The writer is Contributing Editor at The Indian Express, and Consulting Editor at Network 18
Surjit S Bhalla writes: What is even more remarkable is that the good budget came in the year of the farmers protests.
Based on the available state-level data, some states in India have already achieved herd immunity while other states are catching up.
Surjit S Bhalla writes: Some authors are explicit, others indulge in nudge-nudge, wink-wink — these four years were also the first four years of the changing political order in India — the beginning of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
Surjit S Bhalla writes: A minuscule minority of farmers is protesting against the farm laws. They don’t want an end to the system that has benefited them.
Surjit S Bhalla writes: Lockdowns were an unnatural experiment and, around the world, they have not worked in achieving their major health objective of less infections or slower pace of infections.
No matter how the calculation is done, India is a positive fiscal stimulus outlier; by IMF-PT calculations, the stimulus is close to the largest among major emerging market economies.
Forecast of most experts was that the bold corporate tax cut of September 2019 would lead to a decline in tax collections, would not help economic growth. The opposite seems to have happened.
Our very conservative estimate is that absolute poverty in 2017-18 was in the low to mid-single digits — a decline of 6-8 percentage points from the 14 per cent level in 2011-12. This is indeed a happy note as we celebrate 70 years of the creation of the Indian Republic.
Not every government report should be accepted. Sometimes institutions fail to produce a credible report. Sometimes a nation has to recognise that its statistical institution is failing the most basic of ‘smell’ tests and is in need of reform.
Modi Econ 2.0 has started with a big bang — the largest corporate tax cut in world history for new manufacturing firms. Surely this is just the beginning.
Arun Jaitley will be missed for his friendships across political camps, and contribution to policymaking. Above all, he was a man of ideas
Is India as different as claimed by “experts”? My own experience, and interpretation, is that India is very different because the experts (perhaps including those at the central bank) look at monetary policy very differently.
Cross-country evidence supports the conclusion that the sooner India engages in foreign currency borrowing, the quicker it can profit from this market imperfection
India was a pioneer in data collection some 70 years ago. It should be recalled that GDP data in the first 30- odd years was based on the consumption data collected by the NSSO. Poverty rates, and policies, were based on NSSO data.
India has just one policy option to advance private investment and become a $5 trillion economy — reduce corporate tax rate for all firms to 22 per cent, reduce misguided rates of personal income tax.
Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech was what budget speeches ought to be. A vision statement of what the government plans to do. She set the tone of her speech in an honest and direct manner.
Given the estimated poverty decline in India between 2011-12 and 2016-17, time has come to change our economic policies — concentrate on what causes growth, not what causes poverty to decline
Arvind Subramanian’s method of estimating GDP suggests that Germany over-estimates and Brazil under-estimates it the most. India is only a mild outlier.
Is it possible that growth was over-estimated by a large 250 bps a year for five years and no one knew about it, including economists in government?
All indicators lead to the same conclusion: Modi’s BJP recorded a spectacular victory in 2019 due to its provision of inclusive growth — very close to the best in the world in 2014-18
The stage has been well and truly set for the next generation of economic reforms. There is no going bacK and the people believe Modi and trust Modi to deliver. That is why this election was about the delivery, and promise, of the Modi government.
The most unfortunate event to befall the Congress was that the party won three states in December 2018. This lulled them into thinking that they had a good chance of making a come back in these states, and therefore, across India.
Scholars have derived the conclusion that Modi was a minority winner (only 31 per cent vote), that he did not win a popular mandate, that 2014 was a Black Swan (very unusual event) election and, therefore, unlikely to be repeated again.
Well, Election 2019 is turning out to be Rashomonesque. Everybody is seeing the same “facts” yet each has a different description of the reality, and its effect on the election.
Data claiming 45-year peak in unemployment is misleading. Indian institutions are still operating with the technology and outlook of 70 years ago.