Moody’s Upgrade Prabhat Patnaik

Credit-rating agencies, discredited by the collapse of the housing bubble in the United States when they had blithely endorsed all so-called “sub-prime lending”, are now crawling out of the woodwork, and the Indian establishment is predictably impressed by the sight. Moody’s have just upgraded India’s credit rating marginally and the BJP is beside itself with joy. Surprisingly, much of the media too have flashed the story of the upgrade as if India’s status being raised from Baa3 to Baa2 is a matter that calls for great jubilation. Now, the criteria used by finance capital for judging the performance of a…

The Class Content of the Goods and Services Tax Prabhat Patnaik

The discussion on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) until now has focused almost exclusively on the distribution of its burden across commodities, on the difficulties of meeting its stringent bureaucratic demands, and on the delays in obtaining claims for refunds. Even the view that it is pushing the economy into a recession has attributed this looming recession merely to its stringent procedural demands which supposedly have tied most sellers in knots. In all this however the class content of this new tax regime has been missed. Indeed many would even ask: if one kind of indirect tax regime which…

Why the Fight for a GST? C.P. Chandrasekhar

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, that, if passed, would introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST) system in India, faces a still uncertain future because of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. The Lok Sabha passed the bill in December last year. With the Congress and other opposition parties demanding major amendments to the provisions of the Bill, and given the relative strength of the ruling coalition in the upper house, it may have to be held back for further discussion to generate a consensus. What underlies the controversy? Many have heralded the…