Economy

Economy

Issue Articles

Is India Experiencing a K-Shaped Recovery?

Well before Omicron arrived, all the evidence was that far from a robust economic recovery, India had been witnessing a rebound only in the the formal sector. The informal sector and labour have been left behind. This is a classic K-shaped recovery.

Covid-19 and the Informalisation of India’s Salaried Workers

The pandemic forced a fraction of India's salaried workers to fall back on self-employment or casual work, or to withdraw from the workforce entirely. It was only the salaried who held secure and regular positions who were able to hold on to their jobs.

The Europe-India Balance Sheet

Trade, like-mindedness, and strategic interests
Europe is sceptical about realising the economic potential in India because of corruption and trade barriers. Elsewhere, there are growing concerns about human rights violations, while on security it is the China factor that will decide the future path.

Digital Currency: Fog Beyond the Hype

What are digital and cryptocurrencies? Why is there so much hype about this new form of digital money? Will it threaten the hegemony of paper money? A detailed explainer in the context of recent policy explorations in India on a Central Bank Digital Currency.

Which Way the Stock Market Now?

While the economic outlook is less than robust, corporate profits — driven by tax cuts and decimation of the informal sector — will continue to rise for at least another two years, giving share prices a fundamental resilience.

Plane Tales: Air India’s Return to the Tatas

The Tatas' acquisition of Air India is hailed as a triumph for private enterprise in its battle with the remnants of the Nehruvian state. The history of Indian aviation, however, is of the Indian state offering crucial support to the Tatas over the decades.

A Rocky Road to Resolution

Achievements and struggles of India’s Insolvency Code
In its first five years, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has recorded some high-profile successes but also a failure to ensure a higher recovery of debt. Implementation has to improve if the code is to successfully balance the interest of all stakeholders.

Growing Distress and a Falling Unemployment Rate

What is going on in the labour market?
The Periodic Labour Force Survey for 2019-20 has thrown up some unusual and contradictory patterns in employment and unemployment. However, the trends in the labour market over three years of the PLFS from 2017-18 onwards are clear and cause for worry.

Making Sense of India’s Measures of Unemployment

The co-existence of seasonal and regular employment has posed a challenge over the decades for accurately measuring unemployment in India. An explainer and a discussion in the light of the puzzling results of the 2019-20 Periodic Labour Force Survey.

CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Surveys: An Assessment

In the absence of timely data from the national official surveys, the large-scale private CPHS have become popular sources of data on current conditions. But problems in the survey design & methodology of the CPHS need to be fixed for more reliable estimates.

The Global Minimum Corporate Tax: Not High Enough, Not Fair Enough

‘While the global minimum tax proposal is a step forward, that step is disappointingly short of what is needed and possible.’

Systemic Gaps in India’s Social Protection Delivery Architecture

The pandemic could have been an opportunity for India's welfare measures to shine. But poorly designed interfaces, centralisation, and lack of accountability have made access difficult, necessitating civil society organisations to step in.

India's Inequality Problem

India’s inequality is driven by limited upward mobility due, in turn, to unequal opportunity. Greater taxation of wealth will make possible investments in education, health, and infrastructure which will improve opportunity and raise the growth potential.

Women Bring a Spring of Hope to the Farm Movement

Women have been reinforcing the farmers’ protests on Delhi’s borders, right from the beginning. Their experiences of the agrarian crisis are broadening the demands of the movement beyond defending minimum support prices for crops.

Changing Modes of Agriculture in Punjab

The crises of Punjab’s agriculture are rooted in the same history that made it the granary of India. Ensuring sustainability for farmers and the farm sector requires an engagement with the shifting trajectories of agriculture over the last seven decades.

India’s Biggest Challenge: The Future of Farming

India has enough food; does it have too many people working in agriculture? The pressure on land is an outcome of policy, which condemns most people to marginal farming. India needs a different set of solutions for agriculture and for those working the land.

When Narratives Drive Economic Policy

The case of India's 2016 demonetisation
Demonetisation was not just an egregious act of cruelty but also an economic policy disaster. Yet, the successful use of popular narratives to sell the demonetisation story meant that the public did not make the government pay for this major folly.

Brand India and the Making of a New Citizenry

Branding projects to make India appear open for global business has entailed the production of an exclusionary image of the nation and a rewriting of the contract between citizens and state.

India’s Deregulated Dairy Sector Signposts the Future of Our Food

The result of the deregulation of the dairy sector holds a mirror to what would happen if the new farm laws were to be implemented in agriculture: an easing out of the small producer, greater inequality in consumption, and co-operatives replaced by monoliths.

Confirmation Bias on Overdrive in 'Economic Survey 2020-21'

The decline in the quality of what is supposed to be the premier annual economic policy document of the Government of India is a result of its authors playing to the gallery rather than offering careful analysis of the economy today.

The Wages of Low Public Spending on Child Nutrition Programmes

Stagnant government funding and mis-allocation of available resources in recent years are together resulting in limited improvements in levels of child nutrition, anaemia and mortality.

India and the Pandemic

The First Year
A collection of 24 essays on how India dealt with Covid-19 in 2020, published by Orient BlackSwan. The essays, with a detailed Introduction, cover the history of pandemics, the early stages, the lockdown, the law, impact on economy & society, and the future.

The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines

Vaccine grabs, the refusal to relax patents to enable mass production, and the use of vaccines for diplomacy run the risk that poorer nations may not be protected against Covid-19 quickly enough. This will prolong the pandemic, even for the richer nations.
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