The State of the Indian Economy Jayati Ghosh

Only the blind or the foolhardy would claim that the Indian economy is in good shape. Despite the government’s obsession with high GDP growth – according to which the Indian economy is doing not just reasonably well but is among the best performers in the world – the fault lines are now only too evident: the external fragilities, the internal imbalances, the crisis in agriculture, the lack of employment opportunities, the rising inequality and the growing insecurity of material life for the majority of the population. Indeed, these problems are now so intense that they are clearly evident in plain…

Once again, the Oil Price Scare C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The news last week that prices of Brent Crude oil (which is used as a global benchmark) had crossed $80 a barrel in some markets must have created shock waves in policy circles of many countries, especially India. Many oil-importing countries had grown comfortable with – and even complacent about – the relatively low oil prices that persisted after their precipitous drop in the middle of 2014. As Chart 1 shows, average oil prices feel very sharply after June 2014, falling by 56 per cent just in the months until January 2015, and by more than 70 per cent from…

Agricultural Tenancy in Contemporary India Vaishali Bansal, Yoshifumi Usami and Vikas Rawal

The problem of tenancy -- informal, insecure, exploitative, and often unfree and interlocked contracts for leasing land that have been both growth-retarding and unjust -- has been central to the agrarian question in India. Along with an uneven and distorted penetration of capitalist relations in the Indian countryside, there have been significant changes in the extent of use of tenancy, in the class configuration of tenants and lessors, and in the form of tenancy contracts over the last few decades. With the state unwilling to effectively implement land reforms in most parts of India, tenancy relations have continued to be…

Leapfrogging into services C. P. Chandrasekhar

By passing full-fledged industrialisation and depending on services for growth is not a bad idea says the International Monetary Fund. In the April 2018 edition of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF has endorsed a trajectory that India is known to have pursued in recent years. Characterised by an unusual process of structural transformation, that trajectory involves an early turn to services when the share of agriculture in aggregate output and employment declines with development. This contrasts with the traditional turn to manufacturing at relatively low levels of per capita income. In an India-type process, services rather than manufacturing would…

The True Face of the Global Recovery C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The global economy, the soothsayers would have it, is riding the back of a recovery. Growth is seen as having consolidated in the US, picked up remarkably in Europe, and returned, after a minor blip, in China and India. Encouraged by these signs, the IMF in January estimated global growth in 2017 at 3.7 per cent, which was marginally above previous projections, and forecast growth at 3.8 per cent in 2018 and 2019. A key driver here is the effect that the Trump administration’s tax cuts and promise of increases in infrastructure spending are expected to have on demand and…

State Of Banking In India Y. V. Reddy

The follwing is the text of the KLN Prasad Memorial Lecture that was delivered by Y V Reddy at the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad on 1st February 2018. Chairman Shri Padmanabhaiah garu, family of K.L.N. Prasad garu, Director General Khwaja and friends, I am happy to be here in familiar surrounding and among longstanding friends to give a memorial lecture in honour of Mr. K.L.N. Prasad.  Prasad garu had an incredible range of interests and innumerable friends, cutting across diverse backgrounds. I was introduced to Mr. K L N Prasad forty years ago, in 1978, by M. Narasimham…

Agrarian Distress in India Jayati Ghosh

Across the country, farmers are furious – and rightfully so. Four years ago, they helped bring the BJP to power, believing Narendra Modi’s claims that they would no longer suffer official neglect. Cultivators were promised a doubling of their incomes in five years and many policies to increase their productivity and reduce their costs and risks. But since then, conditions in agriculture have got worse rather than better. Earlier problems have worsened as farm incomes have been squeezed by slower output growth, higher costs and increased vulnerability to changing climate. And there is a slew of new problems resulting directly…

National Income in India: What’s really growing? Jayati Ghosh

Recent income growth in India has been dominated by sectors that do not reflect real physical output increases – such as finance, insurance and real estate and public administration and defence.   National_Income  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on February 27, 2018.)

Destroying our Wetlands Jayati Ghosh

To say that we are destroying our natural environment in India is only to repeat the obvious. In cities, towns and even villages across the country, we have fouled up the atmosphere to make it almost impossible to breathe; we have polluted water bodies to make them unhealthy or even poisonous; we have injected all sorts of chemicals into the land to cause long-term loss of soil fertility and other problems; we have denuded forests and reduced biodiversity at frightening rates; we are allowing various kinds of hazardous waste, including e-waste, to collect without treatment so that it poisons everything…

Arming Poor Countries Enriches Rich Countries Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Although the Cold War came to an end over a quarter century ago, international arms sales only declined temporarily at the end of the last century. Instead, the United States under President Trump is extending its arms superiority over the rest of the world. The five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Algeria. Indian arms imports increased by 43 per cent. Its imports during 2012–2016 were far greater than those of its regional rivals, China and Pakistan, as Pakistan’s arms imports declined by 28 per cent compared to 2007–2011. UAE imports increased by…