The larger crisis that NPAs signal C. P. Chandrasekhar

Having overcome a legacy of extreme shortage of supply, India’s power sector is in the midst of a crisis with ramifications of a wholly different kind. The crisis arises because firms accounting for significant proportion of power sector assets have defaulted on their debt servicing commitments, and banks are not able to find ways of restructuring that debt or recouping their money. So the RBI’s guidelines requires that the assets should be liquidated to recover whatever is possible and compensate banks from which these firms had taken loans and then defaulted. But the assessment is that liquidation would yield the…

Who’s manipulating China’s exchange rate? C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

A favourite trope of Northern economic policy makers – especially those in the United States – is that China systematically manipulates the exchange rate of the RenMinBi to ensure greater external competitiveness, and that this amounts to an unfair trade practice. While this has been a complaint of the US government for some years now, President Trump of the US has become a particularly strong advocate of this theory. Most recently, the recent (slight) depreciation of the Chinese RenMinBi (RMB or Yuan) relative to the US dollar has been met with howls of protest from Mr Trump and his trade…

In Memoriam: Samir Amin

IDEAs network mourns the loss of the celebrated Marxist thinker Samir Amin, who was also a Member of our Advisory Board. Samir Amin’s razor-sharp intellect, penetrating analysis, strong anti-imperialism and conviction in the importance of third world solidarity as well as his deep and continuous commitment to progressive causes around the world, will continue to remain an inspiration for us. We publish below an obituary by Prabhat Patnaik, Jayati Ghosh and C.P. Chandrasekhar. Samir Amin (1931-2018) A Marxist from the Third World C. P. Chandrasekhar 1 September 2018 Samir Amin, a leading social thinker, campaigner and activist of and for…

Pakistan: Who needs a crisis? C.P. Chandrasekhar

With Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) or “Movement for Justice” winning 116 of the 272 seats filled through election in Pakistan’s National Assembly, the former cricketer is set to be installed as his country’s next Prime Minister. So attention has now shifted to how he would address the  ‘crisis’ the country faces. That crisis is not a crisis of growth. Pakistan has registered year-on-year growth rates exceeding 5.4 per cent in the three consecutive years ending financial year 2017-18, a record matched this century only in the globally-synchronised, high growth years 2003-2007. Nor could it be identified as a crisis…

Development and What it actually means A seminar remembering Vineet Kohli, the economist from TISS.

How has the idea of development has changed over the years? Utsa Patnaik, T Jayaraman, Prabhat Patnaik, Abhijit Sen and C. P. Chandrasekhar participate in a discussion moderated by Jayati Ghosh, at a seminar held on 19 August 2018 in Jawaharlal Nehru University to remember the young economist Vineet Kohli who passed away recently. (This video was originally published in the News Click on August 20, 2018)

Factory workers in India C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Recent data from the Annual Survey of Industries, covering up to 2015-16, provide some interesting insights into the changing nature of industrial employment in India. In the decade up to 2015-16, there was a significant increase in the number of factory workers, by around 40 per cent. This expansion can be dated from around 2005-06 onwards and especially up to 2011-12. This is to be expected, given that that was the period of India’s economic boom, in which both construction and manufacturing industry showed higher rates of investment and output growth. While the aggregate numbers still remain low for an…

Crop Insurance: Another dressed up scheme C. P. Chandrasekhar

Among the pro-farmer policies that the NDA government claims to have initiated, one often flagged is the modified crop insurance scheme titled Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). Effective as of kharif season 2016, this scheme is supplemented with the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS). While in the former crop loss is computed by comparing actual yield in a season based on crop cutting experiments by state government agencies with an indicator of expected or ‘threshold’ yield, in the latter it is computed using leading weather indicators. Together, the schemes promise enhanced and more reliable crop insurance for…

Institutional Investors and Indian Markets C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

These are uncertain times for emerging market economies (EMEs) like India. They have been important destinations for investments financed by the cheap liquidity that was pushed into the financial system by developed country central banks attempting to address the financial crisis of 2008 and after. The result has been the accumulation of large sums of portfolio investments in their equity and debt markets. This has generated fears that, as central banks in the US, EU and elsewhere unwind their easy money policies and raise interest rates from their historic lows, this capital will exit the emerging markets. Once access to…

Empty Promises C. P. Chandrasekhar

The timing of the Modi government’s announcement of a hike in the minimum support prices for kharif crops suggests that this may be another of its tall claims not backed by the financial allocations needed to deliver on them. According to a recent Cabinet decision of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, a large proportion of India’s farmers are to be offered the opportunity to sell their crops to the government at a minimum support price (MSP) that covers costs and provides for a margin of 50 per cent, starting with this kharif season. Together with measures like loan write-offs…

Did developing countries really recover from the Global Crisis? C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

We are nearing the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the United States that sparked a Global Financial Crisis,affecting every economy in significant ways. That crisis generated extraordinary monetary policy responses in the advanced economies, with low interest rates and unprecedented expansion of liquidity, in an effort largely driven by central banks to keep their economies afloat. By contrast, expansionary fiscal policy was barely used after the first initial stimulus. In the event, even with these incredibly loose monetary policies, the advanced economies have generally spluttered along, with periodic hopes of recovery dashed by repeated slowdowns –…