb 04, 2017

Budget 2017-18 is probably the most brilliant economic and political document since the path-breaking budget of 1991

No proof required: Taxation — beware of the enemy within
Wed, Jan 25, 2017

A meaningful reduction in effective corporate tax rates to around 20 per cent is the correct follow-through to the logic, and pain, of demonetisation.

No proof required: Taxing your way to popularity
Thu, Jan 19, 2017

The finance minister can cut everyone’s tax burden, even pay the poor, and be revenue neutral by cutting sops

No proof required: Towards an Income Tax Revolution
Sat, Jan 14, 2017

The economy provides scope and demonetisation, the rationale for a flat income tax rate and a negative income tax for the poor and the needy.

No proof required: Financing basic income for the bottom 50 per cent
Sat, Jan 07, 2017

A political and economic masterstroke would be for the Union budget to contain a basic income scheme for the bottom 50 percent — the poor and lower middle class

No proof required: PLUs deafened by the Big Bang
Sat, Dec 31, 2016

Make no mistake — demonetisation is an important first step in what will be remembered as India’s biggest reform.

No proof required: Deliver us from ideologues
Sat, Dec 24, 2016

Conservative intellectual rightness is no different from classic liberal thought, a definition that excludes the Left intellectuals, but includes the Right liberals

No proof required: Demonetisation dispassionately demystified
Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Politicians shouting shrill about demonetisation augur well for the prospects of a new demonetised India. It indicates that the initiative is working

Black cash in India
Tue, Dec 06, 2016

Rumours of even a 1 percentage point decline in GDP growth for 2016/17 are vastly exaggerated, have no basis in logic or fact.

No proof required: Sitting down for liberty
Sat, Dec 03, 2016

The constitution emphasises the power of the state, not the rights of individuals. Yet it is a lot more liberal than the interpretation of Supreme Court justices suggests.

Demonetisation’s short-term cost
Sat, Nov 26, 2016

Ideologies are determining politicians’ assessment of the costs of the policy. Amid the commotion, food prices have been stable

No proof required: Big bang or big thud?
Sat, Nov 19, 2016

Demonetisation will have no benefits if the government does not follow up with tax reforms, reduce discretionary powers of bureaucrats and reform election laws

Anti-black money initiative could mean a policy reform bigger than GST
Sat, Nov 12, 2016

The recent anti-corruption, anti-black money drive of the BJP is being characterised by the same intellectually old people as being against the interests of the poor.

No proof required: Clinton wins — maybe even the House
Tue, Nov 08, 2016

The long wait will soon be over. As everyone has noted, this is not an ordinary election. The future of Western civilisation (literally) depends on the outcome.

An easy win for Hillary Clinton
Mon, Nov 07, 2016

In a race that is considered too close to call (for over three months now — see table) the “lying factor” can make any forecast of a Clinton victory go wrong.

Save us from the patriots
Sat, Oct 29, 2016

Their ‘nationalism’ tests are offensive. Exchanges of culture are what bind together the twins separated at birth.

No proof required: When liberals are not liberal
Mon, Oct 24, 2016

When even Pakistan has banned triple talaq, our ‘liberals’ argue the uniform civil code should not be introduced until India solves all problems related to women — nay, all problems related to womankind.

No proof required: A data dependent MPC
Sat, Oct 08, 2016

In making the decision to cut the repo rate by 25 bps, the Monetary Policy Committee was neither dovish, nor hawkish, just pragmatic.

No proof required: A double-digit win for Hillary Clinton
Tue, Sep 27, 2016

The opinion polls suggest that whites will vote for Trump in the same proportion as they did for Reagan in 1964. Is that even probable, let alone likely?

No proof required: Blind men in search of inflation
Sat, Sep 17, 2016

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is to be replaced by the Monetary Policy Committee. Let’s hope it can do a better job

No proof required: Evaluating Rajan
Sat, Aug 13, 2016

No matter what the criteria, inflation has dropped, and dropped by a large magnitude, during Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI governor, September 2013 to September 2016.

Hillary Clinton by a landslide
Sat, Aug 06, 2016

The odds are so much in her favour that Trump might eventually withdraw from the race. Barring a Black Swan event, it is Clinton in November.

No proof required: Black Knight and other myths
Sat, Jul 23, 2016

The Congress’ huge and unexpected defeat in the 2014 general election may contain the foundations for some popular myths

No proof required: Good morality is good politics
Sat, Jul 16, 2016

Here are some facts that can help Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP take the plunge into being a political party that people might like to like, rather than a party that people love to hate.

Debate on Rajan’s reappointment is welcome as long as it is on performance
Sat, Jun 11, 2016

It is high time for all of us to get real, recognise and reward Raghuram Rajan for a job brilliantly done

Evaluating Narendra Modi’s two years of governance
Sat, May 28, 2016

If Monsoon 2016 is as expected, then the first three years of the Modi government will be the best three years for India’s economy since 1996, and possibly the best three consecutive years since Independence

Burying the ghost of Bihar
Sat, May 21, 2016

Assembly poll results prove voter is focused on development, not dynasty or caste and creed math

No proof required: End of the road for Congress?
Mon, May 16, 2016

If the party and its allies lose in all four state elections, as opinion polls predict, the political dialogue will shift towards discussing the end of the Congress era

Retail inflation is overstated
Sat, May 07, 2016

After adjustment, consumer price index-based inflation in 2015-16 was 3.8 per cent — a full 1.10 percentage points below the official estimate of 4.9 per cent.

Odd-even scheme: AAP has to first clarify on surge prices for buses
Wed, Apr 27, 2016

Those who pay exorbitant surge prices for buses for 13 days should not object to occasional surge pricing by taxi aggregators.

No proof required- GDP debate: RIP
Sat, Apr 23, 2016

Now that the new GDP data have implicitly received the RBI good housekeeping seal of approval, perhaps we can all move on to more challenging appraisals of the Indian economy