Fractured Institutions and the absence of an inclusive Political System Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir

An assessment of implementation of 17 goals and 169 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is required since SDGs are what the world over is concerned with while Bangladesh is in an exceptional circumstance. The SDGs sound bold, yet fraught with contradictions with its internal logic. The global framework builds upon its precedent, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in which development is articulated as if such is achieved through technocratic means, free of politics. Besides inherent logical inconsistencies of the SDGs, these present further challenges to link the means of implementation to the outcomes due to the former…

The Great Budget “Cash for Votes” Scam – and Other Cash Transfer Schemes Jayati Ghosh

The big-ticket item in the “Interim Budget 2019-20” was the announcement of a cash transfer to farmers holding less than 2 hectares, of Rs 6,000 per household to be paid in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each. Estimated to cover around 120 million households, it is projected to cost Rs 75,000 crore over a year. Amazingly, the government also declared that it is providing this amount with retrospective effect from 1 December 2018, so that the first instalment would reach farmers’ bank accounts by end March of the current financial year. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal stated that he has put…

Science and Subterfuge in Economics Jayati Ghosh

Jayati Ghosh points out that “mainstream economics has operated in the service of power”, which has made the subject less relevant and reduced its legitimacy and credibility. Economics needs to become more open to criticism of assumptions, methods, and results. For full article Click Here (This article was originally published in the Project Syndicate on February 14, 2019)

Economic Crisis can trigger World War Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Vladimir Popov

Economic recovery efforts since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis have mainly depended on unconventional monetary policies. As fears rise of yet another international financial crisis, there are growing concerns about the increased possibility of large-scale military conflict. More worryingly, in the current political landscape, prolonged economic crisis, combined with rising economic inequality, chauvinistic ethno-populism as well as aggressive jingoist rhetoric, including threats, could easily spin out of control and ‘morph' into military conflict, and worse, world war. Crisis responses limited The 2008-2009 global financial crisis almost ‘bankrupted' governments and caused systemic collapse. Policymakers managed to pull the world economy from…

Are We Heading towards a Synchronised Global Slowdown? T Sabri Öncü

When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its World Economic Outlook Update in January 2018, the future looked bright. Indeed, even the title of the update was very optimistic: Brighter Prospects, Optimistic Markets, Challenges Ahead. And under the cheer-leadership of the IMF, an overwhelming consensus was formed. The cyclical upswing underway since mid-2016 had continued to strengthen, producing in 2017 the broadest synchronised global growth upsurge since 2010, and the growth would last as far as the eye could see. Here, what is meant by global growth is the growth of the world gross domestic product (GDP) or the world income. It turned out…

The ABC of G and T GC Harcourt

In the run up to the 2013–2014 Budget in Australia, discussion in the public domain has been intense, polemical and sometimes hysterical. Most commentators have, either explicitly or implicitly, argued that the principal criteria by which the Budget proposals should be judged are how do they contribute first, to returning the Budget to balance or, preferably, a surplus, and second, to reducing the debt to income ratio. Other criteria include matching particular expenditures by particular taxes or cuts elsewhere in expenditure, and an emphasis on the need for expenditure to be targeted rather than universal, so overlooking the demeaning effect…

Budgetary Sops Will Do Little to Fix Unemployment and Poverty in India Sunanda Sen

The recent interim budget clearly reflects concerns that a majority of India’s people, especially in the agricultural and informal sector, have experienced hardship despite the on-going and relatively high growth in the economy. Palliatives designed to lessen these hardships include an annual grant of Rs 6,000, which is to be paid in three instalments to farmers owning land upto two hectares. Palliatives for the poor also include a rather unworkable plan of a contributory pension scheme of Rs 3,000 per month for workers in the informal sector. In addition to these two steps, the budget also offers substantial tax relief…

The Boundaries of Welfare Prabhat Patnaik

The Narendra Modi government has now carried its penchant for undermining institutions to the national budget itself. Not only has it treated what should have been an interim budget, as its tenure lasts barely two months into the new financial year, as a full-fledged budget, but it has also palpably refrained from applying its mind to several key budgetary schemes. The aim has been not to launch some seriously thought out schemes for the poor but to create hype-worthy news. Consider the three main “sops” of the budget. Twelve crore “small landholding families” are to be given Rs 6,000 each…

Social Responsibility of Intellectuals in Building Counter‐Hegemonies Issa Shivji

Intellectuals pride themselves as producers of knowledge.  They  are  also articulators  of  ideologies,  a role  they  do  not  normally  acknowledge. Respectable universities worth the name call themselves sites of knowledge production. I say “respectable”  because  these  days  many  neo‐liberalised universities  have abandoned  the  role  of  knowledge  production  in  favour  of packaging  disparate information  and  branding  their  “products”  (students)  to make  them saleable  on the  market.  That is a story for another day.  Today I don’t want to talk about packaging factories.    Today  I  want  to  address those  intellectuals  who  still consider  themselves  producers  of  knowledge rather  than  assembly  line supervisors…

Budget 2019-20: Will it help India’s farmers? Jayati Ghosh

Everyone expected the Modi government to do something big – or at least promise something big – before the general elections. Everyone also sensed that it would be something to do with farmers, one of the economic and social concerns that has now also become a political talking point. But perhaps no one expected that the government would dare to make massive budgetary commitments for the coming year in a Vote on Account (or Interim Budget), which is constitutionally outside the mandate of an outgoing government. A Vote on Account is only supposed to include spending measures for the immediate…