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Articles by: Arun Kumar

Union Budget 2019-20: Belying Expectations of Boosting Growth

Union Budget 2019-20: Belying Expectations of Boosting Growth

  The government was expected to present a big-bang Budget since it has a massive majority in Parliament. It was hoped that the Budget would help take the economy out of its current troubles. Soon after returning to power the government and the PM have repeatedly talked of the Indian GDP reaching $ 5 trillion in the next five years.[Read More…]

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Economic Survey 2018 -19: Prescriptions do not follow the Analysis

Economic Survey 2018 -19: Prescriptions do not follow the Analysis

An Economic Survey is a document that surveys the economy in the financial year just past. So, it lists the issues confronting the economy and gives prescriptions for how to tackle these problems. Usually the solutions to the problems are presented in the Budget since resolution of problems requires allocation of resources which can only be done in a Budget.[Read More…]

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How the BJP’s Political Narrative Filled the Holes in the NDA’s Actual Performance

How the BJP’s Political Narrative Filled the Holes in the NDA’s Actual Performance

The messaging around national security and last-mile schemes allowed Modi to present himself as the best short-term solution, regardless of his long-term vision. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – and more than that, Narendra Modi – has come back with a larger mandate than what it was given by India’s voters in 2014. At one level, this is remarkable given the economic[Read More…]

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Does India Really Know What its GDP Is?

Does India Really Know What its GDP Is?

  Everyone knew India’s organised sector contained a large number of shell companies. We should have worked out its impact and whether a blowing up factor was required before launching the new GDP series. Another controversy about India’s gross domestic product (GDP) data has broken out, with a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report casting doubt on the quality of[Read More…]

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With manifestos, political parties must show how the desirable is feasible | Arun Kumar

With manifestos, political parties must show how the desirable is feasible | Arun Kumar

If one does not show that the “desirable is feasible,” chances are that the promises will remain on paper, as in the past. Written by General elections are the time for the political parties to vie with each other to produce more innovative and inclusive manifestos than their rivals. There is something for everyone, especially for the marginalised sections —[Read More…]

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Arun Kumar, Economist and author

Time to soften GST blow on MSMEs: Arun Kumar

Interview by Richa Mishra   In his book, Arun Kumar suggests ways to convert the complex levy into a ‘Ground Nourishing Tax’ Change is not always easy to adapt to, especially when it is a completely new tax regime like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which even proponents of reforms acknowledge is very complex. No surprises then, that it[Read More…]

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Two Years after Demonetisation, the Nightmare Continues for India’s Informal Economy

Two Years after Demonetisation, the Nightmare Continues for India’s Informal Economy

The note-ban was a foolish attempt to tackle the black economy and a policy-induced self goal by the Narendra Modi government. The response to its fall-out is more authoritarianism. Demonetisation is like a bad dream etched in our memories. Weddings were postponed and medical treatment was curtailed for lack of money. Long queues formed outside banks. Small businesses closed due[Read More…]

Growth at 8.2%, Yet All Is Not Well in India’s Unorganised Sector

Growth at 8.2%, Yet All Is Not Well in India’s Unorganised Sector

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown at a robust 8.2% in the first quarter of the current financial year, according to recently released official data. This is the highest in the last two years which has seen two shocks to the economy in the form of demonetisation and GST. The spurt in growth is due to a sharp increase in the[Read More…]

The larger picture on GDP numbers

The larger picture on GDP numbers

The new data on GDP have raised a political storm, with the back series for GDP growth since 1993-94 becoming available. Its importance lies in the fact that in 2015, a new series was announced which showed India’s GDP growing faster than the earlier series had shown. This was politically advantageous to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which came to[Read More…]

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Protest against GST

As We Debate GST Collections, Is the New Tax Regime Curbing India’s Black Economy?

Last week, the government stated that states and union territories have been paid Rs 52,077 crore since July 2017 to compensate them for the shortfall in their tax revenue. After the last goods and services tax (GST) council meeting in July, it was reported that several states and union territories have reported shortfall in revenue of up to 43%. Given this background, should the[Read More…]

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Impressions from the Dump-Trump Protest in London

Impressions from the Dump-Trump Protest in London

American President Donald Trump has a lot to take back home from Londoners than to what he had come to say in the UK during his first official visit. Potus left unhappy and angry. He even said that he felt unwelcome because of the protest against him. During the trip preparation, Trump and his staff were asked to avoid facing[Read More…]